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Selling at the Deadline

Posted by Matthew Lenz , 05 July 2018 · 1,519 views

trade deadine sellers brian dozier joe mauer kyle gibson
Selling at the Deadline Just a couple days ago LaVelle Neal III reported that the Twins are going to be sellers at this years trade deadlines. This isn’t surprising news as the Twins are currently 12 games back of Cleveland in the division and realistically have no shot at a wild card when the AL has four teams in two divisions on pace for 100+ wins. Moreover they are on a 6-game losing streak and are sporting a 2-8 record in their last 10 after and FanGraphs has there playoff odds sitting at 0.4%.

As sellers, you have two questions you need to know the answer to:
  • Who on your roster is available?
  • What are your needs?
In this write up I intend to share my opinions on those two questions.

1. Who is available?
When looking at players who are available common practice is to start by looking at players on expiring contracts. That list includes the following players: Ervin Santana, Fernando Rodney, Bobby Wilson, Willians "Tortuga" Astudillo, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Jake Cave, Lance Lynn, Zach Duke, Matt Belisle, and Logan Morrison.

Next lets look at who would have value on the market (Note: it was very tempting to include "Tortuga" on this last but alas he just fell short). Ervin Santana, Fernando Rodney, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Lance Lynn, Zach Duke, and Logan Morrison are the players that I think hold some trade value. Of that list, the only player I would really like the Twins to hold onto is Escobar as his offense and versatility can help the team for years to come.

The only player I would consider who isn't on an expiring contract is Kyle Gibson. Addison Reed might be another name to float out there, but at 29 years old I think he can be a staple in our bullpen for years to come.

Starting Pitchers
  • Ervin Santana - about a month ago I wrote about how to make room for him and now I'm writing about moving him. Man baseball is fun. Anyway, despite not pitching yet this year I can see a potential playoff team taking a flier on him, especially if an injury arises. Maybe not by the non-waiver July 31st deadline but more likely by the waiver deadline of August 31st.
  • Lance Lynn - Sans his last start he has looked real good since April.
  • Kyle Gibson - he has continued his strong second half from 2017 and has overachieved from what I thought back on March. As Andrew Thares wrote about just a couple days ago "the time to trade Kyle Gibson is now".
Relief Pitchers
  • Fernando Rodney - he has been better than expected this year. Probably won't be a closer anymore if he gets moved, but he will be sought after.
  • Zach Duke - same story as Lynn...tough March/April but has been one of our best relievers since. I wouldn't mind to see him in a Twins uni for another couple years, but I think he'll hold good value at the deadline.
Hitters
  • Joe Mauer - of course he needs to waive his no trade clause, and maybe he would do that for a shot at a world series ring. It would be weird to see him in a different uniform, but he deserves a shot at a title. Remember, this is just a rental so he could still re-sign next year.
  • Brian Dozier - it's been fun to watch Dozier grow into the player he is, but he's already said he doesn't intend to re-sign with the Twins. Hopefully he can figure things out like he has the past two years to increase his value.
  • Logan Morrison - he does have an option for next year and it's not a bad amount at $8 million, but according to FanGraphs WAR he is having the worst year of his career. He doesn't have a ton of value with those numbers, but there is something there as a power bat versus righties off the bench.
Honestly, Escobar probably holds the most value here (yes, ahead of Mauer) but I think he can be a contributing piece for us over the next few years.

2. What are your needs?
Pitching. There's an old saying..."you can never have enough pitching" and it is oh so true. I actually like what the Twins have waiting in the wings with the likes of Trevor May, Aaron Slegers, Fernando Romero, Adalberto Mejia, and/or Stephen Gonsalves so I wouldn't say it's an immediate need. BUT..."you can never have enough pitching". From a positional perspective, I think Nick Gordon has the best bet to successfully fill shoes in 2019 at second for Dozier and is a good bet to see sometime in the Majors yet this season. Other than that, we possibly will need someone to bridge the gap between Mauer and Rooker and this player could either stay at 1B or move to DH if we are thinking long term. Also I think we need find a back up plan for Miguel Sano and this player could be another potential 3B or DH thinking long term. In short, I think a corner infielder and a pitcher should be on our radar. Our current starting outfield is under team control for many years to come and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Even with Buxton's offensive struggles there is plenty of value in his defense.

What do you think? Who will the Twins deal? What are there needs? I look forward to reading your thoughts and continuing this discussion.

  • jun likes this



I agree with most of this.I would approach Escobar on an extension.If he does not want it then trade him, he has the most value of any Twins player.Try and resign him in the offseason.If you want just hang onto him and give Escobar a QO.He will be needed next year.  

Rest of the expiring, get what you can.Keep Morrison until Sano comes back and then DFA him (do not think he has any value).Players who have no value here should be moved.If not hang onto them (I also like Duke) and see who you can resign.Twins have plenty of salary space next year, so plan and extending and buying in the offseason (starting with Rosario and Berrios.  

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Kelly Vance
Jul 07 2018 10:29 PM

Well, if you need pitching you don't deal Gibson. You make Eduardo a good 2 year offer now.  Mauer won't be traded. Period. He will be back next year. The outfield stays pat with Cave as the 4th outfielder. You move Doze and bring up Gordon to give him a look see. I'd try to move Dozier to Seattle. 

 

I sort of agree that we have a few starters in waiting. But none of them are proven. Gibson has proven to be our #2. You don't send away your second best starter if you need pitching.

 

and of course, will Pineda and May come back allaway? If Erv regains form, he may feel he has unfinished business in Minny.  Here is hoping 1 of those 3 help us next year. Erv being the longest shot. 

 

I'd keep Duke and Reed around too. But I'd ship LoMo and Lynn and 'nando. 

You have to truly ask WHO the Twins have that would fit into a roster of a contending team. That is the BIG question. Then, how badly does the team need that Twins player, compared to a body from another team.

 

Then we come to the August dumping zone. You throw the guy out there, someone claims him, you let them go and save on salary and give playing time to the future.

I count at least 10 guys currently in the minors that they should be looking to get plenty of playing time in the second half in order to have a better sense of what they should be looking for going into 2019 (and for Santana perhaps to see if there is any trade value prior to July 31). Starters: Romero, Santana, May, Gonsalves Relievers: Moya, Busenitz, Curtiss Batters: Gordon, Buxton, Sano Hopefully they can trade multiple guys in a package to get a better quality prospect or two in return.
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Matthew Lenz
Jul 08 2018 09:46 AM

 

Keep Morrison until Sano comes back and then DFA him (do not think he has any value).Players who have no value here should be moved.

I don't think they will DFA him as that will be bad PR, but I think his playing time will significantly decrease as the season goes on assuming he is still struggling and we are still out of it.

 

Well, if you need pitching you don't deal Gibson. You make Eduardo a good 2 year offer now.  Mauer won't be traded. Period. He will be back next year. The outfield stays pat with Cave as the 4th outfielder. You move Doze and bring up Gordon to give him a look see. I'd try to move Dozier to Seattle. 

I get what you're saying about Gibson.If he can maintain this level of production, then of course you keep him as a bonafide #2 starter.Of course that's not guaranteed, so I'm selling on him at his highest point thinking he will regress closer to his career norms.

 

I do agree it's a long shot they trade Mauer, but you can't tell me it's a bad idea.They can trade him and still re-sign him in the offseason.

 

Just out of curiosity, what makes you say Seattle?Cano is due back pretty soon here and they are on pace for 100+ wins without him.

 

I don't think they will DFA him as that will be bad PR, but I think his playing time will significantly decrease as the season goes on assuming he is still struggling and we are still out of it.

 

I get what you're saying about Gibson.If he can maintain this level of production, then of course you keep him as a bonafide #2 starter.Of course that's not guaranteed, so I'm selling on him at his highest point thinking he will regress closer to his career norms.

 

I do agree it's a long shot they trade Mauer, but you can't tell me it's a bad idea.They can trade him and still re-sign him in the offseason.

 

Just out of curiosity, what makes you say Seattle?Cano is due back pretty soon here and they are on pace for 100+ wins without him.

Morrison at the current time has zero value.He will clear waivers and be looking at a minor league deal to regain value (or maybe a look see from a bad team).We are wasting AB's on him now.Plus maybe setting up a grievance if he gets close to his plate appearances guarantees.