Jump to content

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

The Forums

Game Thread: Twins vs. Detroit 8/17 @ 7:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:43 AM
ANNND Welcome! To Minnesota Twins Whine Line: Christmas in August Edition! I am your host and gracious elf, Vanimal. Along with my trusty...
Full topic ›

Article: Getting the Twins Bullpen Right for 2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:00 PM
It wasn't so long ago that the Twins were flush with quality righties out of the bullpen. Even though the rest of his team was lagging ar...
Full topic ›

Article: MIN 5, DET 4: Take a Bow, Joe

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:57 PM
If there’s one good reason to keep tuning into the Twins the rest of this season, it’s because we could very will be watching the end of...
Full topic ›

A way, way too early look at the 2019 rotation. And yet...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:57 PM
This is stupid! Its way, way too early! And we will have months ahead of us to discuss the 2019 season. And yet, between a disappointing...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/16): Every Affiliat...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 09:16 PM
Rochester and Chattanooga won laughers, Cedar Rapids split a double-header that included the suspended game from Wednesday night, Fort My...
Full topic ›

What If Miguel Is Really Kyle?

The date is November 2, 2016 and the Chicago Cubs have just won their first World Series since 1908. In an 8-7 victory over the AL Central Cleveland Indians, Joe Maddon's club broke the curse and did the unthinkable. Immediately following that game, I began to wonder if the Northsiders shouldn't explore trading one of their best hitters, Kyle Schwarber. Fast forward to January 4, 2018 and I'm having those same thoughts regarding the Twins' Miguel Sano.
Image courtesy of © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
In 2016, Schwarber played a whopping two games for the Cubbies. Coming back from injury, he was handed five plate appearances to round out the regular season. Turning in zero hits, he was put on the shelf as somewhat of a secret weapon. Despite not playing in any other rounds of the postseason, Joe Madden turned him loose in the World Series.

Across five games and 17 at-bats, Schwarber posted a .412/.500/.471 slash line in the Fall Classic. As the DH for over half the series (thanks to the American League hosting and having the sensible rule), Schwarber was able to make an impact on the series that was felt throughout the country. While at that moment, his value was at it's peak over his short time in the big leagues, it wasn't unsubstantiated either.
A year prior, in his rookie season, Schwarber posted an .842 OPS for the Cubs. While not hitting for a glowing average, he showed he could get on base, and the power would play through his bat. Sixteen homers in his first 69 big league games was something to write home about, and Chicago obviously had something, even if it wasn't a catcher.

Despite there being a hangover of excitement from the World Series, it immediately hit me that Schwarber wouldn't be best suited for any role he could play with the Cubs. Void of the designated hitter, Chicago would have to play him in the outfield, a position in which he posted a -9 DRS a season ago. Maximizing on his immediate success, and knowing Chicago was set to be needing pitching, it stood to reason that there was an opportunity.

Obviously we know how that story played out. Schwarber is still a Cub, and Chicago will need some big pitching performances to regain their elite status atop the National League in 2018. With a .782 OPS a year ago, Schwarber has been documented as being in "the best shape of his life" this offseason due to a strenuous workout regimen. Although he still looks every bit an American League DH to me, that ship has probably sailed for the time being.

Tying in Miguel Sano, it's been widely reported that his name has been floated in trade talks. There's no denying Sano is a game changing player for the Minnesota Twins. Coming off an All-Star appearance, and a trajectory that had him on pace for the team MVP through the better part of the year, Sano is one of the best young players in baseball. Despite having a rod inserted into his shin, I think the bigger question is what does he project as going forward?

Finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting following the 2015 season, Minnesota's slugging third basemen had a .916 OPS to hang his hat on. Through his first 310 big league games, he's already clubbed 71 homers, and his career .348 OBP is a clear message that you should stop worrying about his strikeouts. On paper, everything that Miguel Sano is lines up to a perennial all-star, and a game changing player for an organization (namely the Twins).

What isn't determined on paper however, is what the future holds. A year ago, Sano posted a -5 DRS in just shy of 700 innings at the hot corner. Among qualified third basemen, that would've been 16th, ahead of only Mike Moustakas (-8), Jake Lamb (-13) and Nick Castellanos (-14). The caveat to those numbers, is that each of them played at least 1,090 innings in the field.

Although Sano wasn't an abomination at third last year, the reality is that he's limited with his range, and his arm has to make up for a significant amount of what he lacks. Whether health or physical stature remains intact going forward, both the eye test and the analytics suggest that there's little room for error before a position change comes knocking. That ends up leading us to this point: Is a first base or designated hitting version of Sano worth moving away from in trade for an impact starter in an organization starving for them?

That question is the one that both Thad Levine and Derek Falvey will have to answer. I do believe that Miguel Sano has a significant impactful big league career ahead of him. He's just 24 years old, has elite hard-hit rates, and posted the fifth best HR/FB (27.5%) rate in baseball a year ago. He's the first player in a long time who appears to be able to threaten Harmon Killebrew's records with Minnesota, and that's something to salivate over.

In a vacuum, I'd argue that a power hitting corner infielder (or DH) is more replaceable than a front-line starter. By that measure, dealing Sano for something of fair market value is a proposition that's hard to ignore. My gut says that the Twins hold off making a move however, and the hope would be that years from now, we can look back and call it the right one. I'm not sure that there's any denying the Twins have a Kyle Schwarber opportunity on their hands however, and that the execution of a decision either way could be franchise altering.

  • Oldgoat_MN and h2oface like this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

82 Comments

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jan 04 2018 09:32 PM

I'm trying to figure out where the wide reporting of him being floated in trade talks came from. Not remembering this one. He was always untouchable.

    • Thrylos, peterb18, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this
Photo
Deduno Abides
Jan 04 2018 10:13 PM
Sano’s free agency is a long ways away, but it’s hard to see him staying with the Twins. He’s been criticized for his weight and work ethic, and now a lot of fans have turned on him personally. A lot can change before he’s a free agent, but right now he likely hopes to be somewhere else.

The problem with trading him is that his market is competitive. This year, there are some decent 3B free agents and next year a couple of potential Hall of Famers will be available. That said, teams looking for young, cost controlled talent, who have some good prospects, may be a good match. For example, San Diego has some good players and Atlanta could put together a good package of pitchers and Austin Riley. You could always ask for Acura, also.
    • peterb18 likes this
Sano only needs to play 3rd one more year. 1B will be all his in 2019 assuming he is healthy.
    • blindeke likes this

The Schwarber comp is a decent one. Kyle would benefit from being in the American League where he could serve as a DH.

 

The Cubs don't have that luxury but they do have a very creative manager who has the ability to adjust his lineup to fit the chips he has to work with. 

 

Fortunately for us and Sano... We have the DH to use. We also have Escobar and some depth. 

 

I'd move Sano around... 3B, 1B and DH and don't force it by saying he's a whatever exclusively. His play and how the others play will help Molitor decide where Sano spends the majority of his time and where he shouldn't play at all but... Paul has to let the players show him and not try to force some faulty plan. 

 

I didn't mind Sano being tried in RF... I fully supported the idea... What I minded was... Sano remaining in RF when he was clearly struggling. 

 

 

 

    • peterb18, DocBauer, Platoon and 3 others like this
Never say never.

I think he has no chance to re-sign here. He has weight/defensive issues. The allegations, which could grow.

If we can get 85-90 cents on the dollar I would consider it.
Photo
Winston Smith
Jan 04 2018 10:59 PM

Bet the Yankees would take him for 3B but probably wouldn't give up much. I'm sure his trade value is down a lot right now.

If he stays, which is likely, he has some serious image rehab to do this spring.

Photo
KirbyDome89
Jan 05 2018 12:05 AM

Maybe if you can find a front-line starter that shares the same same levels of youth, talent, and team control. I wouldn't try to move a player like Sano for a discount rate.

    • peterb18 likes this
This is the wrong time to even consider trading Sano. You'd be selling for pennies on the dollar.
    • peterb18, Riverbrian, Dantes929 and 13 others like this

I'm trying to figure out where the wide reporting of him being floated in trade talks came from. Not remembering this one. He was always untouchable.


I wouldn’t call it “wide” but Doogie has reported it.

https://mobile.twitt...711474260967426
    • diehardtwinsfan likes this

Never say never.
I think he has no chance to re-sign here. He has weight/defensive issues. The allegations, which could grow.
If we can get 85-90 cents on the dollar I would consider it.


It’s like a stock market situation......try not to sell when the market is bottoming. I would let the allegations play out. Maybe this will be a wakeup call and he’ll start making the necessary improvements both on the field and off the field.
    • Jerr and milldam like this
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 05 2018 09:03 AM

For the sake of full disclosure, I had this written last week prior to Sano's news. That being said, this should be viewed through a lens completely aside from that scenario.

 

Essentially the crux is this: I'd argue the Cubs should've dealt Schwarber for the best pitcher they could immediately after the WS and believe they would've gotten a decent haul. Sano is more proven than Schwarber was, and think his value is at a similar peak position. If you can get an top tier starter for him (and replace your potential DH), do you do it?

    • markos, WLFINN, caninatl04 and 1 other like this
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 05 2018 09:04 AM

 

This is the wrong time to even consider trading Sano. You'd be selling for pennies on the dollar.

I have wrestled with this back and forth a few times. On the field, he's still an incredible asset any team would have. There'd be PR hurdles to clear, and a potential suspension, but for the sake of an organization, I'd imagine his talent is still more than coveted.

    • Deduno Abides, sploorp, caninatl04 and 1 other like this
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 05 2018 09:05 AM

 

The Schwarber comp is a decent one. Kyle would benefit from being in the American League where he could serve as a DH.

 

The Cubs don't have that luxury but they do have a very creative manager who has the ability to adjust his lineup to fit the chips he has to work with. 

Someone brought this up to me on Twitter as well, and the Cubs not having a DH definitely took the idea to a new level for me. With Sano, he can slide to the DH spot, even if that's not ideal.

    • Riverbrian likes this

I think this avenue should be explored. Don't sell for Sano for peanuts, but if a team is willing to trade a legitimate top-of-the-rotation arm, then they should consider pulling the trigger. Unfortunately, I just don't see a lot of obvious options. Most of the top pitchers are already on contending teams. I can see arguments for the Rays to move Chris Archer or the Mets to move Jacob deGrom in exchange for Sano.

    • Ted Schwerzler, caninatl04 and BJames like this
Photo
Matthew Lenz
Jan 05 2018 10:19 AM

I know the David Ortiz comp gets tired, but what's wrong with Sano being a full-time DH?  

 

I may have been too young when Ortiz was here, but was weight a major concern for him?According to fan graphs they are both 6' 4", but Sano is 260 v. Ortiz 250.

 

Whether he has been involved in trade talks or not, we will never be able to trade him until there is some sort of resolution to this sexual assault allegation.

    • caninatl04 likes this
Their is a downside to the wait until the allegations pass and "don't sell low".

Doesn't that assume it doesn't get worse?

If more women or chatter comes forward, or if the MLB tries to get in front of their #metoo movement and make an example out of Sano then his value would fall quite a bit more.

I am not saying these things will happen, but they could.

No one should be exempt from trades, but there needs to be some really strong due diligence when the trade is made.I remember the Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuehn trade back in my ancient history.The HR champ for the batting champ.Talk about news!  http://articles.lati...rocky-colavito The baseball world was in shock."Colavito was 26. He had hit 41 and 42 homers the previous two seasons, more than anyone else in the American League. General Manager Frank Lane complained about Colavito's strikeouts -- he had 89 and 86 in those two seasons."Doesn't that sound familiar -http://www.cleveland...vito_trade.html

 

In the next game between the two teams - "Kuenn had two hits in that game, but severely pulled a hamstring. He played but limped through the next few months of the season. Colavito had a three-run homer in the second game of that series, and the Tigers won it on a homer by Norm Cash (another player Lane traded).
This was the start of dark decades of Cleveland baseball."

 

I mention this because we still live with the memory of letting Ortiz go to the Red Sox.I would hate to see Sano go on to find his potential with another team.It is possible that it is a good trade, but BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With regards to what is wrong with Sano as a DH type, the issue is his value as a DH.

Ortiz has a career WAR of 55 and he played 19 seasons. It looks like his peak is a 3-4 year stretch where he was accumulated about 18-20 WAR. Then he bounced around between 2-3 WAR per season.

So if you take that into account with what it will likely take to re-sign him I think it should be explored.

 

Sano only needs to play 3rd one more year. 1B will be all his in 2019 assuming he is healthy.

Some 1st base stats.In 118 games Mauer had 2 errors. In 30 games Vargas had 2 errors and in 8 games Sano had 2 errors. Just my eyeball talking but aside from errors committed Mauer saved his fellow fielders from many errors and Vargas and Sano saved none. If Mauer's fielding Wins Above Replacement were based on those two replacing him his WAR would have been far beyond Buxtons and quite possibly beyond anyone in the history of WAR. That's not so say Sano cannot improve but his starting point is pretty low.

 

As far as Sano goes, when he was the #2 prospect in baseball I suggested trading him for one of the shortstops that were ranked behind him. I guess I always thought his future would be DH and still think that and am ok with it.Hitting is what he does best. I am ok with trading him but trading him now would be the definition of trading low.If, as Tobio says, we can get 90 cents on the dollar for him that would be ok but to go lower than that I would definitely accept the risk of more accusations causing his value to plummet and just keep him. Of course if nothing more surfaces and he has a monster 1st half that would be the time to trade him but the Catch 22 of trading its that if he has a monster 1st half the Twins will want to keep him.

    • gagu and Lee-The-Twins-Fan like this

Thanks for expressing my thoughts, Ted.  I also wondered about this, prior to the allegations.  I can't help but think about the Twins' somewhat improbable August run, with Sano mostly (or all?) on the shelf.  Not that correlation equals causation, but maybe Escobar playing every day is a chemistry enhancer.

 

The question, as many have stated, is what value can you get for him right now.  Still, of all the assets the Twins have, allegations or not, I'd be the most okay with giving Sano up.  Lots of athletic infielders moving up the system...something I remember hoping Sano would be when he was 18.  I had no idea he'd turn into a giant.  Makes you wonder what he's been eating.

    • Ted Schwerzler likes this

Unless some is talking about a front line starter, its a non issue.As far as Sano goes, I suggested trading too when he first came up and looked like a star for years to come. Now i say give him another year.See if he can recoup some value and look at our needs for 2019. I will say I've never liked power hitting, no defense players, unless your talking about a complete hitter, with power. 

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 05 2018 11:50 AM

I think there's a relative danger to assuming Sano can handle first base as well. As much as he may not be able to handle third, I'm not sure he's better suited than say Vargas at first (which is not good). Errors aren't much of an indicator as to how someone plays the field. Right now, Mauer is a Gold Glove caliber 1B and among the best defensively in baseball. Asking Sano to step into that role would be quite a slide back.

 

Without being too much of a detriment, Sano's best position is probably DH. That really hamstrings you though with how to rotate other guys through. He's also just in his mid-20's and relating him to that role so early is rather unfortunate.

 

Somewhat unrelated, but a part of me hopes that Brent Rooker continues on a tear in 2018 and helps to solve the first base issues going forward.

 

For the sake of full disclosure, I had this written last week prior to Sano's news. That being said, this should be viewed through a lens completely aside from that scenario.

 

 

 

Last week, prior to "Sano's news", this was a fine article. Published yesterday, it strikes me as tone deaf and smacks of indifference. 

 

I trust this wasn't the author's intent; nevertheless, it is the case.

 

I don't know whose decision it was to publish this article in the wake of the reports against Sano, but it is an embarrassing one for Twins Daily.

 

Last week, prior to "Sano's news", this was a fine article. Published yesterday, it strikes me as tone deaf and smacks of indifference. 

 

I trust this wasn't the author's intent; nevertheless, it is the case.

 

I don't know whose decision it was to publish this article in the wake of the reports against Sano, but it is an embarrassing one for Twins Daily.

Embrassing is a bit harsh. The author made an 'editor's note' for all of us to understand where he was coming from. The point of the article remains valid comparing Schwarber to Sano.

    • Dantes929, TheLeviathan, Danchat and 3 others like this

I wouldn’t call it “wide” but Doogie has reported it.

https://mobile.twitt...711474260967426


I don't know if you call what Doogie does "reporting." Guy throws crap against the wall on Twitter constantly to see what sticks. He spends 8 hours per day going off on people trolling him on Twitter.

Funny, he claims to have all these sources but never breaks a damn story. I can recall more stories broken by Meatsauce from KFAN.
    • Mr. Brooks, Sconnie and Matt Johnson like this

Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , 15 Aug 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 14 Aug 2018
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 12 Aug 2018
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 09 Aug 2018
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 08 Aug 2018
Photo