Twins Daily Roundtable: Sell, Sell, Sell?
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsJohn Bonnes
Neither. They ARE neither. Because in order to be a buyer or a seller, there needs to be a marketplace. There isn’t.
You’re anxious to turn the page on this season. I get it. Believe me, as someone who follows the team obsessively, runs a Twins web site and talks weekly on a Twins podcast, it’s been a frustrating three months. But declaring the season is over provides no practical value. It just makes us feel a little less personally invested in the year.
Maybe, in three weeks, when the All-Star break is over, a marketplace will exist, and the Twins will need to choose. If their struggles continue, they’ll be sellers. But even then, don’t expect a cornucopia of prospects to be coming their way. They don’t have any of the premier veterans on the market, so they’re likely to get premier prospects in return.
Until then, like it or not, this year is a competitive window for this franchise. I’d encourage you to personally invest another month in this team. I assure you that the management, the coaches and the players certainly are.
In my opinion, the Twins need to make all moves that they think will put them into contention by about July 20th. At that point, you evaluate where they are compared to Cleveland.
If they had to make that decision today, and fortunately they don't, they would be sellers. The odds indicate that they will be sellers at the deadline at which point a lot of guys could be on the market.
At this rate, they sure look like sellers, although that could potentially change within the next few weeks. The trouble is that the Twins don't have much at this time in terms of appealing assets to move, so it's hard to envision any major haul coming back even if they're willing to unload anyone nonessential to the big picture. Brian Dozier's sluggish first half has torpedoed his trade value. Lance Lynn will have takers but won't net a ton. Fernando Rodney's been great, but non-elite relievers don't bring back top prospects (Matt Capps notwithstanding).
Eduardo Escobar is perhaps the most intriguing candidate, as an All Star candidate on the last year of his deal, but Minnesota is probably best served holding onto him and extending a qualifying offer after the season.
The AL Central might be the weakest division in baseball so it’s hard to call the Twins out of the race. That being said, Cleveland seems to have started to figure it out after a slow start. Minnesota hasn’t been able run off a long streak of winning baseball. Cleveland should easily win the division but they have flaws and this could make them vulnerable.
If the front office is making the decision today, the club is sellers and the team has a lot of pieces that could be dealt. With many players on one-year deals, Minnesota could reset the roster and restock the farm system for the next decade.
There were high hopes at the beginning of the season, so it’s depressing to think the team could be sellers. Flashback to last year, the Twins were in selling mode as the deadline approached. Then the team found a nice groove and ended up in the playoffs.
Anything is possible but it seems like it’s time to sell.
I don't think it's fair to answer this question with so much time yet before the trade deadline. Realistically Falvey and Levine set the roster up for success this offseason, and it has underperformed as a whole. With the games remaining prior to the deadline, the Twins need to show some consistent life.
The Indians have real warts, and I don't believe they're going to run away with anything. Given the amount of one year deals, the Twins are well positioned to act either way. They can let their play in the weeks ahead dictate how they should attack the deadline.
Right now, you'd have to say sellers. The depressing part is most of their obvious pieces to move are having down years.
You can't expect guys like Brian Dozier, Lance Lynn or Zach Duke to fetch much of a return right now. The same can be said for Logan Morrison and Fernando Rodney, who both have a team option for 2019.
Who does that leave?
Taking emotion out of it, Eduardo Escobar could be a great sell high option, but in my heart I want the team to extend him with a 15-year deal. OK, that's an exaggeration, but from a fan's perspective I'd be really bummed if they sent him packing.
With those being the options, I'm not expecting the front office to make a move one way or another until the week of the trade deadline.
I can't imagine the Twins buying at the deadline. What would be the point?
If they decide not to sell, they should stand pat... but not buy.
They should sell. Anyone scheduled to be a free agent should be on the block. Brian Dozier is playing his way out of getting a qualifying offer, so prospect would be better than nothing. Lance Lynn, in my opinion, has to be traded, especially if he continues to work back to his old self. Team needs a lefty reliever? Zach Duke has to be available. I would pay - not personally, but as the Twins - the rest of Joe Mauer's salary to give him a chance to win a title this year (and in return for that money, ask for a decent prospect).
And moving any of those guys only give opportunities to other prospects. Moving Dozier allows at-bats for Nick Gordon. Trading Lynn opens a rotation spot for either of Mejia or Gonsalves. Exit Duke, enter Moya. Or Jay. Mauer's at-bats could be absorbed by many players.
I'd also look at moving Morrison, Rodney and potentially Santana. In addition to those three with options, the team has only three other players (Castro, Reed, Pineda) under contract for next year. Moving guys now would be more of a reload and less of a rebuild; the nucleus of the team would remain under control.
The Cleveland Indians are finally starting to pull away in the division, a wild card is even further off, and the Twins haven’t sniffed a .500 record in over a month. Unless a drastic turnaround happens, like immediately, they should be sellers.
Unfortunately, the reason they’re in this position now is a direct result of the performances from some of those whom they should sell. Lance Lynn has rebounded nicely and could fetch something decent for a rental but the other guys with only one year on their deals, like Brian Dozier and Logan Morrison, have fallen flat and Ervin Santana has yet to throw a pitch this season. Fernando Rodney might net enough where selling him makes sense too.
If you’re hoping to get anything beyond a B-level prospect though, that’s going to mean selling someone like Eddie Rosario or Eduardo Escobar as part of something bigger. But they’re really the only position players who have earned their money this season and are the types I’d want to keep around.
So, while I think they should sell all those rental type pieces to clear the roster space if anything, I’m not holding my breath on any stellar returns.
If you missed any of the previous roundtable discussions, here are the links:
Fixing the Offense
Romero’s Rotation Spot
Top Prospect Timelines
Minnesota’s All-Star Selection
- Cory Engelhardt and caninatl04 like this