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Article: Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Sam Dyson, RHP,...

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It's no secret, the Twins will be seeking bullpen help as the trade deadline approaches. The current group of relievers has helped get th...
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Article: 2019 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 36-40

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:08 PM
Yes, it is that time again!! It’s time to revisit our top Minnesota Twins prospect rankings. (Be sure to look back at the preseason 2019...
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Game Thread: Twins @ KC 5:15 PM PST (7:15 PM CDT) 06/20/2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:08 PM
Last night, the Twins...never mind, that's all in the past, let's look to the future, the Twins playing KC at Kauffman Stadium.   Wh...
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Article: Taking a Deeper Dive into Miguel Sano's Plat...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:50 PM
Roughly a week ago the discussion surrounding Miguel Sano was in relation to his strikeouts. Now operating at a 39.2% strikeout rate, the...
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Non-Twins 2019 season news

Other Baseball Today, 01:27 PM
As the off-season is over, thought we might have this thread back for non-Twins, non-thread worthy news and tidbits.     Watchi...
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Tracking Reinforcements for the Twins

It’s early May but we’re well beyond the point of still categorizing the results as being reflective of a small sample size. Right now, the Twins own the best record in baseball, the lineup has thump throughout, and the pitching staff is performing at a clip few could’ve seen coming. As good teams do, and Minnesota has not recently been in position to experience, adding big league talent for the stretch run is a must. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will have options, but where do they turn?
Image courtesy of © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Looking at how well the lineup has performed, and the depth that should be available to keep a long and dismal slump at bay, pitching is where Minnesota can look to improve. The starting rotation went into the year with a clear ace, but the performances from Martin Perez and Jake Odorizzi have been a welcomed addition. Michael Pineda doesn’t look like a great bet at this point however, and the 5th turn in the rotation could be expanded upon.

In the bullpen Minnesota left themselves open to plenty of criticism. Banking on unknown commodities such as Matt Magill and Ryne Harper, while hanging onto a miscast starter in Adalberto Mejia, there was plenty to worry about. The back end of the pen has been solid, and really the group has stayed afloat. Bringing in a high-level arm that can push everyone down a notch would only strengthen the unit.

On the starting front, here’s who some of those names may be:

Marcus Stroman- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021

I’ve been crushing on Stroman’s numbers for years now. He’s routinely put up better peripherals than the ERA suggests, and he’s a guy that’s previously performed at a very high level. Under team control for another season he won’t come cheap, but it’d be in the Blue Jays best interests to move him sooner rather than later. On the season he owns a 2.96 ERA with a 3.09 FIP. His ERA+ sits at 145, or exactly where it was when he finished 8th in Cy Young voting during 2017.

Madison Bumgarner- Giants 29 years old FA 2020

It’s crazy to think Bumgarner is just 29 (almost 30) given how long he’s been around. He’s approaching 2,000 big league innings but pitched at least 200 innings every year from 2011-2016. The velocity has remained consistent over the past four seasons, and his track record speaks for itself. The Giants ace is amid his best season since 2016 and would slot in nicely behind Jose Berrios. Given his impending free agency, this could be a situation in which the Twins operate on a try before you buy model. Miguel Sano to the National League is questionable, but a straight up swap may be enticing for Minnesota.

Mike Minor- Rangers 31 years old FA 2021

The least of the options on this list, Minor has plenty of intrigue in his own right. He’s coming off a mediocre 2018, but his 2019 has seen a nice resurgence. Minor has jumped his whiff rate roughly 2% from 2018, and it’s come on the heels of a career high in changeup usage. Being under team control for another year, he’ll cost a bit more than his numbers may warrant, but as a stabilizing force to round out the rotation he has some appeal.

Relief help has some interesting names as well:

Craig Kimbrel- 31 years old Unsigned

At this point Kimbrel won’t be signed until after the June amateur draft. Without being tied to pick compensation, he may find suitors offering both long-term and one-year pacts. Kimbrel is arguably the best closer in the game, and while he’ll need some ramp up time, he’s coming off a 2.74 ERA and 13.9 K/9 season. Sure, he had some blowups in the postseason, and if you’d like to nitpick, there’re warts here. At the end of the day though, this is an elite talent that costs a team nothing but cash to acquire.

Ken Giles- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021

Here’s another guy from Toronto and still under team control for another season. Giles comes with personality questions, as the Houston Astros shipped him out growing tired of his inconsistencies on and off the mound. He’s already on his third big league team, and despite being ultra-talented, he’s proven to be expandable. If that can be vetted out, the Blue Jays are offering a reliever with a 1.65 ERA 1.79 FIP, and 13.8 K/9. Walks have never been much of a problem, strikeouts are aplenty, and velocity is through the roof. He can operate as a closer or setup man, and that would give the Twins some flexibility.

Sean Doolittle- Nationals 32 years old FA 2020 ($6.5MM team option)

An unexpected name on this list given where the Nationals assumed they’d be this season. The reality is that Davey Martinez hasn’t done well taking over for Dusty Baker, and the team is a mess. For the opposition, a guy like Doolittle becoming available would be a massive boost. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for nearly a decade, and his numbers in 2019 are equally eye-popping. A lefty with strong strikeout stuff, he’s not a platoon pitcher, and Baldelli could use another Taylor Rogers type in relief.

When it comes to execution on any deals they’ll do, the Twins have some very different options to consider. Miguel Sano could establish himself as an expandable, and valuable piece. They have prospect capital behind the untouchables of Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Brusdar Graterol. There’s also no reason to believe this club is cash poor, and simply doling out money is a possibility as well.

If it’s up to me, I’d prefer to see Minnesota land a starter they believe can help them in 2019 and beyond. Someone that slides in at the middle of the rotation or higher, and will be around for another run, is a guy I’d give up some pieces for. In relief, choosing the cash route on Kimbrel makes the most sense. I’m not sure you want to part with assets in both areas, but it depends on the names you’d have to give up.

We’re at least a month out from some of these deals potentially coming to fruition, but you can bet plans are in place to make sure the decision is a clear one when the time comes.

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71 Comments

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brockbesler
May 09 2019 05:19 PM
Ted, what do you think it would take to land some of theses pitchers?
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LA VIkes Fan
May 09 2019 05:21 PM

How about one of the SF relievers? Smith, Dyson, Vincent and even Melancon may make some sense. The price would be prospects and they need OFs so maybe a Jake Cave plus a prospect deal would do the trick. Cave would immediately start there and upgrade the OF assuming he hits like last year (I'd ignore this year's stats given his very limited and sporadic playing time). Might work for both teams if it was a Cave plus Littel, Mejia or Gonsalves, or maybe Cave plus a lower level prospect with a higher upside than those three guys. I say anyone is fair game except, Lewis, Kirilofff, Graterol, Thorpe, Alcala and maybe Smeltzer. Same with Arizona who also needs OFs. A guy like Andrew Chafin or even Robbie Ray might be available although their "good" relievers by stats are young and probably off limits except for Greg Holland who is definitely off limits. 

    • jokin, Major League Ready, DocBauer and 1 other like this
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DutchFarmer
May 09 2019 05:52 PM
There is another Nationals pitcher they could target should Washington continue to struggle: Strasburg.

He has an opt out.
    • Thrylos and lukeduke1980 like this

 

How about one of the SF relievers? Smith, Dyson, Vincent and even Melancon may make some sense. The price would be prospects and they need OFs so maybe a Jake Cave plus a prospect deal would do the trick. Cave would immediately start there and upgrade the OF assuming he hits like last year

 

Yes, yes, yes.

 

(Or even part of a blockbuster deal w/ Bumgarner).

An interesting in house solution could be flipping Mejia and pinedas roles. I think Mejia was onto something last year before the injury. Thorpe another possibility for the fifth spot. But I took would like to see an impact arm added but with this front offices m.o. i expect a creative "conservative"approach
    • Major League Ready, DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this
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Old Twins Cap
May 09 2019 06:38 PM

Once you have the Best Record in Baseball, clubs come at you, hard.

 

Twins' weaknesses will be exposed.Plus, there's injuries, which to this point, 'cept Sano's party in Dominica, have been Astudillo, plus spare parts.

 

There isn't a clear way to improve.

 

Let them play. Then respond to gaps. And bigly.

    • Dman and DocBauer like this
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MMMordabito
May 09 2019 06:50 PM
Yes to Bumgarner, Giles or Smith. I'd thrown in Diekman and Greene as well.

No to Stroman and Minor.

No to Kimbrel, unless he allows the team to use him however they see fit.

I'd trade Kirk Cousins for Stromen, straight up. Do it quick, before anybody notices.

    • Brock Beauchamp, ashbury, USAFChief and 9 others like this

An interesting in house solution could be flipping Mejia and pinedas roles. I think Mejia was onto something last year before the injury. Thorpe another possibility for the fifth spot. But I took would like to see an impact arm added but with this front offices m.o. i expect a creative "conservative"approach


Dont disagree with you. But I feel Pineda has flashed and just needs some time to settle in.

I haven't given up on Mejia as a SP. But I wonder if his troubles so far have been mental. Instead of worrying about starting vs relieving, maybe he can take his rehab time to realize he just needs to throw and trust his stuff.

If he could do that, and Romero could harness his electric stuff over the next few weeks, the entire bullpen situation could look very different come July.
    • jimbo92107, Dman, CUtomorrownight and 3 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
May 09 2019 08:38 PM

Is anyone else worried that the addition of Sano to the lineup may upset the existing, major league leading chemistry? I am. I really like Gonzales at 3B, even though he is hitting a buck eighty. I'm not privy to what goes on in the clubhouse, but my guess is that Sano can possibly be a distraction.

    • laloesch and Aichiman like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
May 09 2019 08:40 PM

Just saying.

I was going to make a post almost exactly lime this a couple nights ago, but didn't have time. Therefore, you just KNOW I have things to say! And for those who know me, I also have a hard time being brief in any way! LOL! But I'm going to do my best!

As I stated in a blog here on TD earlier this evening, speculating on trades/acquisitions of any sort on May 9th are made in a speculative vacuum at this point. There is so much season to be played out, much less the remainder of a half season remaining until July. But here we are.

If you were to write a horror story of anything and everything that could go wrong in 2018 for the Twins, unless you were of amazing imagination, I'm not sure you could have come up with details that were true last season. 2019 is still very early, but even with the horror/disappointment of 2018 behind us, it does not take a work of fantasy to see where this team is right now with returning young talent, some very smart additions, and a new and fresh approach with the new staff in place. Though I NEVER saw the re-invention of Perez coming to be sure)!

I am all in favor of adding a quality rotation arm if said arm has control beyond this season. But, unpopular though it may be, I don't feel it's necessary/warranted at this time. Depth is scary right now. But Littell has been finding a groove. After a rough start, Thorpe has looked like we hoped and expected until his last start. Hopefully it was just a blip and he will be on track again next time out. Early to say, but Smeltzer looks like a guy who is suddenly growing and figuring things out. Gonsalves, who I still believe in, hasn't pitched yet and that stinks. But barring an injury curse, how much better does the depth look a month from now?

If our biggest rotation issue is allowing a solid, quality veteran SP like Pineda a little more time to settle in and build himself back up and regain his "feel" for things as our #5 starter, life is pretty good.

The issue is, clearly, the bullpen. And ,e.g. us be honest and clear, thus far, it has been solid. Toss produce my way all you want, it's true. But it's not great. There remains real opportunity to improve, and thus improve the entire team. Not pick all you want, but the core four is solid: Parker, May, Hildenberger and Rogers. I fully expect these four to continue to perform well based on talent and past history, even if that history has blips. (Such is the volatility of RP in general). But we need more than those four! And that is where opportunity awaits and must be addressed!

This team needs TWO arms to be added to maintain a winning nature and be a contender. Regardless of how Rocco utilizes them, two arms are needed. The first is another power RH arm for late innings or high leverage situations to work with Parker and May, Hildenberger to a lesser degree. The second is a viable LH arm who can be counted on for at least a single IP.

I am NOT saying don't go out and get someone! I hope we do! But if Johnson and Hefner can harness Romero's electric stuff over the next month or so, how much better does the pen look? Romero's stuff is so good that sometimes I wonder if he's young, inexperienced, and trying too damn hard. Maybe if he just trusted it more and threw right in the zone and let his stuff work he wouldn't find better results. The same might be true for Mejia. He has the pitches. Has he just had a tough "mental" transition to being a RP vs just throwing?

Personally, I buy more in to Mejia than Moya or Vassquez. But again, if one of them can step forward in the next month, how much better does the pen look?

I am more than OK with Harper and/or Magill as 7th and 8th options. Inherited runners scoring is something to be looked at closely. But even the best RP will allow some. Harper absolutely allowed some early. But he's pitched well lately and offers a completely different look/change of pace. A healthy Magill is someone I am very interested in if Johnson can help him find greater consistency. He walked too many guys last season and allowed way too many HR. But he also averaged a K per IP last season and throws in the mid 90's with a nasty slurve. Again, what can Johnson and Hefner do with these guys as the 7th and 8th BP arms?

Really, the core of this team is still young, and finally coming together the way we have been hoping for. And Sano may be on his way soon to provide even more oomf and optimism. I think the next 30 days is going to dictate a lot of the rest of the season and any moves made. Romero finding himself, and hopefully Mejia or another LH arm in that time will emerge. If either, or both, happen, it will make a trade deadline move all that more interesting.

Trade anyone and everyone...no matter their potential or how much we like them...except for Kiriloff, Lewis and Graterol. to bring in a power arm, similar to the Pressly trade to Houston last season, unless everything breaks right. You just don't trade any of those three unless there is a Verlander out there.
    • gagu, MN_ExPat and rdehring like this

Looks to me like Pineda is not in shape. Pretty disappointing since we paid him for last year to recover. Need one starter and two relievers but it is only May. Probably won't see many deals for at least a month or two. Twins will look internally until the trade deadline market takes shape IMHO

    • birdwatcher, Dman, Major League Ready and 2 others like this

Is anyone else worried that the addition of Sano to the lineup may upset the existing, major league leading chemistry? I am. I really like Gonzales at 3B, even though he is hitting a buck eighty. I'm not privy to what goes on in the clubhouse, but my guess is that Sano can possibly be a distraction.


Nope.

I like Marwin a lot! Loved his signing. He has contributed despite his slow start, which he is known for. In fact, he may relax and be more productive in his customary role.

Sano carries some past baggage that we don't have to re-hash. He is an elite talent. Despite his latest setback, I have never heard a thing about him being a bad teammate. His off season work has been well documented. And despite it being milb rehab, we have seen nothing so far but production from a guy who seems intent to get back.

I appreciate your concern, but I think it's unwarranted.
    • Steve Lein, SwainZag, woolywoolhouse and 11 others like this
Stroman and Smith would be my favorites to target. It’s always difficult the 1st year back from TJ as you can see with Pineda. Smith slots in nicely for Mejia
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ScrapTheNickname
May 09 2019 10:20 PM

Is anyone else worried that the addition of Sano to the lineup may upset the existing, major league leading chemistry? I am. I really like Gonzales at 3B, even though he is hitting a buck eighty. I'm not privy to what goes on in the clubhouse, but my guess is that Sano can possibly be a distraction.


Let's hope not.
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Brock Beauchamp
May 09 2019 10:35 PM

 

Is anyone else worried that the addition of Sano to the lineup may upset the existing, major league leading chemistry? I am. I really like Gonzales at 3B, even though he is hitting a buck eighty. I'm not privy to what goes on in the clubhouse, but my guess is that Sano can possibly be a distraction.

Guys who rehab quietly and then enter the club with the idea they're going to knock 30 bombs a year don't exactly break up a "good" clubhouse chemistry.

We need to kill the idea that Sano is a bad clubhouse presence.

    • Steve Lein, PseudoSABR, blindeke and 11 others like this

I think the bullpen needs an arm to push everyone down a level.I also don't think they need to get Kimbrel, he worries me not having pitched in a live game in 7 months.

 

Nick Nelson has mentioned this before, and I agree, I think they should do what Houston did last year and find a guy like Ryan Pressly.Great stuff that can lead a bullpen but maybe hasn't found the right situation to harness it all.That type of guy wouldn't be a massive prospect haul, and wouldn't be $15M a year.  

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diehardtwinsfan
May 10 2019 04:26 AM

well, if they go all in, I'd say 2 arms in the pen... perhaps a starter if Pineada doesn't turn it around or someone else gets hurt. 

 

Kimbrel headed here should make some sense (though I've been beating that drum for a while, and I'm hardly the only one). I don't think it would be a bad idea to surrender the 3rd round pick to make it happen... if he's signed after June it won't be until July that he's ready. That's a lot of potential games where he could be used.

 

Hope they do more than a 1 year deal for him as well. 

 

Is anyone else worried that the addition of Sano to the lineup may upset the existing, major league leading chemistry? I am. I really like Gonzales at 3B, even though he is hitting a buck eighty. I'm not privy to what goes on in the clubhouse, but my guess is that Sano can possibly be a distraction.

 

No.

    • dbminn likes this

 

Is anyone else worried that the addition of Sano to the lineup may upset the existing, major league leading chemistry? I am. I really like Gonzales at 3B, even though he is hitting a buck eighty. I'm not privy to what goes on in the clubhouse, but my guess is that Sano can possibly be a distraction.

 

Based on what evidence, other than a "feeling", do you base this conjecture on?

    • Steve Lein and FlauerPauer like this
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Ebby Calvin Laloosh
May 10 2019 07:58 AM

Sorry to pile on about the Sano chemistry question, but how is it we're asking about Sano fouling up the chemistry in a lineup that's crushing it and at the same time clamoring for Kimbrel to join the BP. If any personality is gonna blow up team chemistry, my money would be on Kimbrel, not Sano.

    • TNTwinsFan, woolywoolhouse, KidBro and 6 others like this
Does anyone think it’s possible that we bring Gratoral up around mid/late season and put him in the bullpen? I feel like that would be a good way to get him acclimated to the big leagues and help strengthen the bullpen at the same time. Then you can move him back to starting next year and let him compete for a spot in the rotation.
    • segagenesisgenius likes this
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tarheeltwinsfan
May 10 2019 08:21 AM

 

Based on what evidence, other than a "feeling", do you base this conjecture on?

I am a natural worrier. Maybe I'm bothered by the old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I guess based on the 5 adamant comments implying I should not be worried about this issue, and based on thelack of any comments agreeing that TD readers should be worried about this issue, then we can infer that no one else is worried about the possibility of Sano's insertion into the league leading Twins' lineup having a negative effect. Looks like the vote is 5 to 1 that there is nothing to be concerned about. So I guess that decides this issue. Onward and upward.

    • FlauerPauer and segagenesisgenius like this
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Major League Ready
May 10 2019 08:23 AM

 

I don't see them rushing to make changes. Cleveland's loss of Kluber and their lack of depth offensively positions the Twins to take a little time to determine exactly what they need to enhance the team's ability to win playoff series. That's most likely a late inning reliever and the supply will grow as the deadline nears. 

 

It also makes sense to look at assess Perez over another 8-10 starts. Has he really become a dominant starting SP or does he have weaknesses the rest of the league will exploit. Has Gibson become or is he becoming the guy you want on the mound in the playoff's.

 

The required additions to aid a playoff run will be more evident in 10 weeks regardless of the answer to these questions. There will also be greater supply of available talent in 8-10 weeks. Therefore, they are not going to make decisions now unless they somehow find a great value.For example, a deal with Kimbrel they like would/could trigger a move now..

    • birdwatcher and Original Whizzinator like this

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