Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Looking Ahead to the Deadline

    It would be nice if the Twins kept up their recent winning pace through late July, climbing back into the AL Central picture after being left for dead in May. Unfortunately, their lack of starting pitching makes that difficult to realistically envision.

    In the more likely event that the Twins are firmly out of contention when the trade deadline rolls around, they'll find themselves in an unfamiliar position.Only once in the past decade has the club behaved as a seller at the deadline; in 2007, seven games out in the AL Central, they traded Luis Castillo and his remaining salary to the Mets for two prospects. Even then they were confident that the heir apparent Alexi Casilla could step in and replace Castillo's modest production.

    If the Twins' current 8.5-game deficit in the standings hasn't shrunk significantly within a month, most would agree that it will be time to see what kind of value they can get for their movable assets.

    But who should they be looking to deal? The most obvious candidates are the guys in the final years of their contracts such as Matt Capps, Ryan Doumit and Carl Pavano but none are likely to make a large impact for a contender so it's doubtful any GM is going to give up much for two months of service. The best the Twins can hope for by trading these players would be payroll relief and a B-prospect.

    Quality players with team-friendly contracts extending past this year such as Denard Span and Josh Willingham may do more to entice bidders, but the stakes are raised. In trading players with long-term value, returning good prospects is a must. Given the organization's spotty track record evaluating players from other teams in recent years, one can't help but worry about that a little.

    As I look over the roster, I see one player who could become an appealing, fungible trading chip at the deadline: Francisco Liriano. He's almost surely gone after this year, so shipping him out would be a no-brainer in a seller scenario. His current 1-7 record and 6.45 ERA aren't going to blow anyone away but opposing clubs might be more inclined to focus on his numbers since a bullpen demotion in early May: 25 IP, 3.24 ERA, 32-to-13 K/BB, .198 opponents' batting average, zero homers allowed.

    If the inconsistent lefty can maintain his improved production from the past month over the next month, he may actually become a legitimate commodity as the deadline looms, giving the Twins leverage that they probably won't have with any of the other walk-year players.

    It's something to root for even if the usual June winning spell comes to an end.
    This article was originally published in blog: Looking Ahead to the Deadline started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 38 Comments
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blake View Post
      What about the possibility the Twins offer Liriano a contract at the end of the season and let him walk? Wouldn't the Twins then be eligible for compensation pick in the MLB draft?

      Also, it appears the Twins have some decent pitchers, but do not have that one starting workhorse that sets the tone.

      With the core of every day players currently on the roster and the salary that will be gone next year, I would think the Twins will take a long hard look at the free agent pitching market. Yeah, it goes against everything the Twins normally do, but isn't Willingham's contract already a signal that the Twins FO just might do things a little differently? (I have to wonder if the Twins are waiting until some salary comes off the payroll before spending any more money on free agent.)

      I cannot see the Twins trading any position players currently starting, unless it is a Pierzynski type of trade, because the Twins don't have anyone that can fill the void.
      To get a compensation pick going forward, you have to offer the player a hefty salary. I believe it is the average of the top 150 player salaries which I have heard would be $11-12M dollars. So the Twins could offer that, but he'd quiet possibly accept and the Twins would be stuck that big chunk of change. Somehow the big market teams got this system swung to favor themselves. It will now take a super-star for a small market team to feel compelled to offer that salary, where as a team like the Yankees can certainly offer it to some one like Nick Swisher confident that even if they end up having to overpay him by $4M or so, it wont affect their budget too terribly.
    1. SwainZag's Avatar
      SwainZag -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      To me Capps will not bring much--certainly less than Ramos who we gave up to get him. Liriano and Pavano will get us nothing but salary dump. The only tradeable asset we have is span. Yes, if we can get a starting pitcher for him, grab it, put Revere in CF, maybe bring back Valencia and put Plouffe in RF or put Parmalee there. This team is on a good run now, but I dont think they have enough to contend--the week before the ASB will prove that with 7 games vs Tiggers and Rangers.
      Capps has been overly solid this season actually. An ERA below 3, a WHIP below 1.00 and after a slow start he has been very good. Have you looked around the league and seen how many teams have switched closers and have had bullpen trouble this season? At 4.5M, he isn't a steal, but for a team looking for a solid arm he is a candidate. Now, I don't think they could snag a Top 100 spect ala Ramos for him, but I think he would bring back a return worthy of dealing of him.
    1. SwainZag's Avatar
      SwainZag -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chance View Post
      I agree that Span is replaceable now with Revere ready to step into center. Right field could be filled this year with Parmelee/Mastorianni/Doumit. Arcia should be promoted any day now. If he performs well in AA which he should, He could be a September callup and start next season in the MLB. It is possible. Otherwise, yes they can fill it easier in FA.
      The problem with trading Span is he has a very team friendly contract for the next 2 years and IMO Revere is not a Major League CF. He just doesn't have the arm, hell he barely has the arm to play RF. Yes he has speed and plays good defense and as of late he has been hitting the ball well, but I really don't think he he's a replacement for Span in CF or in the leadoff spot. Revere also does not take walks, like Span does, who boasts a career .360+ OBP. The only way Span should be traded is if he can bring back a good SP prospect or a young one we can put into the rotation now and I really don't know if that's out there right now.
    1. Blake's Avatar
      Blake -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      To get a compensation pick going forward, you have to offer the player a hefty salary. I believe it is the average of the top 150 player salaries which I have heard would be $11-12M dollars. So the Twins could offer that, but he'd quiet possibly accept and the Twins would be stuck that big chunk of change. Somehow the big market teams got this system swung to favor themselves. It will now take a super-star for a small market team to feel compelled to offer that salary, where as a team like the Yankees can certainly offer it to some one like Nick Swisher confident that even if they end up having to overpay him by $4M or so, it wont affect their budget too terribly.
      Talk about putting the Twins in a difficult position. They either offer Liriano 11 million after this year or spend twice that on a free agent pitcher.

      And I cannot see the Twins really getting anything for Liriano unless he pitches lights out from now until the trade deadline.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Not exactly on topic, but since there's obviously a lot about Liriano here...the last couple days I've gotten to wondering a non-factual-based question: How good would Liriano have to be the rest of the year for the Twins to actually offer him that minimum amount (which I've heard being as high as $12.5M)? I have run a very, very large range of answers that I think might be correct in my head. It's a puzzler!
    1. strumdatjag's Avatar
      strumdatjag -
      Revere's best position is in left field. Willingham has great value and should be traded for that value. Revere moves into left and the Twins find a Right fielder with a decent arm. Do Not Trade Span. He is a very talented center fielder and relaible leadoff hitter who should help this team for several more years. Trade Liriano, but don't expect to get much (maybe a player with potential on another team who could also benefit from a change of scenery - in other words - someone else's enigmatic player like Liriano)
    1. strumdatjag's Avatar
      strumdatjag -
      Revere's best position is in left field. Willingham has great value and should be traded for that value. Revere moves into left and the Twins find a Right fielder with a decent arm. Do Not Trade Span. He is a very talented center fielder and relaible leadoff hitter who should help this team for several more years. Trade Liriano, but don't expect to get much (maybe a player with potential on another team who could also benefit from a change of scenery - in other words - someone else's enigmatic player like Liriano)
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blake View Post
      Talk about putting the Twins in a difficult position. They either offer Liriano 11 million after this year or spend twice that on a free agent pitcher.
      The Twins won't spend twice that (on an annual basis) to any FA pitcher.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      As far as I can tell, nearly everyone is arguing not to deal any good players on the roster....not sure how the team gets better then, because we should be pretty sure Ryan won't deal any great prospects for players.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Willingham has 2.6 years on his contract paying him a total of $18 million still from today on. Teams had a chance to bid on him this winter and the Twins won. They are not likely to trade for him this season.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by shanewahl View Post
      Willingham has 2.6 years on his contract paying him a total of $18 million still from today on. Teams had a chance to bid on him this winter and the Twins won. They are not likely to trade for him this season.
      Yeah. And, if necessary, he can be a DH for the next couple seasons.

      Another guy who has not been mentioned is Morneau. Heck, if I were the Twins at this point, I'd take calls on everyone... But they do have that bad habit of waiting too long and selling low.
    1. YLT's Avatar
      YLT -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      As far as I can tell, nearly everyone is arguing not to deal any good players on the roster....not sure how the team gets better then, because we should be pretty sure Ryan won't deal any great prospects for players.
      I agree to a point. In my opinion, anyone on this team should be considered eligible for trade. Not stupid trades just to dump salary or turn things over for the sake of turning things over, but as Gleeman recently said on the radio broadcast with John Bonnes - if you're going to be a bad team, be a bad team. Blow it all up. Don't straggle along in mediocrity for 8 years. Be terrible for 2-3 years and hope that you've made the smart moves to have a contender for the next 5+ years. I don't buy the idea that they need to put some sort of 'product' on the field that will entice fans to Target Field. It's just as exciting (probably more) to watch a bunch of young guys learn the ropes over a couple of seasons with some high highs and some low lows and see talent develop through the system as it is to watch a (maybe) .500 club with serious holes in the farm system that we'll be subjected to for the foreseeable future if they don't start changing things up. Like I said though, don't trade just to trade but have the attitude that no player is some sacred cow that cannot be parted with if the right offer for what we need comes along.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      With Ryan's (not Smith's) history on trades of productive veterans, if he trades Span or Capps he would get a good return. With disgruntled players, if he traded Valencia, the Twins would receive a player that would wash out.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      With Ryan's (not Smith's) history on trades of productive veterans, if he trades Span or Capps he would get a good return. With disgruntled players, if he traded Valencia, the Twins would receive a player that would wash out.
      Ryan should work on thoroughly gruntling Valencia first, then.
    1. TwinsFanLV's Avatar
      TwinsFanLV -
      Quote Originally Posted by YLT View Post
      I agree to a point. In my opinion, anyone on this team should be considered eligible for trade. Not stupid trades just to dump salary or turn things over for the sake of turning things over, but as Gleeman recently said on the radio broadcast with John Bonnes - if you're going to be a bad team, be a bad team. Blow it all up. Don't straggle along in mediocrity for 8 years. Be terrible for 2-3 years and hope that you've made the smart moves to have a contender for the next 5+ years. I don't buy the idea that they need to put some sort of 'product' on the field that will entice fans to Target Field. It's just as exciting (probably more) to watch a bunch of young guys learn the ropes over a couple of seasons with some high highs and some low lows and see talent develop through the system as it is to watch a (maybe) .500 club with serious holes in the farm system that we'll be subjected to for the foreseeable future if they don't start changing things up. Like I said though, don't trade just to trade but have the attitude that no player is some sacred cow that cannot be parted with if the right offer for what we need comes along.
      Trade Morneau to any team willing to take on his remaining salary.
      sign Doumit to an extension as he is an excellent compliment to Mauer, who should never again be considered an every day Catcher.
      Trading Plouffe fo a prospect makes no sense. Plouffe is still a prospect. Let's see what he can do.
      Package Pavanno, Capps and Liriano to the Padres for Cal League all star, Rico Noel. the Padres are one team more in need of immediate help than the Twins.
    1. twinslover's Avatar
      twinslover -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
      With a change of scenery, Liriano WILL develop into somebody else's ace, theres no doubt in my mind, but the Twins may as well get what they can for him because once he becomes a free agent, other teams will outbid the Twins for him, just on potential.

      I don't know why everybody wants to trade Span?? Until Hicks, Benson, etc. develop to the point where you need to find a place for them, keep him - unless you're overwhelmed with an offer.

      Ryan has made more positive moves than negative moves, I have faith that he'll do the right thing at the trade deadline.
      I appreciate that comment, I needed to hear a good joke, which is exactly what the idea of Liriano as an ace is.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      It will be interesting to see how the new CBA will impact the trade value of players.

      Last year, the Twins knew that they would get two picks if they did not trade Cuddyer. His value to the Twins and any trade partner was greater. They would not only be acquiring Cuddyer the rest of the season but also two picks if they let him go to free agency.

      This year teams will be more motivated to trade their players because they won't get picks for most players. This may increase the supply of players available. It also makes the players available less valuable as a trade commodity since teams won't get picks if they don't offer 12-13 million at the end the season.

      Teams will have to assess the impact. Smart teams will take advantage of the new trade environment.

      My guess is that any non-elite player in the last year of their contract will not bring much back in trades and have little value. In turn, players with a good contract may actually bring more value and teams should expect as much.

      For the Twins, Span and Willingham should see an increase in their relative trade value while final year guys like Liriano, Doumit, Pavano will have little to no value. I am not sure where Capps and Morneau fit in the mix. They both have another year, but I am not sure if the terms would be viewed as a bargain.

      I agree with all of those that caution the Twins against trading Span and Willingham. We need to get a a lot of value back. It is very unlikely that the Twins can reinvest that money this winter and get their production for the same dollars.
    1. peterb18's Avatar
      peterb18 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      A couple of reasons: a. this team needs SPs really badly for 2013 and Span is probably the only piece who can get back a quality MLB-ready SP in a package and b. Revere is ready now and should be playing CF over Span anyways. You deal with RF in the offseason (and you have to, since they have no RF right now, just 2 CFs). Easier to find RFs than SPs.
      I do agree that we need starting pitching--as most on this board. But, Span is developing into one of the best centerfielders in the American League. No way Revere(no arm and a Punch and Judy hitter) should be playing over Spann.--even though he is playing well. However, you know that your team is improving if Revere is a utility player. Therefore, the fastest way to improve this team is for the core to remain and the Pohlads to sign some free agent pitchers. Remember, when you are having over 30,000 paying customers each ballgame-- management has to try and field a competitive team. You must do this until the young core of players arrive.
      We don't have a lot of trade material now. So we should follow the Cardinal model as we are mid-market team( like the Cards). Develop your base and sign a few key players each year. That is the most logical way to get to the top again. But, the Pohlads have to get salary base up again.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.