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Game Thread: Twins vs. Tigers 1:10pm cdt 8/19/2018 ad

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Waiting around to march in a parade, i see a lack of game thread... So for old time's sake: Things to think about. 1. Winning. Don't alwa...
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Article: What To Do With Logan Forsythe?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:21 PM
On July 31, the Twins traded popular second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that had been in the works for roug...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/18): Saturday In Th...

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Gonsalves Gets the Call

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:18 PM
He will be taking Erv's spot in the rotation and starting on Monday. Good luck!
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With Machado Gone, Eduardo Escobar Becomes The Best Shortstop Available

The 2018 MLB trade deadline was always going to revolve around one player, and that was Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Among the list of players who are expected to be available at the deadline, none of them come anywhere close to matching the stardom that Machado has.

However, at the end of the day there is only one Manny Machado and he can only play for one team. So, that means there is now a handful of teams who must now look elsewhere to fill the hole in their roster they were looking for Machado to fill as they make a playoff push.
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Fortunately for the Twins, the next best available shortstop on the trade market now appears to be Eduardo Escobar. Now, I know Escobar has spent the majority of his time this year at third base, and he is a much better defender at the hot corner, but Escobar still has the ability to play short and the presence he can bring with his bat there will be a welcome upgrade for a number of teams.

There are a few big things going in Escobar’s favor that make him an attractive player for contending teams. This first is his excellent play on the field ever since he took over as a full-time player nearly a year ago. Going back to August 20th of last year (the day Escobar took over full time after the Miguel Sano injury), Escobar has a .266/.319/.513 slash line with 24 home runs and 40 doubles in 130 games.

Another factor in the favor of Escobar’s trade value is his position versatility. If it is needed, Escobar could play second, short or third, which opens the door to a lot more teams being able to benefit from adding Escobar to their roster.

The next factor is at the trade deadline, Escobar will only have a little more than $1.5 million left on his contract. So, Escobar won’t be a problem for teams that are hesitant to add much more in terms of payroll. Finally, Escobar’s clubhouse presence can’t be overstated. While it’s hard to put a number on this, teams will appreciate knowing that Escobar won’t hurt the team’s camaraderie as they make a push for the postseason.

After Escobar, the list of other shortstops available isn’t very long. Perhaps the next most intriguing player is Jose Iglesias. Unlike Escobar, Iglesias is known for his defensive prowess at short. However, his bat has never been all that good, so most of his value is wrapped up in his glove. For teams looking to add another impact bat to their lineup, which is usually the case at the trade deadline, Iglesias can’t provide that.

Another player of interest might be Elvis Andrus. Andrus has been one of the better shortstops in the game in recent years, but he has been struggling with injuries this year and as a result has played in just 36 games. One factor that could prevent Andrus from being traded is his contract situation. After 2018, Andrus is under control for another 4-years for $59 million, with an option for a fifth year. With Andrus still just 29, and the quality of player he is, that is a pretty team friendly deal.

While this would normally increase Andrus's trade value, there is one stipulation that prevents this, and that is two player options after 2018 and 2019 that only kick in if Andrus is traded. So, if a team were to acquire Andrus via trade, the leverage instantly switches to him and he could easily opt out for free agency.

A few other shortstops that could be available include Adeiny Hechavarria, Freddy Galvis & Alcides Escobar who are all essentially just a lesser version of the same player Jose Iglesias is. As you can see, the market for available shortstops is pretty bleak beyond Eduardo Escobar.

So, the question is, which teams will be most interested in striking a deal with the Twins for Eduardo Escobar? Well, the two most obvious teams of interest are the Philadelphia Phiilles and Milwaukee Brewers. Both teams were players in the Manny Machado sweepstakes until the very end, and they are both looking to fill a pretty glaring hole at shortstop as the Phillies and Brewers rank 24th and 30th respectively in fWAR from the shortstop position. The Phillies could also use the help at third base as they rank 27th as a team with a 0.4 fWAR from their third basemen this year.

Another team that might show some interest in Escobar is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks aren’t necessarily bad at short or third, but they are not all that good at those positions either. With Jake Lamb in a down year, and Nick Ahmed struggling offensively, Escobar’s bat and versatility could be a welcome addition to the Arizona infield. There are most likely a few other teams that will be interested in Escobar as well, but the Phillies, Brewers and Diamondbacks are the three teams that have the most to gain by adding Escobar to their lineup.

At the end of the day, the fact that Eduardo Escobar will become a free agent at the end of this season will still limit his trade value, but if I was a team that could use an upgrade in the infield I would be on the phone with the Twins every day trying to make a deal to acquire Eduardo Escobar.

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59 Comments

Nice analysis!Esco is Manny lite.He won't bring back a Manny haul but he should net a good return.I think the Phillies match up the best to get him but I guess we will have to wait and see.

Unless the Reds make Eugenio Suarez and the Angels Andrelton Simmons available...

    • caninatl04 likes this
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Andrew Thares
Jul 18 2018 07:03 PM

 

Unless the Reds make Eugenio Suarez and the Angels Andrelton Simmons available...

I think there is a 0% chance of either one of those guys becoming available. The Reds just gave Eugenio Suarez a 7-year contract extension this past offseason and Andrelton Simmons is under control through 2020, and the Angels plan on competing over the next couple years while they still have Mike Trout under contract.

    • Mike Sixel, scottz, nicksaviking and 8 others like this

Depends on how buyers view Escobar vs what else is out there.Think it will be very close to the deadline if Twins move him.More likely to me Twins move relievers or Dozier if 10 day road trip does not go well.

    • jun and blindeke like this

 

I think there is a 0% chance of either one of those guys becoming available. The Reds just gave Eugenio Suarez a 7-year contract extension this past offseason and Andrelton Simmons is under control through 2020, and the Angels plan on competing over the next couple years while they still have Mike Trout under contract.

 

Never say never.

 

Seriously. Based on what the O's got for 2-3 months of Machado, the Reds should be nuts not to make Suarez available.The same with the Angels and Simmons.The latter can go after Machado next offseason...

    • caninatl04 likes this
No. No. And...um....no. Dozier is almost certainly gone, though I could see scenarios where he stays. Sano is a question mark, though I believe in his potential and a possible big rebound. We aren't certain as to Mauer's future, and Gordon may simply not be quite ready. (Though I've grown to like Gordon and his potential). So we would consider trading, probably, our best overall infielder, with quality offense and versatility, with so many sudden question marks? Somebody better knock our socks off!
    • jun, curt1965, djvang and 1 other like this
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Andrew Thares
Jul 18 2018 09:09 PM

 

No. No. And...um....no. Dozier is almost certainly gone, though I could see scenarios where he stays. Sano is a question mark, though I believe in his potential and a possible big rebound. We aren't certain as to Mauer's future, and Gordon may simply not be quite ready. (Though I've grown to like Gordon and his potential). So we would consider trading, probably, our best overall infielder, with quality offense and versatility, with so many sudden question marks? Somebody better knock our socks off!

Umm... because he is gonna be a free agent at the end of the year. If the Twins want to bring back Escobar for the future of this team they can still do that this winter even if they trade him, and even if they don't trade him it doesn't guarantee that he will sign with the Twins.

 

Who Escobar plays with in 2019 and beyond will most likely come down to which team gives him the best offer this winter, not which team he ends the 2018 season on.

    • Mike Sixel, Twins33, ThejacKmp and 7 others like this

Umm... because he is gonna be a free agent at the end of the year. If the Twins want to bring back Escobar for the future of this team they can still do that this winter even if they trade him, and even if they don't trade him it doesn't guarantee that he will sign with the Twins.
 
Who Escobar plays with in 2019 and beyond will most likely come down to which team gives him the best offer this winter, not which team he ends the 2018 season on.


I hear ya and won't disagree a bit! Maybe its just me but unless there is some sort of "agreement" that lets him know how much you want him back, but this is for talent, and a chance for him to experience the playoffs, etc, but I've always felt you had a better chance to keep someone rather than bring them back. I also should have re-stated my previous arguments that he should be extended.
    • ThejacKmp and CUtomorrownight like this
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ChrisKnutson
Jul 18 2018 09:34 PM
The Brew Crew could really use a veteran SP and an above average 2nd basemen right now after getting swept by Pittsburgh before the break.

Maybe a package of Lynn and Dozier could bring back Freddy Peralta.
    • Mike Sixel and d-mac like this

 

The Brew Crew could really use a veteran SP and an above average 2nd basemen right now after getting swept by Pittsburgh before the break.

Maybe a package of Lynn and Dozier could bring back Freddy Peralta.

really don't think the Brewers would trade Major league pitching when they are in the process of "buying".

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Andrew Thares
Jul 18 2018 10:26 PM

I hear ya and won't disagree a bit! Maybe its just me but unless there is some sort of "agreement" that lets him know how much you want him back, but this is for talent, and a chance for him to experience the playoffs, etc, but I've always felt you had a better chance to keep someone rather than bring them back. I also should have re-stated my previous arguments that he should be extended.


That’s fair, but players rarely are willing to sign an extension when they are 2 months away from being able to negotiate a contract on the open market with all 30 teams as opposed to just one team. I think if the Twins has a chance to extend Escobar it closed the second the season started.
    • nicksaviking and Jham like this
So, if you want the Twins to get rid of Escobar, who plays 3rd this year, and for that matter, next year?
3rd base is a black hole in the Twins organization, much like the catcher position. Why not see if you can extend him? Not the worse thing that can happen! Much better than having Adrianza or Motter there for 2 years?
    • rdehring likes this

 

So, if you want the Twins to get rid of Escobar, who plays 3rd this year, and for that matter, next year?
3rd base is a black hole in the Twins organization, much like the catcher position. Why not see if you can extend him? Not the worse thing that can happen! Much better than having Adrianza or Motter there for 2 years?

Escobar will be gone this winter unless we make him the best offer.If the FO thinks Sano will man third next year, second base will be our biggest issue as Gordon does not look ready at this time.  

We need to get what we can for the rentals and let the FO take care of the other issues in the offseason,if they do not do well then bring out the pitchforks. 

    • caninatl04 likes this

Great write up about why Escobar has value.Lots of reasons to keep him and extend him before the summer is over.

Extending Escobar now would be the definition of buying high.

He wont be any more expensive this winter, and probably less. Or you can QO him if you really feel he's necessary next year.

He's had a great first half, but he isnt this good.

    • Jerr, Mike Sixel, nicksaviking and 8 others like this
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Andrew Thares
Jul 19 2018 07:27 AM
I think everyone that wants to just extend Escobar instead of trading him is missing the point. Would the Twins be interested in extending Escobar? Sure. But you can’t just snap your fingers and make that happen. What possible reason would Escobar have for actually accepting an extension right now with free agency just 2 months away?

The only reason players ever take extensions in the first place is because they are a few years away from free agency so it takes away the risk if they get hurt or their game going to hell. However, when you’re just 2 months away from free agency that risk is very low. So how is Escobar better off by taking an extension now as opposed to waiting until November when all 30 teams could bid on him?
    • Oxtung, d-mac and jkcarew like this

You gotta love Esco on both sides of the ball, and yes, who would replace him at 3B if traded would be a major question. The thought of Motter coming back is downright scary and Sano has to prove he is the player from the first half of 2017 before he is welcomed back.

 

If some team offers a king's ransom for him we take it, and sign him in the offseason. Not try--just do it. Some have said "he is not this good" but his stats from last year were pretty darn good. With that logic, maybe Buxton and Sano, "are not this bad"? 

So, if you want the Twins to get rid of Escobar, who plays 3rd this year, and for that matter, next year?
3rd base is a black hole in the Twins organization, much like the catcher position. Why not see if you can extend him? Not the worse thing that can happen! Much better than having Adrianza or Motter there for 2 years?


As far as who plays 3B this year, does it really matter? They're not contending for the playoffs.

As far as who plays 3B next year, they have all winter to figure that out.

I'm in agreement with Chief. Signing Escobar this offseason is signing high. I think we're going to see him drop off in the 2nd half this season.
    • Mike Sixel, jokin, d-mac and 1 other like this

While I am sympathetic to those that don't want to watch a team with even more holes in the second half this year.....I would trade him (and try to sign him as a FA). I don't believe this team is a contender this year, and he's a FA to be. Add talent to the system while you can. Trying to win 80 instead of 78 games or whatever isn't going to help this team.

    • Twins33, jokin, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

 

Extending Escobar now would be the definition of buying high.

He wont be any more expensive this winter, and probably less. Or you can QO him if you really feel he's necessary next year.

He's had a great first half, but he isnt this good.

 

QO seems like the obvious route, here. (Boatloads of cash should be coming off of the payroll)

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Andrew Thares
Jul 19 2018 10:13 AM

 

QO seems like the obvious route, here. (Boatloads of cash should be coming off of the payroll)

Just because you have more money to spend than usual, it doesn't mean you should spend it frivolously. If the Twins were to offer Escobar a qualifying offer he would almost certainly take it. If that's the case, the Twins would be better off trying to work out a multi-year deal with Escobar at a better average annual value.

 

Plus if Escobar takes the qualifying offer, then the Twins are in the same boat next year, except they won't be able to just offer Escobar another qualifying offer.

    • Thrylos, Mike Sixel, Oldgoat_MN and 3 others like this
Sincerely, do correct me if I'm wrong on any of the below points:
1. One area in which the Twins' minor leagues is stocked is middle infielders.
2. It is easier to move a SS to 3B than vice-versa.
3. As many posters have suggested, selling EE now would be selling high.

Just my two cents, but if the Twins could get someone (anyone) who would rank around 20-25 on an updated prospect rating, I'd sell.
    • Mike Sixel likes this

In my mind, the only justification for NOT trading Escobar is if the Twins have already made the decision that they are willing to QO him.

 

I think it's arguable whether the team would/should feel that Escobar is worth a QO for 2019.Dozier, Sano, Gordon...even Polanco and Adrianza...a lot of decisions and moving pieces.It makes for great speculation.

My heart says don't trade him, but head says do it.

    • Thrylos, Mike Sixel, Twins33 and 3 others like this

 

My heart says don't trade him, but head says do it.

Christina Aguilera said it best in 1999:

 

My body's sayin' let's go

Ooh, but my heart is sayin' no

    • ThejacKmp likes this

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