Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Front Page: Women's Baseball Experience Part 2: Women...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:46 AM
When you sign up for the Women’s Baseball Experience, they only have “Program and Women in Sports Panel *Please check back for panel list...
Full topic ›

The Value of Prospects

Other Baseball Today, 03:22 AM
I am reading a study right now that 80% of top 100 pitching prospects bust.  Only about 8% are considered "above average".  Sam...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Eddie Rosario's Actual Value Is an Offsea...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:51 AM
I shouldn't be surprised anymore. I really shouldn't.Baseball's award voters have overemphasized traditional baseball-card numbers like w...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Every Team Wants Zack Wheeler

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:10 AM
Zack Wheeler is one of the most sought after free agents this off-season and there will be not shortage of teams interested in his servic...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Jhoan Duran Headlines Twins Roster Additions

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:51 PM
The Minnesota Twins have announced that right-handed pitchers Jhoan Duran and Dakota Chalmers, infielder Travis Blankenhorn and outfielde...
Full topic ›

Here's Why You Don't Need to Freak Out Over the Twins Trading Prospects

Now that Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel have finally signed, the Twins will have to trade away prospects if they want to improve the pitching staff. It’s going to be OK, because prospect hoarding isn’t really allowed anyway. If the Twins don’t thin out the herd a bit, they may lose valuable pieces and get nothing in return.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Jhoan Duran)
Kimbrel is a Cub, Keuchel is a Brave and so now the Twins are going to have to spend prospect capital to boost their pitching instead of “just” money. As things currently stand, the Twins appear to have several difficult decisions on the horizon this offseason anyway, so dealing a few prospects for bullpen help may actually help clear up space.

A big crop of Twins prospects will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time this winter. That means the team will either have to add them to the 40-man roster or risk potentially losing them to another organization.

For more on the Rule 5 Draft, check out Jeremy’s article on the subject from last month. Jeremy also maintains an amazing Twins Roster and Payroll spreadsheet that’s available on the top navbar at the desktop version of the site (click on Roster & Payroll) or you can just access it here.

Rule 5 Eligibles
Here’s a list of some of the players who will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time this winter:

Travis Blankenhorn
Wander Javier
Luke Raley

Jorge Alcala
Edwar Colina
Jhoan Duran
Brusdar Graterol
Griffin Jax

That group of players joins another few guys having impressive seasons who were already Rule 5 Draft eligible in Lewin Diaz, Jaylin Davis and Zander Wiel.

Not all of those players would end up being selected, but why risk losing them for nothing when you can turn them into trade bait? Of course, the other option would be to try and deal some of the other young players currently on the 40-man roster to avoid that logjam. Guys like Luis Arraez, Nick Gordon, Lewis Thorpe, LaMonte Wade or even Jake Cave.

But Wait, Isn’t the System Having a Down Year?
It’s true that there are a lot of guys on the shelf right now, and some who are active have not been putting up great numbers. But, what Royce Lewis does in the first few months of 2019 in Fort Myers probably doesn’t have a huge impact on who he ends up being in, say 2022. The same is likely with Brusdar Graterol and his shoulder impingement

Likewise, Alex Kirilloff missing some time this year doesn’t really cloud his future outlook too much. I mean, the guy already missed a year due to Tommy John and still established himself as among the better hitters in the minor leagues last year. Speaking of Tommy John surgery, that's what's going to cost Akil Baddoo the rest of his 2019 season.

And while there have been blips, there have been other guys who’ve surged. Diaz, Blankenhorn and Davis are having tremendous seasons. Jordan Balazovic has really exploded, Gordon appears to be having a bounce back and Ben Rortvedt is another riser. Misael Urbina is a player you can expect to hear a lot about in the coming years.

Trevor Larnach, Ryan Jeffers and Cole Sands from last year’s draft continue to look good. Speaking of which, the Twins just added a bunch of new talent via the 2019 Draft. Click here for an update for who has signed. Where will those new draftees fit as far as the rankings? You'll find out soon, as Twins Daily will be sharing our 2019 Midseason Twins Prospect List in the coming weeks.

The farm system is always going to need to be an area of focus for the Twins, but if there was ever a time to part with some prospects to improve the big club, now’s the time.

40-Man Roster Spots Opening Up
The Twins do have several players currently set to become free agents at the end of the season. That group is highlighted by Jake Odorizzi, Jason Castro, Michael Pineda, Kyle Gibson and Jonathan Schoop. There also always seems to be some fat that can be trimmed from the 40-man roster.

But, I suspect the Twins will be more interested in free agent additions to replace those departures rather than just protecting prospects. When the competitive window opens, priorities have to change at least a little bit.

No, I’m not saying I expect the Twins to be active at the top of the market, but it is pretty easy to envision Derek Favley and Co. setting out to add another solid crop of veterans in the middle tier, much like they did this past offseason. Rocco Baldelli seems to be establishing a very player-friendly atmosphere. That, combined with the team’s success, should make Minnesota an attractive destination for free agents.

Recommended further reading: When the Twins Go Buying ... Who Are They Selling?

  • Dman, DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

101 Comments

Another aspect of the way the Twins have managed their minor league prospects is that they have never maximized their trade value.That is one consequence of having cheap, cheap, cheap ownership.They will rarely, if ever, trade prospects.

 

Other organizations advance their prospects rapidly because that enhances their trade value. One example is the Santana trade were one of the selling points of guys like Carlos Gomez is that they were just 21 and in AAA.  

 

If you do not trade your prospects, as mentioned, they logjam up and lose almost all of their trade value.  

 

What do you think we could have got in return for a trade package of Francisco Romero and Nick Gordon two year ago?What do you think we could get in return for trading them today?

    • jokin, adorduan, Tomj14 and 4 others like this

This organization is in the middle of a transformation.

 

As a matter of fact they just traded the prospect they Ryan & Co picked one pick ahead of Andrew Benintendi in the first round just 4 seasons ago for a bag of balls and nobody blinked in the Twin Cities.

 

The Twins are competing. Competitive teams are trading prospects for players who can put them ahead and help them win championships. The Twins have not done that since MacPhail was the GM.It should happen this season and hopefully will...

    • Brock Beauchamp, Kevin, Twins33 and 5 others like this

What do you think we could have got in return for a trade package of Francisco Romero and Nick Gordon two year ago? 

Probably something similar to what we could have gotten two years prior to that for Jose Berrios and Jorge Polanco.

    • Brock Beauchamp, glunn, birdwatcher and 14 others like this
Photo
notoriousgod71
Jun 14 2019 08:15 PM

There has never been a prospect I wouldn't trade for an established star player when my team has a chance to win.

 

Edit: A Twins prospect.

    • Thrylos, D.C Twins and BattleYourTailOff like this
The depth of talent in the system and potential 40 man roster crunch allows the Twins to make a couple smart additions and do nothing to "damage" the milb system or it's overall depth. And as Tom states, moving a few guys actually brings value back and allows a few guys to be protected that might have to be left vulnerable otherwise.

The timing and reasons for trades and signings have been for different reasons, but have been aggressive. Much more aggressive than we have seen in a long time. As Thrylos states, and I believe accurately, the most aggressive since the McPhail tenure.

In fact, even milb promotions have been much more aggressive than previously. I think that is an arguement that can be put to bed.
    • Shane Wahl, Riverbrian, SwainZag and 3 others like this
Photo
BattleYourTailOff
Jun 14 2019 08:39 PM
Overvaluing prospects is a crutch that hindered T Ryan when his team became competitive. I’m glad it seems the new regime is different.
    • LA VIkes Fan, adorduan, DocBauer and 1 other like this

 

As a matter of fact they just traded the prospect they Ryan & Co picked one pick ahead of Andrew Benintendi in the first round just 4 seasons ago for a bag of balls and nobody blinked in the Twin Cities.

Bag of balls .. and I thought we got nothing for him.  

    • DocBauer, D.C Twins and FlauerPauer like this

I agree with the OP some of those guys have to go because we can't keep them all.Position players rarely get taken but Diaz and Blanky and Raley might be tempting for teams that have nothing to lose.Raley is pretty much MLB ready with a decent eye, good power, and position flexibility. Pretty much all the pitchers will be in jeopardy if not added as they all could probably be used in the bullpen. Hopefully we can find someone who likes a few of these guys so that we don't have to worry about protecting so many players come rule V.

Photo
BattleYourTailOff
Jun 14 2019 08:50 PM

Probably something similar to what we could have gotten two years prior to that for Jose Berrios and Jorge Polanco.


Yeah but no reason to think that everyone is going to develop into a Berrios or a Polanco. I feel like if you’re on a potential championship team you take the trade off of giving up a player that may become a star if it nets you a World Series title. You can try to give up less but front offices aren’t dumb. Sometimes you have to “overpay”, and it’s not really overpaying it’s market value at the time of the trade.
    • DocBauer, dbminn, Tomj14 and 4 others like this
Photo
notoriousgod71
Jun 14 2019 08:51 PM

 

Overvaluing prospects is a crutch that hindered T Ryan when his team became competitive. I’m glad it seems the new regime is different.

 

Overvaluing prospects is a crutch that hindered T Ryan when his team became competitive. I’m glad it seems the new regime is different.

 

One of my favorite Ryan quotes (among many), when the Twins were muddling along playing about .550 ball:

 

"How would fans have felt if we had traded Baker and Span for a big name in 2006? They wouldn't be too happy."

 

I would have loved for them to have traded those two (and whoever) for a legitimate star player instead of getting Phil Nevin off the scrap heap and still having him as backup DH to Tyner.

    • Thrylos, rghrbek, wabene and 1 other like this

Guys who shouldn't be on the 40-man next year:

Parker, Pineda, Magill, Castro (some room for argument here), Adrianza (like him a lot, but I think Arraez is the way to go going forward), Torreyes, and Cave. 

Gordon is tradeable, too. That would remove 8. Duran isn't going to be selected. I am willing to risk Jax and Wiel. That would make everyone else safe, as is. Of course I would hope that one or two relievers are added before the deadline, so there will just be one or two two decisions (and who knows about the Cruz situation anyway). 

    • Aichiman likes this
Photo
BattleYourTailOff
Jun 14 2019 08:54 PM
Yeah. Every indicator told me T Ryan was a GM that built his team to win the central and beyond that he left it up to luck and chance. His goal was always competitive, not dominant.
Photo
terrydactyls1947
Jun 14 2019 09:02 PM

I've been a "protect the prospects" guy for the past several years because (in my opinion) there wasn't a very high probability of the Twins going anywhere with a few minor additions.Better to wait it out.But now is the time.I could easily see six to eight prospects being traded in return for three proven relief pitchers (or two and a starter) and I would be on board with that.There appears to be a lot of redundancy in the outfield, MI, and 1B/DH and keeping them all isn't possible.Go Falvine..... 

    • LA VIkes Fan, DocBauer, D.C Twins and 3 others like this

Yeah but no reason to think that everyone is going to develop into a Berrios or a Polanco. I feel like if you’re on a potential championship team you take the trade off of giving up a player that may become a star if it nets you a World Series title. You can try to give up less but front offices aren’t dumb. Sometimes you have to “overpay”, and it’s not really overpaying it’s market value at the time of the trade.

But that's the point. To point to two prospects whose stock have fallen is cherry picking. You have to look at the overall concept of trading prospects for veterans, and accept the bigger picture of what you miss out on as a consequence.

 

Nobody, inside front offices or outside, is good enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, and only trade the chaff. Some fans wanted to trade Polanco. Some were willing to listen on Berrios.

 

Without Berrios and Polanco, perhaps we aren't a "potential championship team", on which to build by making an astute trade.

 

I'm not against overpaying in prospects. That's built into the drafting strategy we have. The window is open now. Address weaknesses using the farm as bait.

 

I'm against perfect 20-20 hindsight that lets us believe we could have traded failing prospects at their peak. Because that pattern would also divest us of our core, assuring the endless cycle of mediocrity that we want to break out of with the trades that get discussed.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, stringer bell and 14 others like this

Nice article, and I highly agree. We could move guys like Blakehorn, Jax, Colina, or even a big piece like Javier and I wouldn't hate it as the 40 man crunch is gonna be difficult to choose from. Add that in with the fact that prospects flame out all the time, and I absolutely approve of moving prospects. Try to not overspend on a trade, especially for a reliever - but with the way Falvine has held onto their prospects thus far, I don't think they're going to be reckless. I expect them to be calculated.

    • birdwatcher, Dman, DocBauer and 1 other like this
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Jun 14 2019 09:23 PM
This is literally the exact article I’ve been waiting a month to see.

Stellar work, Tom.
    • SQUIRREL, glunn, gil4 and 10 others like this
Photo
stringer bell
Jun 14 2019 09:32 PM

Lots of young position players under team control for several years--Buxton, Sanó, Kepler, Polanco, Rosario, Garver. A top ten prospect in the middle infield and two other guys (Gordon and Arraez) who appear to have major league futures at second. 

 

On the pitching side, only two starters are under team control for next year and there's only one bullpen arm worth keeping beyond this year. While I'd like to see the Twins pick up a half-season rental, they should use some of their prospect excess to acquire team-controlled pitching for seasons after this one. 

    • Twins33, Riverbrian, Kelly Vance and 7 others like this
Photo
Tom Froemming
Jun 14 2019 09:44 PM

 

This is literally the exact article I’ve been waiting a month to see.

Stellar work, Tom.

You shoulda said something! I think I've been sitting on it for about that long :)

    • Brock Beauchamp, SQUIRREL, ashbury and 6 others like this

Who on the 40-man will be here in 2021? Romero, Gonsalves, Littell, Thorpe?

 

Raley and Rooker? Which one do you keep. Does one replace Cron in 2021? Does either replace Cruz in 2020? Are Weil and Diaz true prospects? Is Sano your third base guy of the future? Or first?

 

Easily 5-7 spots open up in the off-season. But the bigger question: sign Rosario, Sano, Buxton? You MUST sign Berrios. 

 

Wander Javier is interesting. What happens when a guy misses a season. Do you add him early to the 40-man or hope there is enough interest to make him a top part of any apckage. After all, you still have Arraez, Lewis, Gordon and the recent 1st round draft pick for middle infield. Blankenhorn also is a keeper in advance, who knows what you will do with Sano and with Gonzales for another year, you don't have to decide.

 

Pitching rich? Piss poor bullpen for now. You lose 3/5s of your rotation to free agency. Maybe you pick up someone in trade for a couple more years. Do you extend Odorizzi or Gibson? Will Pineda be better next year?

 

You want to keep Griffin Jax. You can afford to trade Alcala/Duren or Graterol. You can also move Littell, Gonsalves, maybe Thorpe. Are they being passed in the prospect chart? Looking at the guys right now, do you see any of them pitching for the Twins in 2021?

 

The Twins need a front line rotation arm. It would then allow them to trade a back end rotation arm. They also need a closer. And another lefty out of the pen (no, Mejia is not our savior). They could add thee bodies and knock 9-11 guys out of the system. 

 

Next year they have to repalce Castro (maybe). Willians? They have to repalce Schoop (Gordon, Arraez?). If they don't control Rosario and Buxton, then we have Alex K. and Larnach in the wings, amongst others. The system is pretty darn flush!

    • glunn, SwainZag, bighat and 2 others like this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jun 15 2019 05:25 AM

I don't think too many people are freaking out about trading prospects. Most of those who have been against it in the past were against it because it made little sense for a bad team to do it. Now it makes a ton of sense...

 

The only bad thing is some of the guys on the 40 man that would have been valuable have destroyed their value. Gonsalves is hurt. Romero has not been very good at all. Thorpe has been largely disappointing also. I wasn't expecting those guys to be a huge piece, but valuable enough to clear off space on the 40 man for some of the younger guys. I don't see that happening much. 

    • Danchat, Dman and D.C Twins like this
Photo
birdwatcher
Jun 15 2019 05:57 AM

 

But that's the point. To point to two prospects whose stock have fallen is cherry picking. You have to look at the overall concept of trading prospects for veterans, and accept the bigger picture of what you miss out on as a consequence.

 

Nobody, inside front offices or outside, is good enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, and only trade the chaff. Some fans wanted to trade Polanco. Some were willing to listen on Berrios.

 

Without Berrios and Polanco, perhaps we aren't a "potential championship team", on which to build by making an astute trade.

 

I'm not against overpaying in prospects. That's built into the drafting strategy we have. The window is open now. Address weaknesses using the farm as bait.

 

I'm against perfect 20-20 hindsight that lets us believe we could have traded failing prospects at their peak. Because that pattern would also divest us of our core, assuring the endless cycle of mediocrity that we want to break out of with the trades that get discussed.

 

 

Excellent points. We may be seeing affirmative signs that this FO sees the value of prospects differently than we're used to seeing from our FO. By that, I mean that they think about what they need to do development-wise to INCREASE value of individual prospects.

 

We see a handful of arguments repeatedly that deserve rebuttal. One is the "trade them all" talk buttressed by a generalized conclusion that prospects fail and therefore should be traded with cherry-picked anecdotes.

 

It's good to remind ourselves that none of the core players on the 26 man roster EVER had more trade value than they do today. Not one of them. Evidenced by the standings and by the fact that it's the performance of that home grown core that is the key driver of the team's success, none of those core players could be traded right now without compromising the whole shebang here in 2019.

 

My hope is two-fold. First, that they have untouchables and trade from excess. And since our scarcity is pitching, I hope that guys like Thorpe and Enlow and Duran are untouchable. Second, I hope they trade the excess players whose value in the market is relatively high compared to who they regard as a comparable asset. For example, I hope they dangle Arraez rather than Gordon and Rooker rather than Larnach if they have them in the same category in terms of their ceilings as core MLB players.

 

Teams rarely trade established players for prospects they project to be role players. I think the Palacios for Odorizzi trades are rare, especially at the deadline.

 

It's wishful thinking to expect Zander Wiel and LaMont Wade, Jr. to fetch you something better than, say, someone's Bryce Harper or Tyler Duffey.

 

This FO has focused on building up prospect capital and now we get to see more hints about their prowess at horse-swapping. Fun stuff!

    • ashbury, Riverbrian, Dman and 6 others like this

It's wishful thinking to expect Zander Wiel and LaMont Wade, Jr. to fetch you something better than, say, someone's Bryce Harper or Tyler Duffey.

Psst, Falvey or Levine, get on the horn with Philly ASAP, we've got a hot trade rumor for you to follow up on!

    • birdwatcher, Blake, gil4 and 3 others like this
Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 15 2019 07:17 AM

Thanks for a really informative article. Makes sense.

    • rdehring likes this

Most Twins prospects aren't worth much and we are not as deluded as we were during the May/Meyer days. I don't see many players fans would care about being traded off.

Photo
Nine of twelve
Jun 15 2019 08:15 AM

 

I don't think too many people are freaking out about trading prospects. Most of those who have been against it in the past were against it because it made little sense for a bad team to do it. Now it makes a ton of sense...

 

This describes me. In 2017 many on this board were very upset that we didn't try to trade for Verlander. I was against that because it would have only slightly improved our small chance of winning a World Championship and the cost would have been high. (Verlander would not have waived his no-trade clause to come here anyway.)

That was then, this is now. In spite of the fact that we have the best record in baseball our pitching needs an upgrade if we want to contend for a world championship.

Our current roster will almost certainly get us into the postseason. I don't think anyone feels the need to add a position player. It's all about improving the pitching staff, more specifically configuring it for postseason success. That means relievers are the primary targets. Making significant upgrades will come at a price that is worth paying. I don't know enough about specific prospects or about who is available to name names but the time has come.

 

    • birdwatcher, Highabove, DocBauer and 3 others like this

Similar Articles


by Seth Stohs , 20 Nov 2019
Photo


by Cody Christie , 17 Nov 2019
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 04 Nov 2019
Photo


by Thieres Rabelo , 02 Nov 2019
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 30 Oct 2019
Photo