Twins Trade Pieces Not That Valuable
Image courtesy of Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY SportsBrandon Kintzler
In the midst of his first all-star season, Brandon Kintzler seemed like a logical trade candidate. His value was high (maybe the highest it has ever been) and he would become a free agent at season's end. Reports had multiple teams being interested in his services but the Twins were "remaining patient" as the likes of Brad Hand and Zach Britton were yet to be dealt. As the deadline came and passed, the Twins pulled the trigger and sent Kintzler to Washington for left-handed pitching prospect Tyler Watson, the Nationals' 17th best prospect according to MLB.com.
Teams can see through the cobwebs. Kintzler isn't the same type of closer as last year's big trade pieces, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller. Kintzler doesn't have the same type of relief pitching resume but he has been very efficient since taking over the as the Twins closer last season. He wasn't going to bring back a top tier prospect but the Twins did well to get something for a rental piece.
Santana's first half of 2017 made it seem like he would be a strong trade candidate if the Twins became sellers. Through his first 13 starts, he posted a 2.20 ERA while holding opponents to a .154 batting average. During that stretch, he had three complete games and other teams were still looking for their first complete game. His last eight starts have seen him come back down to earth. In them he has a 5.63 ERA while opponents are hitting .315/.366/.579.
One positive surrounding Santana is the fact that he isn't a rental player. He is under contract through 2018 for $13.5 million with a $14 million team option for 2019. During the final year of the contract, Santana would be in his age-36 season so he isn't exactly in the prime of his career. However, it did seem conceivable for him to be a difference-making piece for a team looking for rotation depth.
Dozier seemed destined for a trade last off-season as the new regime was set to make their mark on the organization. The Dodgers seemed like the most likely landing spot but the deal never got done. Most reports had Los Angeles offering Jose De Leon, one of the club's best pitching prospects, for Dozier. Minnesota didn't budge as they wanted more than one prospect for Dozier and the deal fell through. Eventually, De Leon was dealt to the Rays for second baseman Logan Forsythe.
While Dozier's 2016 campaign was one for the record books, 2017 has been average. His batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage are all back down to his career averages. He's on pace to hit over 22 home runs for the fourth consecutive season but he would need to go on quite the tear to get anywhere near his 42 home runs from a year ago. I've also been critical of his defense in the past and those numbers haven't made major improvements this season.
While Twins fans waited patiently for the club to sell, the real truth might be that the club's pieces weren't as valuable as fans had hoped. The Twins will be closer to contending during the 2018 campaign so the front office's real test might come this off-season as the club builds for the next handful of seasons.
What are your thoughts on the Twins key trade pieces? Should the team have tried to sell more? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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