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  • Trading Away: The Position Players

    This is the time when people often make wild trade speculations. I've tried not to do that here, but rather propose who could be traded and what is a realistic return. The Twins can do very well here if they are willing to be sellers.

    The Twins are going to have to make key decisions about who to keep and what they can get for 2014 and beyond. In what follows, I lay out moves that could be made for the short- and long-term as the Twins try to figure out their future. I am starting with position players as these guys should be first on the trading block.
    The big four are:

    --Josh Willingham (rationale: Arcia)
    --Justin Morneau (rationale: stopgaps in Colabello and Parmelee; could be re-signed anyway)
    --Trevor Plouffe (rationale: don't want to part ways, but Sano sticking at third or a stopgap player to fill in here makes Plouffe a tradable asset)
    --Ryan Doumit (rationale: Herrmann and Pinto)

    Relevant playoff contenders with low OPS at these positions:

    --3B: New York Yankees (.615), Pittsburgh Pirates (.638)
    --1B: New York Yankees (.696), Tampa Bay Rays (.800, but falling rapidly)
    --C: Cincinnati Reds (.617), Baltimore Orioles (.634), New York Yankees (.640)
    --LF: New York Yankees (.660)
    --DH: Tampa Bay Rays (.682), Baltimore Orioles (.700), New York Yankees (.709).

    Clearly, the Yankees have holes all over as they deal with a number of injuries and some quickly fading stopgap players. The Orioles and Rays also appear twice. Finally, two National teams make the list, but I am going to remove the Reds from consideration of Ryan Doumit, because his value comes from his ability to catch, hit and fill in as the designated hitter.

    Some potential pairings include:

    Willingham-Yankees
    Plouffe-Pirates, Yankees
    Doumit-Orioles, Yankees
    Morneau-Rays, Orioles, Yankees

    I realize that "top prospects" as in top 100 or even top 200 are going to be off-limits in exchange for these guys. But, as someone who analyzes the Twins' system and has a "Top 60" list, I find often find quite a bit of value in players on individual team lists who rank from 11-30. Any such list will be volatile. Here are five guys from each of the four teams above who are not on many teams' top ten lists and often fall between 12 and 20 or lower.

    For comparison's sake, in the Twins system this would mean players like Danny Santana, Tyler Duffey, Matt Hauser, Nate Roberts, Niko Goodrum, Danny Ortiz and the like.

    New York Yankees:

    Nik Turley, LHP, starter, 23 (AA/AAA this year)
    2013 AA: 4.90 ERA, 64.1 innings, 71/33 K/BB (AAA: 1.50, 1, 6.0, 4/3)

    In the Twins system: likely headed to New Britain


    Bryan Mitchell, LHP, starter, 22 (A+)
    2013 A+: 4.74, 76.0, 62/34

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers


    Dan Camarena, LHP, starter, 20 (A)
    2013 A: 6.34, 49.2, 36/13

    Twins system: likely headed to Cedar Rapids


    Jose Ramirez, RHP, starter, 23 (AA/AAA)
    2013 AA: 2.76, 42.1 50/15 (AAA: 4.50, 4.0 5/4)

    Twins system: likely headed to Rochester


    Nick Goody, RHP, reliever, 21 (A+)
    2013 A+: 3.00, 3.0 3/2. 2012 A: 1.09, 24.2, 40/7)

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers


    Baltimore Orioles:

    Tim Berry, LHP, starter, 22 (A+)
    2013 A+: 4.54, 69.1, 66/17

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers


    Zach Davies, RHP, starter, 20 (A+)
    2013 A+: 3.63, 74.1, 58/19

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers.


    Devin Jones, RHP, starter, 22 (AA)
    2013 AA: 4.84, 67.0, 58/20

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers


    Josh Hader, LHP, starter, 19 (A)
    2013 A: 1.94, 60.1, 56/30

    Twins system: likely head to Cedar Rapids.


    Torsten Boss, LH, 3B, 22 (A)
    2013 A: 221, .251/.333/.405 (.738), 11/2/5, 23/49, 2-3

    Twins system: likely headed to Cedar Rapids.


    Tampa Bay Rays:

    Tyler Goeddel, RH, 3B/SS, 20 (A)
    2013 A: 239, .252/.345/.398 (.743), 6/6/4, 28/41, 13-17

    Twins system: likely head to Cedar Rapids


    Brandon Martin, RH, SS, 19 (A)
    2013 A: 50, .244/.280/.422 (.702), 2/0/2, 2/10, 0-1

    Twins system: likely headed to Cedar Rapids


    Felipe Rivero, LH, starter, 21, (A+)
    2013 A+: 3.28, 61.1, 53/24

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers


    Jeff Ames, RHP, starter, 22 (A)
    2013 A: 2.47, 58.1 42/10

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers


    Jake Hager, SS, 20 (A+)
    2013 A+: 242, .290/.344/.353, 10/2/0, 18/36, 9-16

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers.


    Pittsburgh Pirates:

    Vic Black, RHP, reliever, 25 (AAA)
    2013 AAA: 2.62, 24.0, 33/11

    Twins system: likely headed to Rochester


    Nick Kingham, RHP, starter, 21 (A+/AA)

    2013 A+: 3.09, 70, 75/14

    Twins system: likely headed to New Britain


    Adrian Sampson, RHP, starter, 21 (A+)
    2013 A+: 5.56, 66.1, 37/12 (2012 numbers in A ball included a 9.3/9 K rate)

    Twins system: likely headed to Fort Myers


    Max Moroff, SH, SS, 20 (A)
    2013 A: 248, .228/.350/.351 (.701), 9/1/5, 39/40, 4-9

    Twins system: likely headed to Cedar Rapids


    Alex Dickerson, LH, 1B/RF, 23 (AA)
    2013 AA: 216, .238/.285/.417 (.702) 17/2/5, 13/51, 3-5

    Twins system: likely headed to New Britain


    There are 20 players of varying worth and perfomance, but I think the Twins should mostly focus on pitching. As general manager would I trade all four? Likely, yes. A good return would be a couple starting pitchers, one reliever, and one infielder.
    I think this review casts some reality over the trade outlook for these Twins players and that reality is not bleak by any means.
    This article was originally published in blog: Trading Away: The Position Players started by Shane Wahl
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Very few of these guys stand out, with the Pirates prospects being the most interesting. Probably will be some name we have not heard of. TR is good in coming up with these. Nice article though.
    1. Smcginnity's Avatar
      Smcginnity -
      I think trading Plouffe would come back to haunt us. He is still young and improving. Now, the others it would be dumb to not field serious offers. Same goes for Correia, Perkins (in the right deal), Carroll, and Butera.
    1. Smcginnity's Avatar
      Smcginnity -
      Also, Plouffe is athletic enough to play all over the field (3B, 2B, 1B, and OF). He is very valuable to the Twins
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      The Twins need to change their philosophy from quantity to quality. The term "prospects" has been debased on this board to the level of "might get to the majors", those aren't the type of guys to seek. Reference Ryan's preseason statement of "lots of arms". The Twins have "lots of arms" pitching at the AAA level and Minnesota. What they don't have is a solid five who all produce to major league standard. Nor three who produce well above major league standard.
      This same philosophy must be used for hitters as well as pitchers. Most of the recent wins have come from a result of power hitting a skill that has been in short supply.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      I'm not for trading Plouffe. I think he still has a lot of value to us even if Sano does well and comes up earlier than expected, but I could really see the Yankees wanting him. I didn't check the stats or depth charts for the other teams, but it looks like the Yankees could really use all four of the guys you mentioned. Guys like Willingham and Plouffe could do great offensively in Yankee Stadium and Morneau would likely see his homerun total go up.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Wow! A reasonable trade target post to start the trade deadline season. No words wasted on top prospects well beyond the value of those likely to be offered in trade.
    1. huhguy's Avatar
      huhguy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Smcginnity View Post
      I think trading Plouffe would come back to haunt us. He is still young and improving. Now, the others it would be dumb to not field serious offers. Same goes for Correia, Perkins (in the right deal), Carroll, and Butera.
      If Ruth and Cobb are available, MAYBE....
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      If you're going to trade Morneau to the Yankees, wait until the after the all-star game. I don't want him to face the Twins.
    1. Twinsoholic's Avatar
      Twinsoholic -
      Shane, thanks for raising this topic. My sense of how Ryan works is not to acquire AAA or AA players in return because their value is not going to be that great. Remember when the Twins acquired Pavano for Pino (a AA/AAA) marginal pitching prospect. His numbers looked much better than his actual perfomance, and I am not sure if he ever made it to the major leagues with the Indians.

      Ryan prefers, rightly, to push for higher ceiling players at the lower minor league levels: A ball and short season leagues. Such an approach increases the odds that the Twins will get a future contributor at the major league level. Teams just are not going to trade away AA/AAA prospect for a partial season of Morneau. With Willingham you get more back because he is under contract for one more year, but his knee injury and less productive season to date again limit what a team is going to send the Twins in terms of AA/AAA players.

      Plouffe does have more value because he is under contract for more time to the team that might acquire him.

      Would the Twins trade Walters and/or Deduno if both pitch well in their next 3-4 starts? Pitching almost always gives you a higher return down the stretch, plus these players would be under a team's control and very inexpensive.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      This is on position players and I will let it be there. A couple of comments:

      - Plouffe is tradeable and not because of Sano in the short term, but because of Deibinson Romero (.290/.365/.496 in 27 AA/AAA games with 7 HR and improving)

      - I have to add Carroll in the list. Even for a warm A body. The same with Butera (allegedly there is interest out there.) There is no way they bring those 2 back next season so if they get something is better than nothing. Same goes for Colabello/Thomas/whatever

      - For the same reasons that Plouffe is tradeable, so is Parmelee.

      - I have always saying that the Twins' way of doing trades, does not cut it. They just got to bundle some decent prospects in positions there is many (e.g Benson a couple years ago would had been ideal; RPs before getting exposed now = Turpin, Pugh, Hendriks etc) with veterans in trades to get better prospects back. They just got to do it.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      First of all no player should be off limits because any trade can be good, it all just depends what or who you get in return. That being said I think this team should continue to concentrate on getting younger. Morneau and Willingham should be moved. Young players like Ploufe and Parmalee should be kept. Perkins and Doumit should be kept barring a ridiculous offer for their services elsewhere.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I don't see Plouffe getting traded unless Ryan gets blown away, and honestly that is how it should be. Parmelee has little to no value right now, and unfortunately we still find ourselves in a place where we don't know what we have with him because he gets no consistent PT. That too is frustrating to say the least.

      I don't think you should be purposely excluding guys on the top 10 lists of teams. For most teams, only the top 2 or 3 guys in the system will be in the MLB top 100, so purposely looking for guys in the 11-30 range isn't likely the best move unless you are targeting very high ceiling guys in rookie ball/low A with some serious question marks. It's not unreasonable to think that you can get a top 5 to 10 prospect on a team when you are trading something of value.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Brilliant article. I love it when people scour other teams' prospects so I don't have to bother looking.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I don't think you should be purposely excluding guys on the top 10 lists of teams. For most teams, only the top 2 or 3 guys in the system will be in the MLB top 100, so purposely looking for guys in the 11-30 range isn't likely the best move unless you are targeting very high ceiling guys in rookie ball/low A with some serious question marks. It's not unreasonable to think that you can get a top 5 to 10 prospect on a team when you are trading something of value.
      I'd certainly expect something in this range for a guy like Willingham. We were debating whether he was worth a top 100 prospect in the offseason and after his expected regression he's now only worth a mid-level prospect? I don't think a guy like Trevor May would be unreasonable. Proven power bats on reasonable contracts don't grow on trees.

      I don't want to see Plouffe traded either. We can talk about Romero, but that's a big leap to take. Plouffe is still trying to establish whether or not he can handle 3B and whether his bat is for real. Trading him now would seem to be pulling the plug too early since we've already come this far.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      - Plouffe is tradeable and not because of Sano in the short term, but because of Deibinson Romero (.290/.365/.496 in 27 AA/AAA games with 7 HR and improving)
      I'm just not on the Deibinson train. His rate of errors at third base suggests he's still pretty rough there, and his full-season batting in past seasons doesn't make him look like a better than replacement-level player; after a hot start he's batting about .200 the past couple of weeks so the trend this year isn't looking that good either.
    1. The Wise One's Avatar
      The Wise One -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      - I have always saying that the Twins' way of doing trades, does not cut it. They just got to bundle some decent prospects in positions there is many (e.g Benson a couple years ago would had been ideal; RPs before getting exposed now = Turpin, Pugh, Hendriks etc) with veterans in trades to get better prospects back. They just got to do it.
      You said the yneed to bundle a decent prospect then mention Turpin and Pugh. Serious here? You think a GM could be fooled into thinking they are getting a gem here? Why not try convincing them with the right coach Cole DeVries could be their ace because he does not give up many runs when the ball is not hit 400 or more feet.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      - I have always saying that the Twins' way of doing trades, does not cut it. They just got to bundle some decent prospects in positions there is many (e.g Benson a couple years ago would had been ideal; RPs before getting exposed now = Turpin, Pugh, Hendriks etc) with veterans in trades to get better prospects back. They just got to do it.
      It seems like a good idea.

      However, I just went through all of the deals in the summer of 2011 and 2012. I didn't find a comp in a trade where a team added minor leaguers with the veteran in order to get better prospects. It may not just be the Twins way of doing trades. It appears to be everyone's way. At least, it appears to be the case in the summer where 25 and 40 man rosters are much less flexible.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post

      - I have always saying that the Twins' way of doing trades, does not cut it. They just got to bundle some decent prospects in positions there is many (e.g Benson a couple years ago would had been ideal; RPs before getting exposed now = Turpin, Pugh, Hendriks etc) with veterans in trades to get better prospects back. They just got to do it.
      I asked this once before and I'll ask this again. When Benson was at his highest value, the Twins were on their way to a 99 loss season and he had just had his breakout season in AA, while the centerfielder of the future posted a disappointing .723 OPS in A+. Explain to me again exactly what Ryan was supposed to trade him for? Help at the major league squad? You do realize that prospect for prospect trades are incredibly rare... and for very good reason.

      You say all you want that Ryan should have traded Benson back in 2011, but unless he sold low, there would have been no takers.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      I'm just not on the Deibinson train. His rate of errors at third base suggests he's still pretty rough there, and his full-season batting in past seasons doesn't make him look like a better than replacement-level player; after a hot start he's batting about .200 the past couple of weeks so the trend this year isn't looking that good either.
      Yep. Not even close to sold on him as an experiment, much less a viable option to start.
    1. PeanutsFromHeaven's Avatar
      PeanutsFromHeaven -
      Ditto to Brock's point about making it easy for the rest of us who now don't have to scour the prospect lists.

      Is there any sense out there that packaging together a couple of veterans (i.e. Willingham, Morneau AND Doumit) to one team (i.e. The Yankees) for something closer to a top 5 prospect?
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