Most Valuable Non-Prospect Pitching Trade Pieces
Image courtesy of Ken Blaze-USA TODAY SportsMore often than not we tie top prospects to big name trades because of their potential and years of team control remaining. In 2020, the Twins trotted out one of the oldest pitching staffs in all of baseball although, at an average age of 30.0, only four of the 23 pitchers used were older than the average: Kenta Maeda, Caleb Thielbar, Tyler Clippard, and Sergio Romo. Of that group Maeda is the only one guaranteed to return while Thielbar is still under team control and Romo has a club option of five million that could be picked up.
Unlike the Twins offensive prospects mentioned in the previous article, there aren’t any pitching prospects that will be sure fire impact players in 2021. Especially considering the pandemic lost 2020 season, you might see the likes of Jordan Balazovic, Jhoan Duran, or Blayne Enlow but I’d be surprised if the Twins are counting on them to make any significant impact next year. That is to say that I think any trade involving non-prospects would come from dealing an offensive player rather than a pitcher.
Regardless, the Twins have some valuable pieces that theoretically could be moved.
- Kenta Maeda, 32, 3 years AAV $3.125MM = 3 years, $9.375MM salary not including incentives
- Jose Berrios, 26, projected 1 year $5.4MM via arbitration per MLB Trade Rumors + 1 year of arbitration = 2 years of team control
Outside of those two your other options include young-ish guys who are still under team control for multiple seasons. The only pitcher guaranteed to come back in 2021 I would exclude from this list is Michael Pineda. Otherwise the likes of Randy Dobnak, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Cody Stashak, Devin Smeltzer, and Jorge Alcala could be of interest to some teams. That said, if you trade one of those guys I don’t know that you’re getting a return that improves your 2021 Major League team and I don’t know that you’re getting anyone that really improves your farm system.
As I said before, if the Twins were to make a trade to improve the 2021 team that didn’t involve prospects I think you’re looking at someone on the offensive side of the ball. Any trade involving any of the pitchers named above would likely need to include multiple pieces to improve the 2021 team, which makes it unlikely a trade like that happens.
If the Twins were to make a trade where is their biggest hole? What would help their 2021 World Series chances the most?
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