Potential Prospect Cost in Twins Trades
Image courtesy of © Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY SportsFrom the outset I think we can safely assume that neither Royce Lewis nor Alex Kirilloff are going anywhere for the Twins. Moving either of the two top prospects, both among the top 10 across baseball, would be monumental. Barring a blockbuster deal including a high caliber player with multiple years of team control it just doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.
We can attempt to glean an idea of what packages may look like by viewing things through the lens of recently made deals. From a top tier starting pitcher standpoint, the Chris Archer deal is a good place to turn:
Pirates get Chris Archer in exchange for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Baz
Viewing this deal through the lens of Minnesota’s organization, you’re looking at something like Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach, and Jordan Balazovic all being sent out. There’s a possibility that Graterol ends up as a reliever, and that’s the biggest evaluation Minnesota needs to make. Larnach looks the part of a legit corner outfield bat, and Balazovic has emerged as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. A return like this would by more focused on nabbing a player like Marcus Stroman or Matt Boyd than it would a rental option. No doubt losing the prospect capital would sting for the Twins, but they’d be targeting a pitcher that can improve the rotation both immediately and in the future.
There isn’t a great blueprint for a top-tier rental pitcher being moved in 2018, but one happened a year earlier:
Dodgers get Yu Darvish in exchange for Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy, and Brendon Davis
The further back we go the more complicated it gets to evaluate prospects and returns on an equal playing field. Even in a rental situation, there needs to be at least one top 100 inclusion if the expectation is a number two starter. It’s Graterol that’s likely the coveted get, although there’s an outside chance he could be changed out for Larnach. Wander Javier may be enough of an add in on his own to get the job done, or a pair of Jhoan Duran and Nick Gordon could make sense. This is the grouping that will need to be explored most if Minnesota is going to make a push for San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner. There are no guarantees he’s in a Twins uniform past 2019, and losing some serious future depth will hurt, but if it pushes the postseason performance to the next level it could be worth it.
Relievers are a fickle bunch and looking at the 2019 free agent crop is an absolute minefield. Getting the right guy will come down to scouting, but needing a high-leverage arm may not be cheap either:
Indians get Brad Hand and Adam Cimber in exchange for Francisco Mejia
Although Cimber posted great numbers with the Padres in 2018 this move was about Hand, his elite ability as a closer, and being under team control for up to the next three seasons. Cleveland had to part with their top prospect and a consensus top 30 player across baseball. Short of netting Felipe Vasquez from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota should be able to improve without going down this path. Both Jeurys Familia and Zack Britton were had for lesser returns and that’s the pool the Twins likely want to wade in. Some combination of Brent Rooker, Nick Gordon, Blayne Enlow, and Akil Baddoo should be an enticing group to an opposing team.
There’re a couple of takeaways for potential moves the Twins could make, and they’ll need to thin out a group that has more 40-man options than the team can accommodate. As the big-league club moves into a winning window, turning some of the depth into usable major league pieces is a logical decision.
If I had to make a couple of assumptions regarding pieces that will be moved here’s what I’m going with:
The Twins will make three trades, or acquire a total of three players, in the form of a starter and two relievers. The starter will be good enough to act as the third best option, with both relievers intended to operate in high leverage.
Across the trades that Minnesota makes, no fewer than five prospects will be dealt. The starter is probably going to cost at least two players with the potential for a third, and that could leave the relievers eating up another two or three bodies.
Trevor Larnach would seem the most likely bat to be moved. He’s got a safer floor than Brent Rooker, and he looks the part of a guy who should be no worse than an every day big leaguer. I’d guess Derek Falvey wants to hang onto Graterol if possible, making the Oregon State product the next most valuable asset. If there’s a pitcher dealt outside of Graterol, one of the duo acquired last season (Jhoan Duran/Jorge Alcala) is a good bet.
- caninatl04 likes this