Making a Mega Deal for the Twins
Image courtesy of © Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY SportsIf there was a misstep by the front office at the deadline, it was missing on the Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman. Maybe the Canadians never circled back, but Minnesota easily could have trumped the New York offer. Eventually they pivoted to talking with the Mets directly, and the man coined Thor reportedly came up in talks. Byron Buxton was the ask, and that was out of the question. Injury makes it easy to judge that in hindsight, but it remains a logical position from the Twins brass. What if there was another way to do that deal though?
Parting ways with Byron Buxton in the middle of a record-breaking season would have been asinine for the Twins. Flipping him off of an injury, while he still looks the part of a superstar due to his exploits in the field and rise at the dish, would remain an odd proposition. If Syndergaard was on the table then though, he may still remain so, and going the route of quantity could be enough to reach the finish line.
The key for the Mets during the season was an acquisition of major league-ready players. They have just lost Zack Wheeler, and had parted with top prospects to bring in an aging Robinson Cano. Despite being in the big city, Carlos Beltran’s squad remains the kid brother to the Bronx Bombers. Rebuilding the overall talent pool is something that Brodie van Wagenen should be focused on, and a plethora of impact prospects would certainly advance that possibility.
Syndergaard is under team control for two more seasons, at which point he’ll be entering his age-29 season. He will soon become quite expensive, and that would need to be a consideration for any acquiring team as well. Blending a return that satisfies some immediate assistance with future gain is the way I’d attack this if I were the Twins.
Mets receive: Eddie Rosario, Trevor Larnach, Blayne Enlow, and Travis Blankenhorn
Twins receive: Noah Syndergaard
In this scenario Minnesota is giving up a current big leaguer who has posted just shy of 8.0 fWAR over the past three seasons in Rosario. He’s a left-handed bat that would immediately boost the New York outfield, and at 28-years-old, becomes an extension candidate should things trend upwards prior to his free agency in 2022. A former first-round pick and current top 100 prospect, Trevor Larnach represents future value that is very close to paying dividends. He’s a power corner guy with a pretty safe floor.
Moving to the second half of the deal, New York would be looking to cash in on the ceiling. Enlow was an above slot deal back in 2017 and has looked the part at each level. He’s still a developing arm, but a 50 future value makes him an intriguing option in the middle of a rotation. Blankenhorn could end up being more of a utility guy, but there is a lot to like in his profile. He does a lot of things well and looks like a pretty safe bet to contribute at the major league level.
Certainly, this is a haul for the Twins to part with, but they’d be doing so to acquire a bona fide ace. Ideally an extension could be worked out with Syndergaard but that’s probably a lofty ask given the impending payday coming on the open market. Pairing the current roster with a solid number one could be the needle-moving decision that strengthens a likely postseason battle with the Yankees in each of the next two seasons.
No matter how Minnesota ends up acquiring the impact arm they talked about heading into the offseason, a level of risk and decisive action will need to be taken. Hyun-Jin Ryu is among the small list of names still warranting a hefty payday, while prospect capital or eating salary from another organization represent the alternative modes of spend.
The trade market is a difficult one to nail down. Between having multiple options (of which some very intriguing scenarios were recently presented by Skor North’s Jake Depue), and uncertain returns (looking at you Cleveland Indians), we really never know what to expect.
How would you feel about this move, and what would you do differently?
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