Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Front Page: The Five Stages of Twins Free Agency Grief

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:10 AM
We go through this every year, regardless of who’s running the team or what the needs are. Yes the needs are always “starting pitching” a...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Twins Offseason Trade Target: Kyle Seager

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:03 AM
While Minnesota’s top priority continues to be starting pitching, the club could also be looking to add to other parts of the roster. The...
Full topic ›

Trade for Josh Hader?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
The article linked below suggests that the Brewers might be willing to trade him to the Yankees for prospects. Hader is a top reliever wh...
Full topic ›

Mets Grievance against Cespedes

Other Baseball Yesterday, 10:55 PM
According to Sherman and Martino, the Mets filed a grievance against Cespedes and stopped paying his 29mil salary last September. They’ve...
Full topic ›

2019/2020 Twins Minor League Signings

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 10:56 PM
This is a forum to update Twins minor league signings (and can be where we post Twins minor league free agents that signed elsewhere)....
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


Twins Trades Show They've Got This Down

My belief for months has been that the Twins will use two distinct avenues to add pitching this offseason. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have talked about their desire to add impact arms, and while free agency is a tool, so is the trade market. The good news is that they’re great at exploiting the latter.
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Odorizzi didn’t experience much of free agency, having accepted the Twins qualifying offer of $17.8 million. Minnesota immediately secured one of the better available arms and did so with a high level of familiarity. Now they still should be attempting to sign one of the top free agent arms available, but with a plethora of prospects at their disposal, swinging a trade makes a ton of sense.



When the club made five additions to their 40-man roster, protecting those players from being subject to the Rule 5 draft, there was a handful of takeaways regarding the names in play. Four of the five guys added were acquired via trade in the last calendar year. Getting significant value from veterans like Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Ryan Pressly, and Fernando Rodney only solidified how well the front office had done in identifying talent. Although they parted with good big leaguers, they did so while outside of a competitive window and by nailing the return.

It’s absolutely true that not all prospects pan out, and development isn’t linear, but realizing these commodities needing to be protected and were on a big-league trajectory less than a year later is a significant development. It’s one thing to acquire additional team control or roster flexibility but doing so while also making sure to identify usable and high-performing assets is not an easy task. We may have known the return was strong through production on the farm over the last year, but Wednesday night’s decisions solidified it for us.

Going forward, the acumen displayed by Falvey and Levine will be integral to the next step Minnesota takes. On the free agent market, the expectation is that both Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg would have little interest in the Twins. Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner are hardly slouches, but through a player swap, the front office can hope to identify their own version of an ace. Regardless of the name on the back of the jersey, any top tier arm is going to have a league’s worth of options on a yearly basis. When making a deal with another club, it’s a one-on-one discussion that revolves around player development and the knowledge you possess in both what you currently have and who you hope to acquire.

At this point in Minnesota’s competitive arc they aren’t in a position to piece out veterans for prospects. Although a big leaguer could be moved, the emphasis will be on a return that strengthens the major league roster. Finding assets that improve postseason posturing is the plan and doing so while mixing the ideal exchange is something every Twins fan should deem the front office capable of.

There was a time that the Twins made reactionary moves to trade for positional needs or up-and-coming prospects. Now the Twins should be seen as an organization that can both identify and execute swaps that both help and don’t substantially hurt the overall goals of the club.

I don’t foresee Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff going anywhere in the immediate future, but you can bank on Minnesota’s brain trust having an iron clad blueprint when working out any deal on the horizon. Knowing how important and valuable that avenue of asset addition is, it’s a skill that puts another feather in the cap of a front office responsible for an exceptional turnaround.

More from Twins Daily
Jhoan Duran Headlines Twins Roster Additions
Should the Twins Look to Add to the Bullpen?
Every Team Wants Zack Wheeler

  • brvama, nclahammer and MN_ExPat like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

44 Comments

Just adding plays to the 40 man roster and claiming a trade a win, seems to be a pretty low bar we've set for this front office.Maybe we should wait to see if they actually contribute anything at the major league before we call this a huge haul.

    • USAFChief, gunnarthor, Twins33 and 12 others like this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Nov 22 2019 07:10 AM

I don't personally care how they improve pitching so long as it's improved. I'll simply say that I'd rather keep the prospects and spend the cash, but if they say get Jon Gray for a reasonable price and can fix him quickly, I'd be quite happy with that too. 

 

I think the problem though is that teams are in general wising up about these types of things. Gray will be a hot commodity on the trade front, and I suspect we won't get as lucky as we did with Odorizzi. 

    • birdwatcher, Twins33, alphanumeric and 1 other like this
Photo
John Bonnes
Nov 22 2019 07:24 AM

Yeah, but this isn't trading for minor leaguers. It's trading for major leaguers. I'd give some cautionary notes there.

 

  • Certainly that didn't work well in the Sam Dyson trade. Maybe the chaos and urgency of a trade deadline worked against them, but they clearly didn't see he was damaged good when they scouted him. 
  • Jake Odorizzi looked good last year, but he didn't look terribly good the year after they acquired him, though it looks like they got away without giving up too much.
  • Love Sergio Romo. No arguments there. 
  • Finally, the only other time I remember them trading for a major leaguer was the 2017 trade deadline debacle. They traded for Jaime Garcia, but then panicked and reversed course a few days later, traded him away, traded away their closer Brandon Kintzler - and then won the Wild Card. 

 

That's a pretty mixed bag of major league trades. I'd perhaps conclude they did a decent job in some of their 2018 deadline trades that look like they're paying out. But I'll hold back on evaluating them until I see how this offseason works out. 

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, 071063 and 12 others like this
Photo
Cory Engelhardt
Nov 22 2019 08:00 AM

 

Yeah, but this isn't trading for minor leaguers. It's trading for major leaguers. I'd give some cautionary notes there.

 

  • Certainly that didn't work well in the Sam Dyson trade. Maybe the chaos and urgency of a trade deadline worked against them, but they clearly didn't see he was damaged good when they scouted him. 
  • Jake Odorizzi looked good last year, but he didn't look terribly good the year after they acquired him, though it looks like they got away without giving up too much.
  • Love Sergio Romo. No arguments there. 
  • Finally, the only other time I remember them trading for a major leaguer was the 2017 trade deadline debacle. They traded for Jaime Garcia, but then panicked and reversed course a few days later, traded him away, traded away their closer Brandon Kintzler - and then won the Wild Card. 

 

That's a pretty mixed bag of major league trades. I'd perhaps conclude they did a decent job in some of their 2018 deadline trades that look like they're paying out. But I'll hold back on evaluating them until I see how this offseason works out. 

 

1) The Dyson trade didn't work out. That said, in scouting, can you "see" that a player is injured? Is that possible without X-ray vision? I'm not being snarky, I really don't know.

2) Odorizzi was a really good trade. Will the player they gave up ever make it to AA?

3) You didn't mention that they turned Garcia into Zack Littell. That turned out well, no?

    • birdwatcher, Twins33, Mike Frasier Law and 9 others like this
Photo
Major League Ready
Nov 22 2019 08:04 AM

 

Just adding plays to the 40 man roster and claiming a trade a win, seems to be a pretty low bar we've set for this front office.Maybe we should wait to see if they actually contribute anything at the major league before we call this a huge haul.

 

The variance in expected performance varies greatly for FAs and trades for established players. So, based on this logic we can't evaluate free agent acquisitions or trades for MLB talent either until their contracts have expired. I think it's perfectly reasonable to assess those trades as of today.

This seems like another pro-FO piece without a lot to back it up. 

 

The FO didn't trade Dozier when his value was at it's peak and threw in the towel at the trade deadline that year as well. Smeltzer is a bullpen and Raley might be a 4th OFer. Escobar is probably the best trade here in that Duran has some real potential as a #3 type (which is a good thing). I don't know how anyone can say the Pressly trade was good. Alaca is 25 years old now and put up nearly a 6.00 era in AA. Pressly is one of the best relievers in the game. Chalmers isn't anything to get excited about. He's 23 and thrown 20 innings above low A ball and has serious control problems. Not a lot of upside there.

 

Last year the Twins had 10 players amass at least 2 WAR. This FO acquired only 3 of them (Cruz, Odorizzi and Pineda). I liked the Schoop and Gonzalez signings last year, Cron was a good pickup and I like that the FO hired Rocco and decided to go with Garver instead of signing someone else to play with Castro. Those were all good moves. But this FO also traded away Huascar Ynoa (who made the majors at 21 for Atlanta) and while they've made a number of trades, they have yet to trade for a top 100 prospect and Jake Cave is the only guy that's managed more than even a 1 WAR season in the majors.

 

I'm not saying our FO is a failure but so far most of their moves haven't done much, although they've made a lot more moves than normal. They didn't understand when they had an opportunity in 2017, didn't do anything to reinforce this team at the deadline this year. There is value in letting guys like Polanco and Kepler play instead of replacing them and those moves look great now. But most of the success is because of the players, not the FO or ownership.

    • birdwatcher, h2oface, notoriousgod71 and 7 others like this
If I’m remembering correctly, the player the Twins gave up for Odo has been converted to a pitcher.

 

  • Certainly that didn't work well in the Sam Dyson trade. Maybe the chaos and urgency of a trade deadline worked against them, but they clearly didn't see he was damaged good when they scouted him. 

 

Actually, Dyson turned out to be just what the Dyson ads tell you: When working, he sucked, but what he was best at was gathering dust. :)

    • Han Joelo likes this

This seems like another pro-FO piece without a lot to back it up.

The FO didn't trade Dozier when his value was at it's peak and threw in the towel at the trade deadline that year as well. Smeltzer is a bullpen and Raley might be a 4th OFer. Escobar is probably the best trade here in that Duran has some real potential as a #3 type (which is a good thing). I don't know how anyone can say the Pressly trade was good. Alaca is 25 years old now and put up nearly a 6.00 era in AA. Pressly is one of the best relievers in the game. Chalmers isn't anything to get excited about. He's 23 and thrown 20 innings above low A ball and has serious control problems. Not a lot of upside there.

Last year the Twins had 10 players amass at least 2 WAR. This FO acquired only 3 of them (Cruz, Odorizzi and Pineda). I liked the Schoop and Gonzalez signings last year, Cron was a good pickup and I like that the FO hired Rocco and decided to go with Garver instead of signing someone else to play with Castro. Those were all good moves. But this FO also traded away Huascar Ynoa (who made the majors at 21 for Atlanta) and while they've made a number of trades, they have yet to trade for a top 100 prospect and Jake Cave is the only guy that's managed more than even a 1 WAR season in the majors.

I'm not saying our FO is a failure but so far most of their moves haven't done much, although they've made a lot more moves than normal. They didn't understand when they had an opportunity in 2017, didn't do anything to reinforce this team at the deadline this year. There is value in letting guys like Polanco and Kepler play instead of replacing them and those moves look great now. But most of the success is because of the players, not the FO or ownership.


This, a hundred times this. We could write an equally unbalanced article making the FO look completely incompetent. I hope TD doesn’t lose its objectivity because there have been a couple of doozies lately
    • notoriousgod71, SD Buhr, adorduan and 4 others like this

Twins traded Luis Gil to the Yankees for Jake Cave. Luis Gil is now the Yankees #4 prospect.

    • gunnarthor, h2oface, Jham and 1 other like this

Gunnarther's points are all well taken. I would just add a few additional points on the positive side.

 

Regarding your conclusion, "most of the success is because of the players, not the FO or ownership," I think the front office deserves some credit for player development. The hitting and pitching coaches they hired appear to have contributed to significant improvements in velocity and pitch selection among the pitchers, and to improved pitch selection among the hitters. For instance, was Odorizzi undervalued when they traded for him, or appropriately value and he improved while here? Either way reflects well on management. 

 

Likewise you credit them for "letting guys like Polanco and Kepler play," which I agree was a bold and correct decision (not to mention correctly assessing their potential and locking them up long-term, which now looks brilliant!) But stating it that way implies that playing time alone was all they needed to become stars. That may be true, but the fact is they improved notably, as did several other hitters, and such is improvement is far from inevitable, suggesting they were also well coached.

 

Perhaps most impressive is the dramatic improvement of relievers like Duffey, May, and Rogers. At the beginning of the year I thought the failure to upgrade the bullpen was egregious malpractice and would doom the season. By the end of the season their bullpen was above average, and those three guys look like core contributors. I'm very impressed by that. They also gotcontributions from Littell, Dobnak, and Smeltzer, while pulling the plug at appropriate times on Harper, Parker, Magill, and Hildenberger. I'd still like to see Hildy and Romero blossom, but I'm glad they weren't throw out there when we needed wins and weren't delivering. 

 

My main point is, while it's definitely significant that 7 of their top 10 WAR players were acquired by previous management, and I'm glad to have that pointed out, I don't think it's inevitable that those previously acquired players would have become so productive without the new coaches. I can't tell how much credit should go to the players and how much to the coaches, and I think you're right to give most to the players. But I do think the player-development staff made a contribution as well, and based on last year, they seem to be good at bringing out the best in their players. And that gives me a great deal of hope for the future.

    • birdwatcher, gunnarthor, Cory Engelhardt and 4 others like this

 

The variance in expected performance varies greatly for FAs and trades for established players. So, based on this logic we can't evaluate free agent acquisitions or trades for MLB talent either until their contracts have expired. I think it's perfectly reasonable to assess those trades as of today.

It's perfectly reasonable to access trades/free agent as of today.I just wouldn't call a free agent that makes the 25 man roster a "huge haul".Same as a prospect making the 40 man roster.You might want to give it a minute. 

Yeah, don't think you can say that, just because these minor leaguers the FO traded for are success stories just because they've been added to the 40-man. That's a real stretch, even for me, and I've watched enough of thise guys play to be appropriately impressed by them.

 

But keep in mind, the FO that added them to their 40-man roster is the same FO that traded for them in the first place! It's not like their decisions were subsequently evaluated by a different panel, who then said, "Why, YES, these kids are good. Well done, Twins FO, go ahead and add them to your 40-man roster."

 

It's not that surprising that the guys who made the deals to get them would now decide not to let them get away for nothing.

 

As I said, I like the ones I've personally watched and I think it's perfectly reasonable to add them to the 40-man. But I'm not on board with claiming that's some kind of evidence of how brilliant the FO is. For that, I think we need to wait to see how these guys perform on the big stage, eventually.

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, Twins33 and 6 others like this

When I read Seth's article Wednesday evening, the first thing that hit me was that 4 of the 5 added were acquired by trade during the 2018 season.As I thought about that, I remembered that Smeltzer and Alcala were two more players acquired in 2018 who were already on the 40-man.So that meant that 6 of the 37 currently on the 40-man were acquired in that flurry of trades.Also stated that I wasn't certain if they were prejudiced in keeping their guys, but found this to be both interesting and exciting.

 

I don't recall Gunnarthor as being overly negative about management and the owner.Perhaps I am mistaken.But rather than commenting about several points I disagree with, I think it best to leave it at being surprised at the tone of his comment.

 

    • MN_ExPat likes this
Echoing a lot of what's been said already. It's one thing to be added to the 40 man. It's another thing to produce while you're on the 40 man. Why are we putting the cart before the horse claiming these are "big hauls"?

We've already seen plenty of players come and go on the 40 man during the Falvine regime. Also, it's not exactly breaking news that Falvine strongly prefers their acquisitions over the existing players from the past regime.
    • Twins33, h2oface, SD Buhr and 1 other like this

 

 

 

I don't recall Gunnarthor as being overly negative about management and the owner.Perhaps I am mistaken.But rather than commenting about several points I disagree with, I think it best to leave it at being surprised at the tone of his comment.

I don't believe I've ever written a positive statement about the Pohlad family.

 

I'm not as negative on Falvey and Levine although I'm not quite ready to say that they are good at their jobs either. I think, as others noted, Falvey has done a nice job changing coaching philosophies etc but I'm not sure Levine has done a good job at roster management, FA signings, etc. But I'm certainly not ready to call for either of them to be fired.

    • adorduan and MN_ExPat like this
Like I said on Nick's pro FO article, we just don't have enough evidence yet.
    • adorduan and Dome Dogg like this
Photo
TwinkieTownKiller
Nov 22 2019 12:07 PM

I loved the Romo trade but my big ding on them was that the Marlins turned around and traded Zac Gallen a few weeks later. That tells me that we didn't even kick the tires on the starting pitching marker at the deadline. Jazz Chisholm is a good prospect, but if that was the price for a young controllable pitcher like Gallen, I can't help but feel like we could have gotten in on him. I'm hoping to see more savvy moves for big league talent in the near future (possibly this offseason).

    • Mike Sixel likes this
Photo
railmarshalljon
Nov 22 2019 12:13 PM

Missing is that they assembled a team that won 100 games(objective), which is neat (subjective). 

 

 

    • wabene likes this

I'm glad that Falvine got good minor leaguers in their trades in 2018, but I can't help but think that Escobar and Pressley would have looked real good on last year's team. 

    • Mike Sixel, h2oface, KGB and 2 others like this

 

I loved the Romo trade but my big ding on them was that the Marlins turned around and traded Zac Gallen a few weeks later. That tells me that we didn't even kick the tires on the starting pitching marker at the deadline. Jazz Chisholm is a good prospect, but if that was the price for a young controllable pitcher like Gallen, I can't help but feel like we could have gotten in on him. I'm hoping to see more savvy moves for big league talent in the near future (possibly this offseason).

To be fair to the Twins, we didn't really have a prospect that matches up with Jazz Chisholm. Royce Lewis would have been closest, and that's probably an overpay. Kirilloff and Graterol might have been comparable in prospect rank, but neither is an up-the-middle position player either, so I'm not sure Miami would view them as equivalent to Chisholm.

    • birdwatcher, wabene and In My La-Z-boy like this
Give me back Escobar and Presley and you can keep all of those prospects.

Eduardo Escobar posted a 4.2 WAR in 2019. For reference, that tied Tatis Jr (who was phenomenal in him games played). Juan Soto posted a 4.7. Freddie Freeman and JT Realmuto 4.4s. Nelson Cruz a 4.3. He posted a higher WAR than Max Kepler and Mitch Garver. Higher than Jose Altuve, Austin Meadows, and JD Martinez. Crude measurement, I know, but that’s what I’m using for the sake of time.

We all know about Pressley. He’s been, arguably, the best reliever in the MLB since he arrived in Houston until his injury issues late in the season.

These guys are among the best in Major League Baseball at their positions (both positions we need). I don’t know how, with a straight face, you can list the likes of Devon Smeltzer, Luke Raley, a couple of hard throwers who will be a fraction of Presley if we’re lucky, and Celestino, who was awful save for a few months and is years away from the majors on a team with a loaded outfield, and say “See, these guys are killing it.”

There are some things people seem to forget. This front office had a pretty good offseason last year....the year before that was an epic disaster. Also, many of the significant contributors on the team were holdovers from the previous regime. They brought in Cruz who was a resounding success....but he fell into their lap (nobody really wanted him that badly due to his age). Aside from that they’ve brought in guys like Morrison, Lynn, Zach Duke, CJ Cron, Jonathan Schoop, etc. Hardly a murderer’s row.

Don’t get me wrong, I have faith in them. But way too many people in the media and fandom are anointing Falvine the Kings of Baseball. In reality l, that isn’t really based on a whole lot. They won the worst division in baseball and got utterly dismantled by the team that lost to the team that lost to the Nationals in the World Series. I still need to see some things play out. I don’t think they’ll be giving a long runway in terms of spending (not as much as people think), and a lot of players are due for regression. There is a good chance everyone will be writing articles expressing the opposite sentiment this time next year.
    • gunnarthor, notoriousgod71, alphanumeric and 6 others like this
Photo
In My La-Z-boy
Nov 22 2019 01:11 PM

 

Give me back Escobar and Presley and you can keep all of those prospects.

Eduardo Escobar posted a 4.2 WAR in 2019. For reference, that tied Tatis Jr (who was phenomenal in him games played). Juan Soto posted a 4.7. Freddie Freeman and JT Realmuto 4.4s. Nelson Cruz a 4.3. He posted a higher WAR than Max Kepler and Mitch Garver. Higher than Jose Altuve, Austin Meadows, and JD Martinez. Crude measurement, I know, but that’s what I’m using for the sake of time.

We all know about Pressley. He’s been, arguably, the best reliever in the MLB since he arrived in Houston until his injury issues late in the season.

These guys are among the best in Major League Baseball at their positions (both positions we need). I don’t know how, with a straight face, you can list the likes of Devon Smeltzer, Luke Raley, a couple of hard throwers who will be a fraction of Presley if we’re lucky, and Celestino, who was awful save for a few months and is years away from the majors on a team with a loaded outfield, and say “See, these guys are killing it.”

There are some things people seem to forget. This front office had a pretty good offseason last year....the year before that was an epic disaster. Also, many of the significant contributors on the team were holdovers from the previous regime. They brought in Cruz who was a resounding success....but he fell into their lap (nobody really wanted him that badly due to his age). Aside from that they’ve brought in guys like Morrison, Lynn, Zach Duke, CJ Cron, Jonathan Schoop, etc. Hardly a murderer’s row.

Don’t get me wrong, I have faith in them. But way too many people in the media and fandom are anointing Falvine the Kings of Baseball. In reality l, that isn’t really based on a whole lot. They won the worst division in baseball and got utterly dismantled by the team that lost to the team that lost to the Nationals in the World Series. I still need to see some things play out. I don’t think they’ll be giving a long runway in terms of spending (not as much as people think), and a lot of players are due for regression. There is a good chance everyone will be writing articles expressing the opposite sentiment this time next year.

That's not what I want to hear today :cry:

    • wabene likes this
Photo
TwinkieTownKiller
Nov 22 2019 01:56 PM

 

To be fair to the Twins, we didn't really have a prospect that matches up with Jazz Chisholm. Royce Lewis would have been closest, and that's probably an overpay. Kirilloff and Graterol might have been comparable in prospect rank, but neither is an up-the-middle position player either, so I'm not sure Miami would view them as equivalent to Chisholm.

He was a good prospect, but he was in the lower level of the minors and fell off Baseball America's top 100. He may have been the #3 prospect for the DBacks or so, but I think the Twins have a lot more talent and depth to their system and may have been able to explore some options that excluded our top 3-5. 

 

In the end, the Marlins may have just simply targeted Chisholm, sometimes that's the case. I just cited it as an example of how I'd love to see the front office get creative in acquiring some major league talent.

 

He was a good prospect, but he was in the lower level of the minors and fell off Baseball America's top 100. He may have been the #3 prospect for the DBacks or so, but I think the Twins have a lot more talent and depth to their system and may have been able to explore some options that excluded our top 3-5. 

 

In the end, the Marlins may have just simply targeted Chisholm, sometimes that's the case. I just cited it as an example of how I'd love to see the front office get creative in acquiring some major league talent.

Chisholm is off the BA top 100? That's weird. Fangraphs still had him at 28, and MLB at 54.

 

The Twins may have a better system but unfortunately that doesn't always mean they're a better match in trade.

 

I agree, I would love to see us make a move like that.


Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , 12 Dec 2019
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 11 Dec 2019
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 10 Dec 2019
Photo


by Parker Hageman , 09 Dec 2019
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 08 Dec 2019
Photo