Jump to content

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

The Forums

Article: Twins Add Gordon, Wade, Arraez To 40-Man Roster

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:26 PM
Tuesday night, the Twins announced that they have added infielders Nick Gordon and Luis Arraez and outfielder LaMonte Wade to their 40-ma...

Article: Welcome to the New School

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:25 PM
Major League Baseball is changing before our eyes, with its fabric being rewoven in the age of analytics and forward thinking. Against al...

Article: AFL Report - Week 6: Rafters Play for AFL Champi...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:58 PM
Minnesota Twins prospects finished their AFL regular season with the Salt River Rafters in the best way they could, by helping their team...

Article: Rundown: Target Field Security, Offseason Expect...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:12 PM
Target Field is undergoing yet another fairly major update this offseason, the focus being around Gate 34. Rochelle Olson of the Star Tri...

Article: REPORT: Twins, D-Backs Discussing Paul Goldschmi...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:59 PM
Joe Mauer’s retirement has left a big hole in the Twins infield. However, the team might be looking to make a big splash on the trade mar...


The Twins Have No Choice But to Sell

Posted by Jonathon Zenk , 27 July 2017 · 2,106 views

brian dozier ervin santana jaime garcia brandon kintzler minnesota twins
The Twins Have No Choice But to Sell If you were to ask me whether the Twins should buy or sell during the All-Star break, I would have told you they should stand pat and maybe make a minor move or two. I would have also told you we’d know more after the tough stretch to begin the second half of the season. To start the unofficial second half of the season, Minnesota played a road series against both of the top teams in the league, Houston and the Dodgers, as well as Detroit and the Yankees. In those 12 games, Minnesota has won only four and is coming off a sweep at the hands of Los Angeles. Add that to the fact that Kansas City and Cleveland have come out of the break red hot and you get a Twins team that is six games behind Cleveland in the division and four games in back of the wild card.

Now, it has been a fun ride up to this point, but let’s face it, the Twins never have been a “true” contender. A team with a current run differential of -73, which is third worst in the American League, was never going to hold up over a full season. You just could not stay in the hunt with that poor of a run differential. Even if Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made a few moves to improve the team this year, it would not have been enough. Minnesota was more than one or two moves away from being a legitimate contender in the division, especially with a record of 20-30 against teams with winning records. The Twins just took advantage of the fact that the Indians had a World Series defeat hangover the first half of the season.

Now that the Twins are listening to calls and are willing to part with some of their players, I will take a look at some of the possible trade targets. First off, I will start with All-Star pitcher Ervin Santana. After a terrific start to the year, Sanatana has crashed back down to Earth. In the months of April and May, he had an ERA of 1.75 with a .145 BABIP, but in the last two months, he has an ERA of 5.47 with a .323 BABIP. He is a 34-year-old pitcher who is being paid $13.5 million next year, and has a club option in 2019. I doubt he will be able to fetch much in the trade market, considering his age, contract and his recent struggles.

Brandon Kintzler has been a big reason why the Twins are even remotely in the hunt this season. The 32-year-old has saved 27 ball games for the team and has an ERA of 2.84. He has had his struggles the past two outings, allowing four runs on six hits in 1.2 innings. That has raised his ERA from 2.11 to 2.84. Kintzler is also a free agent after this season and the Twins have not had contract talks with him, which could mean he is a prime target to be moved this weekend. I also don’t see him as part of the future of the team, so I would not be disappointed to see him go, even though he has done fantastic in the closer role. I could see a team like Washington, that is desperate for relief help, to come calling. I don’t think Minnesota will be able to get very much for him, either, unfortunately. It would probably be something similar to what they received last year from Boston for Fernando Abad.

Now, I know Minnesota just acquired starting pitcher Jaime Garcia from Atlanta earlier this week. But now, despite the fact that his first start is tomorrow night in Oakland, he is on the trade block once again. Out of all the pitchers, he would likely be the one who would fetch the most in return, especially if he pitches well tomorrow. Garcia has been pitching better as of late, allowing four runs in 14 innings in his last two starts. What they could be able to acquire would depend on how much money the Twins are willing to eat. If they are willing to pay the rest of his salary, they could be able to get a very solid prospect, better than what they gave up to acquire him. I admit, I would get a kick out of seeing him be on three teams in the span of about a week. I guess that is the trade deadline for you.

And finally, this is the least likely out of the trade chips to be dealt, but Brian Dozier has been discussed as well. It would be tough for fans, as he might be the biggest fan favorite on the team (with the exception of possibly Joe Mauer). The Dodgers and Twins discussed Dozier this offseason, but ultimately, Dozier remained a Twin. Minnesota may want to test Jorge Polanco at second base if Dozier were traded, especially with top prospect Nick Gordon close to being major league ready. However, the power hitting second baseman is intriguing. He is a shoo-in every year for 20-30 homers and around a .250 average. He also can add around 15 stolen bases per year as well. He would be able to get a nice return, but I am not sure Falvey and Levine will pull the trigger. They will listen to offers, though.

We are four days away and those are the main names thrown around, but others could be in play as well. In addition to trading for Garcia, the Twins made a minor move today, dealing catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Diamondbacks for relief pitching prospect Gabriel Moya. Murphy was on the 40-man roster, but was being blocked by Mitch Garver at Rochester, so this move made sense. Even if the Twins take two of three from Oakland this weekend, it won’t be enough to change my mind. Minnesota just cannot compete with the big boys. It was nice to be able to compete into the second half of the season, but this team just is not good enough to make it into the playoffs, even if they were to make a few trades.

The Big Question always is: Does Minnesota have players that other teams want and at what price. Yes, shedding salary is always a plus (especially when you are eating salaries) but I look at it this way. You rid yourself of any pending free agents first, if not in contention. It will make it easier if you wish to revisit them in the post season. Next, final year arbitration candidates. If the Twins had since Plouffe packing, for example, they could've negotiated with him in the off-season, assuming his new team decided not to offer him arbitration. Next you look at any over-paid arbitration candidates. Cut loose Gibson or Escobar, same thing. Will anotehr team go to arbitration, or will they be cheaper on the free market. Next you start looking at the guys that are the 40th-45th man on your rosters, pending minor league free agents, players you may not protect, or even those out of options (like Polancho). You start looking at packaging playrs.


But remember, just because YOU want to rid yourself of a player doesn't mean anyone will give you anything of importance for such a player. And the other team, in turn, is looking to shed players the same way you are looking at shedding players...the major exception being if a prospect package that you can't refuse is dangled in front of you, and it has to be pretty darn good. Even multiple players for one can go down badly (remember the Santana trade, even the Ben Revere trade...May pending still).


I would, say, release a guy like Hughes if my accountants would let me write off his salary this season, when my payroll is supposedly under budget. The purpose being to have even more money to spend on free agency, which is a crapstorm anyways.


Of, and Joe Mauer, do you want to play for a contender this season or next?