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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:00 AM
No matter what kind of patch work 2020 season MLB comes up with, if anything at this point, it will amount to no more than a glorified pr...
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Charley Walters: Twins-Saints partnership talks quietly o...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 09:54 PM
Very interesting article in Pioneer Press from Charlie Walters. https://www.twinciti...uietly-ongoing/ There’s been a few suggestions in...
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And then there is the case of the Blue Jays to consider

Other Baseball Yesterday, 07:56 PM
https://www.sportsne...measures-place/ Here we are, theoretically two weeks away from Opening Day. The Blue Jays aren’t yet certain where...
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Player Opt-outs

Other Baseball Yesterday, 06:24 PM
While we think about if a season happens or not.I started thinking about the opt out clauses by players, and what they will do.I tried to...
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Watch the Live Play-by-Play of the Virtual Twins Playoffs

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:33 AM
With the real Twins around the corner, I have elected to sim to the playoffs to try and tease how the real club will do this fall, and as...
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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?

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101 Comments

 

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.

But trading for him then means he's part of the rotation today. Wow! Would you look at that rotation with Verlander in it?

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Nine of twelve
Jun 15 2019 08:35 AM

 

But trading for him then means he's part of the rotation today. Wow! Would you look at that rotation with Verlander in it?

Of course that would be great. But we would have had to give up top-line youngsters (plural) to get him. Like Polanco and Kepler and probably more. 2017 was not the time to do that. And as I said, it's a moot point because he would not have approved a trade to come here anyway. But making a similar trade now, to get an ace with a longish contract, is something I would strongly support.

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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 15 2019 08:44 AM

 

Of course that would be great. But we would have had to give up top-line youngsters (plural) to get him. Like Polanco and Kepler and probably more. 2017 was not the time to do that. And as I said, it's a moot point because he would not have approved a trade to come here anyway. But making a similar trade now, to get an ace with a longish contract, is something I would strongly support.

If there's an ace available, the Twins need to explore that opportunity but at the potential cost of Lewis+, I'm hesitant to throw in all the chips on a pitcher like that.

 

Still, the conversation should happen.

 

Thankfully, the Twins' biggest weakness is the bullpen, which also costs the least prospect capital to fix. If they get one very good reliever, I'll be satisfied... but the target should be a very good reliever and a good reliever, in my opinion.

    • birdwatcher, diehardtwinsfan, SwainZag and 6 others like this

 

Of course that would be great. But we would have had to give up top-line youngsters (plural) to get him. Like Polanco and Kepler and probably more. 2017 was not the time to do that. And as I said, it's a moot point because he would not have approved a trade to come here anyway. But making a similar trade now, to get an ace with a longish contract, is something I would strongly support.

Or Lewis, Graterol and/or Gordon. A rebuilding team like Detroit would have been looking for prospects, not MLB ready players. The Tigers received 3 prospects, Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron and Jake Rogers ... none who have even seen any major league service yet. And I'm not even sure where those prospects ranked in the Astros system, but it would not have taken either Polanco or Kepler who were NOT prospects at the time of the trade.

 

And I'm not sure Verlander wanted to come here ... he had a better chance of winning with Houston and I think he wanted that. I don't think Minnesota was in on the equation for him. However, as Brock said above, we absolutely need to be having these conversations, and I get it, timing is everything, and we could play the 'if' game all day. Still ... we need to better our team and we will need to spend prospects to do it.

    • Don Walcott and Tomj14 like this
What do we think it would take to get some of the relief pitcher names? On an mlb trade rumor char I brought up trading Cave for will Smith. San Fran needs outfielders and doesn't want a complete rebuild. The moderator believes it would take more even though smith is a rental, but believed San Fran would be interested in Cave. So maybe Cave and Blackenhorn? Cave and Colina? Cave and Jax? I don't think we go with a top 15 prospect for a rental.
    • LA VIkes Fan, ChrisKnutson and Aerodeliria like this

But trading for him then means he's part of the rotation today. Wow! Would you look at that rotation with Verlander in it?

not to mention, "wait to make the Verlander trade until the precise moment that it makes the most sense for us" ignores the likelihood that there won't be a Verlander when/if that precise moment arrives.

BTW, I wonder how Verlander would have done if handed a 3-0 lead in the first inning if a WC game in Yankee Stadium.
    • Vanimal46, Tomj14 and Aerodeliria like this

I'm with most on here - it's time to spend some of the minor league wealth.The Twins have more than a 90% chance of winning the division. If they are going to make a trade, they need to get players who can make an impact in the playoffs. 

 

They need an experienced, high-leverage RP, no doubt. I'd take a #2/#3 SP but nothing less. Adding bullpen depth is okay too - but for me, adding someone for the late innings is the priority.

 

There will be a premium paid for these trades. That's fine. I just hope they trade from depth. The Twins have depth at C, corner OF, 1B and middle IF. If the Twins make a big trade, I'd rather see the prospects from this list:

  • Larnach
  • Diaz/Rooker
  • Rortvedt/Jeffers/Astudillo (I'm a big fan of Rortvedt, so that might cause some emotional damage. I'll get over it.)
  • Gordon/Javier/Blankenhorn
  • Alcala/Colina/Enlow/Any AAA SP

Than from this list:

  • Graterol
  • Balazovic
  • Kirilloff
  • Lewis/Arraez

Arraez and Cave could be needed this year. Once July 30th passes, there will be no options to get another player. You could add Astudillo but the Twins have two solid C and could weather the loss of one. I also think Astudillo is at peak trade value right now. I'd only trade Graterol or Balazovic if the Twins got a SP under control for multiple years in return.

 

How do folks feel about keeping Larnach v. Kirilloff?

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not to mention, "wait to make the Verlander trade until the precise moment that it makes the most sense for us" ignores the likelihood that there won't be a Verlander when/if that precise moment arrives.

BTW, I wonder how Verlander would have done if handed a 3-0 lead in the first inning if a WC game in Yankee Stadium.


In typical Minnesota sports fashion, there is no Verlander available this season. I'm still a big fan of Mad Bum, but also acknowledge he's not the same pitcher he was 2 years ago.
To be honest, it would never occur to me to freak out about something like this.
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birdwatcher
Jun 15 2019 09:27 AM

 

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.

 

 

Maybe your definition of "worth much" is unique. 

 

We have a handful of prospects that everyone with a pedigree thinks is extremely vauable: Guys getting 50FV and up grades. Larnach, Graterol, Kirilloff and Royce.

 

We have plenty of prospects that any franchise would absolutely love to have. It's a long list! Javier, Balazovic, Arraez, Duran, Miranda, Cavaco, Severino, Rooker, Thorpe, Urbina, Rortvedt, Enlow, Gordon, Blenkenhorn, Alcala, Gonsalves..

 

We could go on, because many many others fit exactly in the same value category as Jermaine Palacios fit when he was traded for an All Star and Cy Young candidate named Jake Odorizzi.

 

To name a few Palacios-like names: Jeffers, Wade, Walner, Baddoo, Raley, Celestino, Jax, Lewin Diaz, Teng,Moran, Berroa, Canterino, Costello, Rijo, Sands, Leach, Kiersey, Maciel, Mack...

 

These last names are prospects who garner 40FV value grades from FanGraphs, like Palacios did with an exception or two. The Twins have half again more of these 40FV and 45FV prospects than the average club does.

 

Especially collectively, they're worth a lot.

    • DocBauer and Don Walcott like this

I'm with most on here - it's time to spend some of the minor league wealth.The Twins have more than a 90% chance of winning the division. If they are going to make a trade, they need to get players who can make an impact in the playoffs.

They need an experienced, high-leverage RP, no doubt. I'd take a #2/#3 SP but nothing less. Adding bullpen depth is okay too - but for me, adding someone for the late innings is the priority.

There will be a premium paid for these trades. That's fine. I just hope they trade from depth. The Twins have depth at C, corner OF, 1B and middle IF. If the Twins make a big trade, I'd rather see the prospects from this list:

  • Larnach
  • Diaz/Rooker
  • Rortvedt/Jeffers/Astudillo (I'm a big fan of Rortvedt, so that might cause some emotional damage. I'll get over it.)
  • Gordon/Javier/Blankenhorn
  • Alcala/Colina/Enlow/Any AAA SP
Than from this list:
  • Graterol
  • Balazovic
  • Kirilloff
  • Lewis/Arraez
Arraez and Cave could be needed this year. Once July 30th passes, there will be no options to get another player. You could add Astudillo but the Twins have two solid C and could weather the loss of one. I also think Astudillo is at peak trade value right now. I'd only trade Graterol or Balazovic if the Twins got a SP under control for multiple years in return.

How do folks feel about keeping Larnach v. Kirilloff?

I would out Wade in the fine to trade column, wish he was playing better. I agree with any AAA SP, a rebuilding team will want someone major league ready. I would put Arreaz in there because he is at peak vale and I think we have enough depth at the major league to weather a storm. I suspect Raley has value even with the injury. I would put Celestino and Baboo in the mix. I'd prefer to keep some of the younger pitcher. For a control able I would put Enlow and Jordan on the table.
    • dbminn likes this

If there's an ace available, the Twins need to explore that opportunity but at the potential cost of Lewis+, I'm hesitant to throw in all the chips on a pitcher like that.
 
Still, the conversation should happen.
 
Thankfully, the Twins' biggest weakness is the bullpen, which also costs the least prospect capital to fix. If they get one very good reliever, I'll be satisfied... but the target should be a very good reliever and a good reliever, in my opinion.


Exactly! Were there a top of the line, #1 SP available you ALWAYS have to listen. You always want to put the best, most complete team together that you can. But when looking at improvements, it's a question of where and how much. If we step out of Twins fan cleats for a second and step back, we would see we have one of the best rotations in MLB and a very good top 3. How much does another SP really augment what we already have?

Example: If we could have Goldschmidt tomorrow instead of Cron, how much does that truly move the needle for our chances to win? It would be a very small improvement at best.

However, give this team, as is, a couple of the bullpen arms that are being openly discussed here on TD, and the needle moves, the team improves, and so do their chances.

To be clear, strengthening a strength is not a bad thing. But strengthening a weakness is a whole lot better way to improve.
    • Brock Beauchamp, birdwatcher, Dman and 3 others like this

 

Or Lewis, Graterol and/or Gordon. A rebuilding team like Detroit would have been looking for prospects, not MLB ready players. The Tigers received 3 prospects, Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron and Jake Rogers ... none who have even seen any major league service yet. And I'm not even sure where those prospects ranked in the Astros system, but it would not have taken either Polanco or Kepler who were NOT prospects at the time of the trade.

 

 

 

SP - Franklin Perez was ranked 3rd in the Astros system in 2016. He was 19 years old in High A at the time of the trade. After the Trade... Perez became the 1st ranked player in the Tigers system.

 

OF- Daz Cameron was ranked 9th in the Astros system in 2016. He was 20 years old playing in Low A at the time of the trade in 2017. After the Trade... Cameron became the 5th ranked player in the Tigers system.

 

C - Jake Rogers was the 11th ranked player in the Astros system in 2016. He was 22 years old playing in High A at the time of the trade. After the trade... Rogers became the 7th ranked player in the Tigers system. 

 

Based solely on rankings and the assumption that the Astros system was better than the Twins system. 

 

A comparable deal for the Twins to acquire Verlander would have been: Gonsalves, Kiriloff and Diaz. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aerodeliria
Jun 15 2019 09:43 AM

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.


Great point!
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 15 2019 09:45 AM

 

In typical Minnesota sports fashion, there is no Verlander available this season. I'm still a big fan of Mad Bum, but also acknowledge he's not the same pitcher he was 2 years ago.

Marcus Stroman isn't far off where Verlander was in Detroit two years ago.

 

Let's not forget that Verlander was a 34 year old "good" pitcher back in 2017. He wasn't the dominant force he was in his prime or is today. The Astros worked some of their trademark magic on him after the trade.

    • birdwatcher, SwainZag, Danchat and 3 others like this

Marcus Stroman isn't far off where Verlander was in Detroit two years ago.


In that they're both males?
    • Thrylos, gil4, h2oface and 4 others like this

Maybe your definition of "worth much" is unique. 
 
We have a handful of prospects that everyone with a pedigree thinks is extremely vauable: Guys getting 50FV and up grades. Larnach, Graterol, Kirilloff and Royce.
 
We have plenty of prospects that any franchise would absolutely love to have. It's a long list! Javier, Balazovic, Arraez, Duran, Miranda, Cavaco, Severino, Rooker, Thorpe, Urbina, Rortvedt, Enlow, Gordon, Blenkenhorn, Alcala, Gonsalves..
 
We could go on, because many many others fit exactly in the same value category as Jermaine Palacios fit when he was traded for an All Star and Cy Young candidate named Jake Odorizzi.
 
To name a few Palacios-like names: Jeffers, Wade, Walner, Baddoo, Raley, Celestino, Jax, Lewin Diaz, Teng,Moran, Berroa, Canterino, Costello, Rijo, Sands, Leach, Kiersey, Maciel, Mack...
 
These last names are prospects who garner 40FV value grades from FanGraphs, like Palacios did with an exception or two. The Twins have half again more of these 40FV and 45FV prospects than the average club does.
 
Especially collectively, they're worth a lot.


Great post!

Unless we are talking about an honest to goodness top of the rotation #1SP, I believe there is a list of about 5-6 names you put on an untouchable list. After that, you still have a good 20+ names that are viable, quality prospects most any team would love to have. Plenty of opportunity to deepen and improve the bullpen.
    • Don Walcott likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 15 2019 09:50 AM

 

In that they're both males?

Was editing my post to add this:

Let's not forget that Verlander was a 34 year old "good" pitcher back in 2017. He wasn't the dominant force he was in his prime or is today. The Astros worked some of their trademark magic on him after the trade.

 

Verlander's ERA leadup to the trade in Detroit (2014-2017): 4.54, 3.38, 3.04, 3.82

 

Verlander's ERA in Houston, a bandbox of a park (2017-present): 1.06, 2.52, 2.41

    • Twins33, Danchat and DannySD like this

 

I would out Wade in the fine to trade column, wish he was playing better. I agree with any AAA SP, a rebuilding team will want someone major league ready. I would put Arreaz in there because he is at peak vale and I think we have enough depth at the major league to weather a storm. I suspect Raley has value even with the injury. I would put Celestino and Baboo in the mix. I'd prefer to keep some of the younger pitcher. For a control able I would put Enlow and Jordan on the table.

 

I agree about the players I didn't mention. I'd trade any of them. I'll respectfully disagree on Arraez. 

    • Thrylos likes this

 

SP - Franklin Perez was ranked 3rd in the Astros system in 2016. He was 19 years old in High A at the time of the trade. After the Trade... Perez became the 1st ranked player in the Tigers system.

 

OF- Daz Cameron was ranked 9th in the Astros system in 2016. He was 20 years old playing in Low A at the time of the trade in 2017. After the Trade... Cameron became the 5th ranked player in the Tigers system.

 

C - Jake Rogers was the 11th ranked player in the Astros system in 2016. He was 22 years old playing in High A at the time of the trade. After the trade... Rogers became the 7th ranked player in the Tigers system. 

 

Based solely on rankings and the assumption that the Astros system was better than the Twins system. 

 

A comparable deal for the Twins to acquire Verlander would have been: Gonsalves, Kiriloff and Diaz. 

And I would have made that trade. That is not a huge give for an ace, imo. But let's not revisit the Verlander trade any longer. It's done and over, and we would still be playing the if game. I was just pointing out to 9/12 that we wouldn't have traded the pieces on our team that are doing well today as they were already major league players and no longer prospects at that time, so we wouldn't be playing without them if we had made a trade for Verlander.

Was editing my post to add this:

Let's not forget that Verlander was a 34 year old "good" pitcher back in 2017. He wasn't the dominant force he was in his prime or is today. The Astros worked some of their trademark magic on him after the trade.

Verlander's ERA leadup to the trade in Detroit (2014-2017): 4.54, 3.38, 3.04, 3.82

Verlander's ERA in Houston, a bandbox of a park (2017-present): 1.06, 2.52, 2.41

254 Ks and a 1.01 WHIP in 2016. 176 Ks and a 1.27 WHIP at the time of the trade in 2017. A long history as an ace, with strong recovery from injuries in 2015.

Marcus Stroman isnt in the same league as Verlander.
    • Twins33 and adorduan like this
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BattleYourTailOff
Jun 15 2019 10:01 AM

To be honest, it would never occur to me to freak out about something like this.


The days of Terry Ryan created a lot of people who believed every prospect was a sacred gem even though the Twins minor league development/conditioning was not great for many (pitchers especially). Hopefully most of them have come around or at least switched sports.

 

If there's an ace available, the Twins need to explore that opportunity but at the potential cost of Lewis+, I'm hesitant to throw in all the chips on a pitcher like that.

 

Still, the conversation should happen.

 

Thankfully, the Twins' biggest weakness is the bullpen, which also costs the least prospect capital to fix. If they get one very good reliever, I'll be satisfied... but the target should be a very good reliever and a good reliever, in my opinion.

Totally agree, Brock.One shut down reliever with a couple years control, plus one lefty specialist that could be a rental.All in for the shut down guy and the other shouldn't cost all that much...prospect wise.

 

But let's not revisit the Verlander trade any longer. It's done and over, and we would still be playing the if game.

 

That train may have left the station. 

890f8b5e81c4febbd3f5888199ba70c5.gif

    • Danchat and D.C Twins like this

Moderator note: Even though I was complicit, I'm going to remind everyone to stick to topic. Please, let's not revisit the Verlander trade in depth. We've been there, done that, this thread isn't about Verlander, so let's leave it. It's done and over, other than to mention we should be going after that now, and not the shoulda, woulda, coulda disagreements of the past. Also, this is not a thread to discuss what Terry Ryan wouldn't have done. Been there, done that, it's in the past and has no bearing on the current topic.

    • dbminn and D.C Twins like this

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