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Clearing Room Helps Twins

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 30 July 2018 · 2,140 views

minnesota twins brian dozier lance lynn zach duke fernando rodney
The Minnesota Twins moved Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly over the weekend. One transaction involved a free agent to be, and the other focused around a return that likely was too good to pass up. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, clearing some extra space should be the goal for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine.

As things stand currently Minnesota has a handful of guys capable of being flipped to another team. The names include Brian Dozier, Zach Duke, Fernado Rodney, and Lance Lynn. If they really wanted to, and were presented with a solid return, Kyle Gibson could also enter this list. It's hard to see Minnesota being able to move Ervin Santana after just one or two healthy starts, but he could be an August trade candidate through the waiver process.

Looking at the list of candidates having a potential to be moved, there's something that should jump out as an opportunity. All of them are impending free agents, and there's a relatively small likelihood that any of them return to the Twins in 2019. With that in mind, it's time to start planning for the year ahead. Giving those innings to players that will be around is a must, and it's something that Paul Molitor only has two months left to capitalize on.

While it's uncertain as to whether or not Nick Gordon can start at the big league level a year from now, or if Stephen Gonsalves can continue to limit free passes, it's become time to find out some of those answers. Guys like Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, and Jake Reed deserve some real run in the Twins pen, while Zack Littell and Adalberto Mejia could benefit from a couple of starts being strung together in succession.

When the Twins constructed the 2018 roster each of the pieces now available on the block made sense to bring in. This club was expected to be competitive, and without a lack of production across the board (combined with untimely injuries and bad luck), that was a reasonable expectation. Now with the narrative of the season having changed, the goal should be getting a jumpstart on the 2019 season.

It's hard to decipher whether or not Minnesota will be able to move all of their expiring pieces. Duke and Rodney have performed well this season, and should have appeal to some contenders. Dozier hasn't looked like himself, but a late season spark is all he'd need to supply in order to provide value to a postseason run. Lynn has been the worst of the bunch, but he's trended better of late and has a strong track record of success in his corner. What may be most interesting is what Minnesota decides to do if they can't move some of the pieces.

Looking at the roster construction as it currently stands, there's plenty of reason to question where the front office is prioritizing playing time. A guy like Matt Belisle has been both bad and ineffective for multiple organizations this season. Unfortunately, he's been given ample opportunity with Minnesota and that's to the detriment of the multiple more viable pen arms for the year ahead. A decision like that would suggest there isn't much care when it comes to preparing for what's next. Lynn could be DFA'd and the leftovers could see themselves passed through the waiver process, but we don't really have much evidence to suggest that's what lies ahead.

By my estimation, the most unfortunate way for the final two months of the season to play out would be to see all of these players stick around and no one get any real opportunity from the farm. You can't just cut bait on big league guys that are producing, but clearing the way for those you'll need to rely upon next season has to be of the utmost importance. We should have more clarity in the coming days, but the hope should be that the front office is on board with the train of thought as well.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • DocBauer and nclahammer like this



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LA VIkes Fan
Jul 30 2018 11:58 AM

Agreed. I htink the key thing for the rest of this year is to develop p[layers for next year. To me that means trading lynn, Rodney and Duke for the best we can get, even if the rturn is underwhelming (a distinct possibility).I just don;'t think there's any market for Morrison unless we can get osme international bonus money or the dreaded PTBNL. It still needs to be done. 

 

The tougher call is Dozier.It will interesting to see the reaction here if the Twins trade Dozier without a solid return. He doesn't seem to have much of a marketand it seems unlikely he would be re-signed. From a purely baseball point of view, and everyday of middle infield of Polanco at 2B and Adrianza at SS is clearly a defensive upgrade and I would argue is at least a wash and perhaps an offensive upgrade based upon the last year and a half. Still, people are in love with the guy and it's always hard to give up on a player who's been with the team for a long time ans who has played well at times. We always remember the good times, not the bad. 

    • DocBauer likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 30 2018 01:09 PM

I'm not sure Dozier will get a solid return, though he's done well enough in July to get someone to bank on him. As "bad" as he's been, he's still league average at 2B. I'm not sure the return will be any better than Escobar (and it could be worse).

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howieramone2
Jul 30 2018 02:05 PM

No need to move Rodney. He has an option for 6.5M next season, which is more than fair. 

    • NewClearHarley likes this
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NewClearHarley
Jul 30 2018 09:03 PM

At this point I almost think if we don't get someone stupidly overpaying for Dozier, we might as well keep him, give him the QO, and if he signs elsewhere we get the bonus pick, otherwise we pay him a little more than necessary and then dump him at next trade deadline. He may never hit above .250 again, but I'd be happy with him if he can deliver 75-20-75-15 ( we could do a lot worse than that for the 16 or so the QO would require) next year while allowing Gordon at least a half if not a full season at AAA.

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NewClearHarley
Jul 30 2018 09:08 PM

right now Dozier projects out to 90-24-80-12 if he finishes the season getting regular AB for the Twins. That should be an ok output for our 2B next year even at QO pricetag. I've heard the number 16 million for him next year on QO. If that is correct please list for me every other second baseman that we can sign this offseason that will post that same line above.

    • wagwan likes this

Is Nick Gordon ready? Perhaps not. Would Brent Rooker be challenged at the Big League ;level? Probably. Should both get added to the 40-man roster this season instead of waiting until a later date? Why not? 

 

Right now, you have litle to lose having bpth of these guys in the majors taking some regaulr at bats for more than the month of September. Sure, the recent trade with the Yankees has set a temporary block on the arrival of Rooker, , but we are talking the future. 

 

Don't, front office, drag out Adrianza or Motter or Grossman to play as regulars. We NEED to give some exposure to the future. Let them take some licks. You can always send them back to the minors.

 

The tell will be who closes for the Twins. Sure, Addison Reed is signed for another season and you have Belisle. But in rebuild mode, let Reed go on the August waiver wire and save $8 million next season. Let us see if Curtiss or Hildenberger or maybe even Trevor May can be the closer of the future?

 

You have to make some 40-man decisions. Look at Kohl Stewart, Busenitz long and hard, maybe Luke Bard. Or move on. Is Zack Granite totally out of the picture? We know Buxton ain't.

 

Don;t do waiver wire claims yourself. You can do all those for spring training invites ()look over the many many names that have since departed Twinsland, if you get a chance, of folks who didn't produce for Rochester or Chattanooga).

 

Of course, still can't wait to see what happens with...Joe Mauer.

 

And, of course, the Field Staff.