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Twins Interested In Reds Closer Raisel Iglesias

It’s no secret that the Twins bullpen was a weakness in 2017. With a largely unproven group of arms, Minnesota fans were left pulling their hair out in late-inning situations. There is no doubt the Twins will be looking for some upgrades this offseason as the club looks to build off of their 2017 success.

Could the Reds have a piece the Twins are interested in acquiring? Do the Twins have what it would take to bring in one of baseball’s best relief arms?
Image courtesy of Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
MLB Networks’ Jon Morosi reports that the Twins have checked in with the Reds about a potential deal for closer Raisel Iglesias. In his first full season as a relief pitcher, Iglesias posted a 2.49 ERA with a 10.89 K/9 and a 3.41 K/BB. His fastball hits in the mid-90s and his slider helped to generate a 13.9% swinging strike rate.

One of the benefits of Iglesias is that he is not a rental part. He is under control through 2021 so the Reds can demand a high price. His seven-year, $27 million deal gives him the right to opt out at any point when he qualifies for arbitration. This could mean a larger pay-day if he continues to pile up strong numbers. He would be a Super Two player following the 2020 season.

Iglesias isn’t the only option for the Twins. According to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, the Twins are calling on a number of guys. Minnesota’s farm system ranks in the middle of the pack since so many top tier prospects have made their debuts in recent years. This could make it hard to package a deal for Iglesias. Last summer, the Reds listened to offers for Iglesias but they were looking for a package that would “blow them away.”

Minnesota has also expressed interest in bringing back former closer Brandon Kintzler. Over the past two seasons, Kintzler recorded 45 saves on the way to being named a 2017 AL All-Star. Kintzler was traded to the Nationals last season and they have also expressed interest in re-signing him.

Do the Twins want to send multiple top prospects to the Reds for one of baseball’s best relief pitchers? Should the club look to the free agent market for players like Kintzler? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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45 Comments

Definitely intrigued by Iglesias. After transitioning to the bullpen full-time, he gained 3 MPH on his fastball (96.4 MPH velocity) and moved away from his sinker to be a true FB/SL guy.

 

If he's the guy the FO wants, I think the farm system has enough depth now to trade away a couple of pieces and acquire a big upgrade in the bullpen. 

    • bluechipper likes this
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Tom Froemming
Nov 13 2017 09:39 AM

I'd love it if they brought back Kintzler to close and got Iglesias to be the setup guy/bullpen ace. That allows Iglesias to pitch in the most high-leverage spots and prevents him from opting into arbitration. The only thing relievers can do to make big bucks there is rack up saves. It's always going to sting to give up prospects, but I think this team is in the position to make that kind of a move, especially for a long-term asset like Iglesias. 

    • bluechipper, tarheeltwinsfan and Vanimal46 like this

Keep the prospects. Spend money on a free agent if you need that impact bullpen arm. The Twins have money to spare unless they start signing young guys to extensions - the prospects are not limitless.

    • Twins33, SF Twins Fan and Original Whizzinator like this

I don't know what Cincy is looking for in return. But Gonsalves, Kirilloff, Rooker are untouchables for me. I'm not giving up the pitcher with the best chance to be an Ace type pitcher, or the OF with the highest potential for both power and average, or the guy that has the most power potential in the minor league system. Due to the depth at SS (Lewis, Palacios, Javier) in the minors I would consider Nick Gordon. It would still be a hard pill to swallow. I suppose you'd have to add some pieces like Brusdar Graterol and John Curtiss to get the job done.Inglesias would look good at the back end of the Twins bullpen. And bringing Kintzler back to the fold would sure make our 8th and 9th innings look strong.

    • gheggs42 and caninatl04 like this
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ChrisKnutson
Nov 13 2017 10:57 AM

Too expensive in terms of prospects, instead the Twins should go after possible breakout starter/relievers Bryan Mitchell (former top prospect) and or Luis Cessa (both top out around 98-99 mph) of the Yankees for a more reasonable price of prospects. The Yankees don't have enough room on their 40 man roster for all of Mitchell, Tyler Austin, Cessa, Garret Cooper, and others (on MLBTR) so a trade is definitely possible as long as the Yankees get prospects in return. To sweeten the deal for both sides the Twins could also swap the contract of Phil Hughes for either of Jacoby Ellsbury, Starlin Castro, or Chase Headley and then flip that contract for pitching or prospects or hold on to the veteran.

    • darin617, bluechipper and gheggs42 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 13 2017 11:31 AM

I don't understand this trade.For one, he's got an opt out option. Second, while the contract is affordable, it's still a large commitment. Why not just go get an FA RP?

    • Dman, SF Twins Fan, Original Whizzinator and 1 other like this

If I am giving up prospects I want it to be for a started not the pen.Fix starting pitching first then focus on pen.

    • darin617, diehardtwinsfan, Twins33 and 3 others like this
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nicksaviking
Nov 13 2017 12:27 PM

I'd think that if you're thinking about trading away some top prospects you'd start by getting a feel for your most ideal targets first. I'd have to think top end starters would be the first place the team would want to use their equity. I'd be more interested in using surely some of the same required pieces to get Chris Archer. I'd be willing to do something painful to get him.

 

And if on the off chance the Twins WERE thinking about turning Iglesias back into a starter, I'd hit up the Dbacks about Archie Bradley first.

    • Twins33 and SF Twins Fan like this

 

I don't understand this trade.For one, he's got an opt out option. Second, while the contract is affordable, it's still a large commitment. Why not just go get an FA RP?

 

Unless he continues being the closer, why would he opt-out? Arbitration isn't friendly to relievers that aren't closing games. 

 

To answer your second question, they must think Iglesias is better than virtually all of the FA options. They still may elect to go with a FA RP if the price isn't right for Iglesias. 

 

And if on the off chance the Twins WERE thinking about turning Iglesias back into a starter, I'd hit up the Dbacks about Archie Bradley first.

 

I doubt there's even an off chance the Twins convert Iglesias back into a starter. If he had any desire to do so, wouldn't Cincinnati try that out? They had nothing to lose, with the #29 ranked SP unit at 5.36 runs allowed per game. They were #27 the year before with 5.27 RA/G. 

 

 

 

I don't understand this trade.For one, he's got an opt out option. Second, while the contract is affordable, it's still a large commitment. Why not just go get an FA RP?

If you go free agent route it's Holland or Davis. Both will command over $19M for at least 4 years. That is why you would go this route. The opt out does not make him a free agent, just gets him more moeny via arbitration.

    • bluechipper likes this
Why in the world would they flip him? That makes little sense. Our bullpen was terrible last year. Our starters have a lot to be desired, but the bullpen was far worse.
Our rotation was 10th in AL WAR.

10th in FIP (13 in xFIP)
12th on K/9
12th in IP

Our bullpen was 13th in AL WAR

11th in FIP (11th in xFIP)
14th in K/9
6th in IP.

Both very bad but one wonders if the bullpen was affected by overwork.

In any event, we need lots of help.
    • tarheeltwinsfan, Tom Froemming and gheggs42 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 13 2017 01:01 PM

 

If you go free agent route it's Holland or Davis. Both will command over $19M for at least 4 years. That is why you would go this route. The opt out does not make him a free agent, just gets him more moeny via arbitration.

 

I'll echo what others said.. If I'm parting with Gordon and Gonsalves (which would be the ask based on what I've read thus far), those will be centerpieces for a guy like Archer, not to save maybe 10M on an RP. That's just not a good trade.

    • Twins33, hugelycat, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 13 2017 01:03 PM

 

Unless he continues being the closer, why would he opt-out? Arbitration isn't friendly to relievers that aren't closing games. 

 

To answer your second question, they must think Iglesias is better than virtually all of the FA options. They still may elect to go with a FA RP if the price isn't right for Iglesias. 

 

He might be... I won't argue that. But there are some VERY good FA options out there in a strong market for RP this offseason. If they spend the prospects, get a starter. They can buy relievers for a lot less than what they can get a starter for.

    • Twins33 and Original Whizzinator like this

Trade for Iglesias
Sign Kintzler
Sign Liriano

More than reasonable as it won't cost that much in terms of prospects and money.

Igelsias is an elite closer, so that solves that, and Kintzler is a very good 7th inning guy. Liriano is a pure upside type play, but if they can get him figured out, he could be a dominating 8th inning guy.

    • bluechipper and Vanimal46 like this

Iglesias would be great, but almost certainly costs too many of our high-end prospects. He's an excellent RP with closer experience and four years of control. That doesn't come cheap. If I'm the Reds, I'm thinking Gordon + Gonsalves + another throw-in.

 

We don't have many elite prospects, so we have to make sure we spend them on the most important improvements to the team. If we make a trade for Iglesias, we're limited in trading for any other high-impact players because we're running out of high-end prospects.

To me, it's much more important to trade for an SP than an RP, because an SP gives us so many more innings. If I'm making an impact trade, I'm looking for an SP.

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nicksaviking
Nov 13 2017 01:35 PM

I doubt there's even an off chance the Twins convert Iglesias back into a starter. If he had any desire to do so, wouldn't Cincinnati try that out? They had nothing to lose, with the #29 ranked SP unit at 5.36 runs allowed per game. They were #27 the year before with 5.27 RA/G.


Well I mostly just wanted an excuse to name drop Bradley who's near the top of my xmas list. :)
    • Vanimal46 likes this

 

Iglesias would be great, but almost certainly costs too many of our high-end prospects. He's an excellent RP with closer experience and four years of control. That doesn't come cheap. If I'm the Reds, I'm thinking Gordon + Gonsalves + another throw-in.

 

We don't have many elite prospects, so we have to make sure we spend them on the most important improvements to the team. If we make a trade for Iglesias, we're limited in trading for any other high-impact players because we're running out of high-end prospects.

To me, it's much more important to trade for an SP than an RP, because an SP gives us so many more innings. If I'm making an impact trade, I'm looking for an SP.

 

That's the million dollar question, is it more important to trade for an impact SP or impact RP? The Twins certainly need both. 

 

A SP gives a team more innings, but a really good RP gives a team an opportunity to put out fires multiple games a week. In today's baseball where starters go 5-7 innings, maybe a shut-down reliever is more valuable than we think. 

 

 

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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bluechipper
Nov 13 2017 02:08 PM
Nick Gordon for Iglesias straight up seems fair. I'd make that trade.
    • nytwinsfan likes this

Strictly speaking from a "how does he look on our roster" standpoint. 

 

YES... Absolutely... YES

 

I have no idea what he would cost... I have no idea how his cost would compare to others who might be available. 

 

All of that aside... We could use the guy... I think he's fantastic. 

    • bluechipper, Vanimal46 and Tom Froemming like this

Too expensive in terms of prospects, instead the Twins should go after possible breakout starter/relievers Bryan Mitchell (former top prospect) and or Luis Cessa (both top out around 98-99 mph) of the Yankees for a more reasonable price of prospects. The Yankees don't have enough room on their 40 man roster for all of Mitchell, Tyler Austin, Cessa, Garret Cooper, and others (on MLBTR) so a trade is definitely possible as long as the Yankees get prospects in return. To sweeten the deal for both sides the Twins could also swap the contract of Phil Hughes for either of Jacoby Ellsbury, Starlin Castro, or Chase Headley and then flip that contract for pitching or prospects or hold on to the veteran.


I one thing the Twins have that the Yankees want is (are) international signing dollars for the Great Otani Sweepstakes. I could see $1 or $1.5 million moving. Of course this would mean trading to The Great Satan.
    • Cory Engelhardt likes this
No way do I send anything to help the Yankees unless top pitching prospects are involved.
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 13 2017 02:42 PM

 

That's the million dollar question, is it more important to trade for an impact SP or impact RP? The Twins certainly need both. 

 

A SP gives a team more innings, but a really good RP gives a team an opportunity to put out fires multiple games a week. In today's baseball where starters go 5-7 innings, maybe a shut-down reliever is more valuable than we think. 

 

There's no question they are valuable, but let's also consider that better starters leads to less stress on the pen. That shut down reliever won't be needed quite as much.

 

Personally, if they want a shut down reliever, go get Wade Davis or one of the other top tier relievers. They don't cost prospects. If Davrish/Lynn doesn't excite Falvine, then they can use those prospects to get your man-crush out of Pittsburg or Archer out of Tampa.

 

We have a decent system, but I figure they have the prospects to make one big splash without hurting the future. I'd rather that go for someone that isn't as easily found in FA.

    • Twins33 and Vanimal46 like this

Interesting idea on Iglesias.I know some want better starting pitching, but I think more and more teams are taking a different approach just because shutdown starting pitching is so tough to come by.KC kind of showed the blueprint two years ago and I think the Yankees are also taking this approach...they look to their starting pitching for 5-6 innings and just don't want to get blown up.After that, they bring in shutdown reliever after shutdown reliever and effectively shorten the game for the other team (basically, they have 5-6 innings to score).They win innings 6-8.I really think you are going to see more and more teams take this approach.

    • Riverbrian, tarheeltwinsfan, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this

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