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Fool me thrice...what do the Twins know that forced the Graterol trade

Posted by sthpstm , 05 February 2020 · 2,096 views

The trade of Brusdar Graterol has brought a lot of emotions and grand presumptions from fans and commentators. Unfortunately, most of the reactions, assumptions and presumptions of this trade are wrong.
Stick with me here, but the Twins HAD to trade Graterol and in doing so this organization has FINALLY sold high on a prospect. All we have to do is look at the past to see what happened here.
When Falvey and Levine were hired, they talked about research and development and opined that perhaps keeping players healthy and using research on available medical data might be the next market inefficiency. While this is likely what lead to the decisions to sign Pineda and Hill, it seems reasonable that not all of the results of this research would lead to signing players. It has also lead to pointing to data on what type of player to avoid.

Approximately 2 years ago, 2 transactions occurred that I believe hint to what lead to the departure of Graterol. These transactions were befuddling to many of us - the Twins let two future stud relievers in JT Chargois and Nick Burdi leave for nothing. Burdi was left unprotected and was selected in the rule 5 draft by the Phillies before being traded to the Pirates. Chargois was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers. The bullpen was in desperate need of help from strikeout pitchers and yet the Twins let go of perhaps their two most likely young pitchers that could do that. And they have started to show that striking out batters is definitely what they can do! Oh, except they've not been able to do much of it because they can't stay on the field. Nick Burdi has barely pitched since heading to Pittsburgh. While JT Chargois has not been injured to the same extent, the results have not been there. He is now heading to Japan, having been released by the Dodgers.
These two were well regarded prospects. Certainly the Twins could have gotten something for them at some point. But they didn't and instead had to let them go for nothing.
Not so with Graterol who was another high-octane pitcher, and most likely a reliever, with a history of injury troubles. So rather than bemoan the fact that he was traded and won't be pitching 200 innings and winning a Cy Young, be thrilled that the Twins have finally shown that they have learned the lessons of the past. I certainly don't know what data the Twins have found to tell them to let these to go. But clearly they saw something that told them that having these two players on their 40 man roster was not worth it. It was better to let them go and protect other players who could serve as MLB players and as depth for the roster in 2018, 2019, and moving forward. For Graterol, rather than sitting through more years of injury-shortened seasons, and perhaps a second TJ surgery, the Twins cashed in for a solid starting pitcher in Kenta Maeda. One who, while having his own red flags should contribute through the season and into October. So don't be stressed, be thankful that you cheer for a team that has finally figured out what they're doing, even if we don't always immediately get it.
On a final note, I've heard some prognosticators prognosticating that now that the Twins have traded a prospect for immediate help, they are going to start trading other top prospects for help at the trade deadline. I think this is wishful assumption making based on nothing concrete. All we know right now is that if the Twins have identified a high risk player, they'll be willing to cash in that chip rather than end up getting nothing.

  • Kevin, nclahammer, In My La-Z-boy and 1 other like this



I agree with this 100%.  I still think the deal gets done.  It wil, be interesting to see if the twins are the ones who need to add a player.  The Twins have several decent prospects that are blocked.  Maybe add one of the blocked prospects and see if we can get some international signing bonus money bac.

k.