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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (9/15): Bad Defense Costs Tw...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:01 PM
The Twins lost the series finale to the Indians 7-5 after taking both games of the double header the day before. Leaving Cleveland with a...
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Are we done with Gibson? Once and for all

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I'm hoping this is one of last times we see Gibson. He has had one good year and every other year has been above 4 ERA. He actually broke...
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Front Page: Get to Know Jorge Alcala

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Minnesota called up Jorge Alcala on Saturday to help with the homestretch of the season. A two-game day on Saturday means the club will n...
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Game Thread Twins @ Indians 9/15/19 12:10 PM CDT

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Good morning Twin fans! The Twins go for the sweep against Cleveland this afternoon. The Twins swept a day-night doubleheader to take a 5...
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Front Page: Who is the Twins Team MVP?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:59 PM
2019 has been a bit of a Hollywood season for the Minnesota Twins. After finishing 2018 with a record below .500, and losing a player tha...
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Deadline Primer: The National League West

We are less than two weeks away from the July 31 trade deadline. It is still fair to question whether the Twins are going to be buyers or sellers, both or neither at the deadline. They are 3-3 in six games against the Astros (1-2) and Yankees (2-1) and have stayed above .500. They are a half a game behind Cleveland in the American League Central, and they are half a game behind the Yankees for the second wild card spot.

So who are the players that might be available in a trade?
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today
Over the coming week we’ll take a look which teams are buyers and sellers and who the Twins could look to acquire. We’ll start with the teams in the National League West division.


STANDINGS

Los Angeles Dodgers - 66-29
Colorado Rockies - 56-41 (11 games back)
Arizona Diamondbacks - 54-40 (11.5 games back)
San Diego Padres - 40-54
San Francisco Giants - 37-59

As things sit right now, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are the two Wild Card teams. The Cubs are currently five games out of the second Wild Card spot. We know they’ll make some moves, so will Colorado and Arizona be willing to add some players?

THE BUYERS

If the Twins decide to sell, which would be disappointing as things stand today (but may be different in a week), the Dodgers, Rockies and Diamondbacks could be calling.

Brian Dozier, Brandon Kintzler and Ervin Santana will be the primary names tossed around (no surprise). The Dodgers wouldn’t trade Cody Bellinger for Brian Dozier in the offseason. I’m guessing he’s not available at this point either.


THE SELLERS

As of right now, the Twins should be leaning toward buying, and if that’s the case, the Padres and the Giants are teams that should be looking to sell. I assume that the Twins have already had discussions with the GMs from both teams. So, who could be on the table?


The Padres

While the Twins front office has indicated that it isn’t as interested in acquiring rental players (guys who will be free agents at the end of the season), those types of players can be had without getting rid of as big of a prospect, so they can’t be completely ignored.

The Padres have a few starters who are likely very available. All three are free agents at the end of the season. Clayton Richard (33), who the Twins were said to be at least somewhat interested in before the season, has been terrible. He’s got a 4.75 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP through 19 starts. Jhoulys Chacin (29) has been mediocre. He’s got a 4.33 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP .He’s got 92 strikeouts in 108 innings. Trevor Cahill (29) missed two months earlier in the season, but he’s been pretty good since his return. He’s got a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. In 50.2 innings, he walked 19 and struck out 63. I mean, if you want, you could go after Jered Weaver who has an ERA way over 7 and a WHIP near 1.50. He’s also been on the disabled list. He also throws 82 mph.

Of course, the Big Fish of the Padres is Chaska native, left-handed reliever Brad Hand. He was a deserving All-Star this year and he’s controllable for at least another two years beyond 2017. Recently, the Padres made it known that they want and expect a return for Hand similar to what the Phillies got to Ken Giles. That is to say a package of three or four players, including a top prospect or two.


The Giants

The Giants have probably been the biggest disappointment in baseball this season. They have a top-5 payroll and have been unable to get things rolling at all in 2017. So they would likely love to make some trades and push toward 2018. While there will be some position players, like Denard Span or even Brandon Crawford at the right price, the Twins focus should primarily be pitching.

The Giants have pitchers with names, and big contracts. Johnny Cueto’s name has not really surfaced in rumors, but he would cost a team approximately $22 million a year through the 2021 season (and a team option for 2022) along with a haul of prospects. The 31-year-old is 6-7 with a 4.59 ERA and a career-high (by a long shot) 3.2 walks per nine innings.

Jeff Samardzija’s name has been discussed in rumors as several teams have inquired about him. He is owed about $19.5 million for the next two seasons. He is 4-11 with a 4.86 ERA this season. While he hasn’t been particularly good for the last three seasons (posting ERA+ of 79, 104 and 85), he does eat a ton of innings. He’s posted over 200 innings four straight years and is on pace to be close to that number again.

Speaking of long-term contracts that didn’t work out well, Matt Cain was a top pitcher for the Giants for several years. Then he signed a six-year, $127.5 million contract and has been hurt a majority of the time since. He’s healthy this year, and his 5.49 ERA would be his lowest in three years. However, his 1.67 WHIP makes the 32-year-old pretty Colon-like. He can become a free agent at season’s end.

The intriguing name in the Giants rotation might just be Matt Moore. He was one of the top prospects in baseball (he, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were consensus Top 3 guys) with the Rays. He went 17-4 in 2013. They signed him to a team-friendly deal soon after he debuted. early in 2014, he needed Tommy John surgery and missed most of that season and over half of 2015 as well. Last year, the Rays traded him to the Giants. This year, he is 3-10 with a 5.81 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. He’s got options for 2018 at $9 million and 2019 at $10 million. So, while he’s been pretty bad this year, he just turned 28 in June. If pro scouts believe that he is healthy and still has some stuff, Moore could be a relatively inexpensive option for two more years.

I can’t imagine the prospect-return on any of these guys would be real high due to their contract size and/or performance this year. Evaluators just need to determine what they have left and whether or not they could help the team. Personally, Moore is the only one that is relatively intriguing.

As for bullpen arms, the one interesting name might be Sam Dyson. He was good last year, but he began this year just terrible for the Texas Rangers. They let him go, and the Giants signed him. In 15 games, he has an ERA of 2.76 in 16.1 innings in San Francisco. He’s recorded five saves, taking over closer duties since Mark Melancon has been on the DL. Could he be available for cheap?

Other Relievers: George Kontos, Cory Gearrin.


SUMMARY

There is a clear team at the top in the Dodgers who have proven they aren’t afraid to spend money. They have a smart front office that hasn’t been willing to just hand away prospects, but they could be buyers.

Both the Diamondbacks and Rockies have been surprises in 2017. If the season ended now, which would be unfortunate for fans, they would both be wild card teams. They may have some interest in acquiring some additional talent at the deadline, particularly bullpen help.

Meanwhile, winning teams will be frequently calling the Giants and Padres as those teams have been out of contention for quite some time already. Players are available. There are some big names who will be in the rumors, but the clear choice for best player available from the division is Brad Hand, and the steep asking price illustrates that well.


What do you think? Could there be a match with the Twins somewhere in the NL West?


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15 Comments

Interesting thoughts Seth. I'm glad that I'm not a GM, as I have a hard enough time (read pretty much impossible really) being impartial when my son takes the mound or field.

Oh... and yes I'M #1, FIRST COMMENT!!!! Of course I have to temper that with the fact that it reads like I fell asleep in class taking notes and has both the drool stain and REALLY large ink spot on the page that you hope no one sees.

Adding an innings eater doesn't do much, if the goal is to win the division. One thing Molitor has done well is, mostly, not wasting his good RPs in bad games. 

    • MN_ExPat likes this
Twins will probably need a starter. Cahill will probably cost too much, but worth a look. Heard Moore's velcosity is down, but would check on his price. If cheap enough, jump on it.
    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

Jeff Samardzija has an ERA of 4.86, but he has an FIP of 3.51. He also has a WHIP of 1.169, a K rate of 9.8/9, the lowest walk rate in the NL and the best K/W ratio in the NL (9.64). He is signed for 3 more years.

 

If for some reason the Giants were willing to move him he would be worth a king's ransom. I would start with Romero and Buxton. Seriously. And I love Buxton.

 

Jeff Samardzija has an ERA of 4.86, but he has an FIP of 3.51. He also has a WHIP of 1.169, a K rate of 9.8/9, the lowest walk rate in the NL and the best K/W ratio in the NL (9.64). He is signed for 3 more years.

 

If for some reason the Giants were willing to move him he would be worth a king's ransom. I would start with Romero and Buxton. Seriously. And I love Buxton.

 

No chance he costs that much.

    • ThejacKmp, spanman2 and SF Twins Fan like this

I have been fascinated by the love for Samardzija that I have seen the last few years.  In 10 years he has averaged 6 wins, 8 losses and a 4.12 Era and 1.25 WHIP.  Baseball reference shows his 162 game record as 9 - 12. I know that the new thing is to discount wins and losses, but he is a starter and they have the best opportunity to accumulate wins/losses of any pitcher and someone has to do it. He shows the potential to do well, somehow does not get over the hurdle.  I would not go after him with any of our assets of value.

 

 

 

    • Mike Sixel likes this
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SF Twins Fan
Jul 20 2017 01:50 PM

 

Jeff Samardzija has an ERA of 4.86, but he has an FIP of 3.51. He also has a WHIP of 1.169, a K rate of 9.8/9, the lowest walk rate in the NL and the best K/W ratio in the NL (9.64). He is signed for 3 more years.

 

If for some reason the Giants were willing to move him he would be worth a king's ransom. I would start with Romero and Buxton. Seriously. And I love Buxton.

 

I wouldn't give up either of those players for the Shark.  Having lived in SF for the past two years (Just moved to NY) the fans can't stand him.  He's been a complete let down for what they thought they were getting and for what he's being paid. Based on how he's pitched the last couple of seasons and how much money he's owed still there is no way I'd give up a top 5 prospect for him. Throw in the fact he's pitching in the NL and it makes his stats look even worse.

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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 20 2017 02:19 PM

Samardzija would be an upgrade though. If cheap, I'm fine acquiring that. I doubt the Giants would be looking to get out of a bad contract though... then again, the results look a lot like Nolasoco. High K rates, but the rest of the stats never caught up.  

Sometimes a pitcher is simply what his most recent record shows he is. Samardzija, Pelfry, Nolasco, Hughes etal. Do we really want to go back to this well. The Twins have never shown the ability to get the max out of a struggling pitcher. At least not in recent memory.

 

Samardzija would be an upgrade though. If cheap, I'm fine acquiring that. I doubt the Giants would be looking to get out of a bad contract though... then again, the results look a lot like Nolasoco. High K rates, but the rest of the stats never caught up.  

 

wouldn't it be better to just sign a decent pitcher in FA next off season, than get Sammy? IMO, he's not much help this year in terms of making them great again.

    • DocBauer likes this

Brandon Crawford is interesting to me, but he is 30 and hasn't been good offensively this year. Without checking the advanced stats it looks like he is fielding well this year.

 

I'm only interested in any of the SF starting pitchers if they are very cheap.

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Deduno Abides
Jul 20 2017 03:54 PM
The pitcher to shoot for is Madison Bumgarner. . . as a playoff rental in the summer of 2018. Until then, I'd keep my powder dry, unless you get a deal that is impossible to turn down.

Twins have prospects that could pan out better than any of these guys in their present condition. Keep circulating guys between the club and AAA/AA. Come September, let's see Gonsalves, Jorge again, maybe one or two better performers from Rochester. 

 

No. Big. Trades. 

    • ThejacKmp and DocBauer like this

 

Twins have prospects that could pan out better than any of these guys in their present condition. Keep circulating guys between the club and AAA/AA. Come September, let's see Gonsalves, Jorge again, maybe one or two better performers from Rochester. 

 

No. Big. Trades. 

I am not saying we should trade for him, but we could only hope that one of our top 3 pitching prospects turn out to have his career. Sometimes I think we forget how often top prospects fail. See Matt Moore above and we don't have any prospect on his level. I am almost always going to take the guy that has a MLB track record over a prospect.


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