Of the aforementioned, only Justin Morneau (last contract season) and Glen Perkins (value peak, plus friendly contract) fit the bill. I would like to examine whether there are other potential players the Twins should think about trading, based on peak value.
I have to mention the Twins have been extremely poor at trading players at the peak of their value. Instead, they tend to sell low or give away. For every Bobby Kielty, AJ Pierzynski and Denard Span (3 examples of players sold high,) there is an army of Delmon Young, Fransisco Liriano, Jose Mijares, Kevin Slowey, Alex Burnett, Joe Nathan, Nick Blackburn, Mike Cuddyer, Carl Pavano etc. who just rode into the sunset. Selling high and selling impending free agents is how good teams, like the Tampa Bay Rays, keep themselves competitive year after year.
So the Twins should trade Justin Morneau and Glen Perkins (but not give them away). Anyone else who, according to this formula, should be a candidate?
Enter Casey Fien.
Casey Fien will turn 30 this October and arguably he is at the apex of his value for his career. He has pitched in 42 games (36.2 innings), struck out 40 and walked 7 (2 intentionally), has a 3.19 ERA, 9.8 K/9, 5.7 K/BB and a minuscule 0.79 WHIP. Last season he became a reliable fixture in the Twins' pen in the second half, appearing in 35 games (36.2 innings), striking out 32 and walking 9 (4 intentionally), with a tiny 2.06 ERA, and a 0.97 WHIP.
Why trade him? At first glance, he appears to be a pitcher capable of taking over the closer's role from Glen Perkins . Why not go that route? Here are the reasons:
- He has been pitching over his head. This season his BABIP is .207; last season it was .229. This is not sustainable and expect a Diamond-like regression once balls start to go through.
- His numbers are better than his stuff. He is mainly a fastball and cutter/slider pitcher with an occasional slurve he uses as a change of pace. His fastball is in the low nineties and the cutter in the high eighties. This season he lost has 2-3 mph of velocity on all his offerings. I do not want to speculate on the reason.
- RH middle relievers are the easiest players to replace. The Twins have a plethora of 6th starter/AAAA starters. It is very possible that conversion to the pen will have a Glen Perkins-like effect for them.
So I would add another name for the Twins to shop, that of (the Mighty) Casey Fien.
Originally posted at The Tenth Inning Stretch