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  • Twins Must Decide When, Not If, Glen Perkins & Jared Burton Are Available

    Some spring training moves are bearing fruit. The question is when they will be most ripe?

    Glen Perkins hasn't been especially effective this year, but he still profiles as possible closer long term, with well over a strikeout per inning. Even better, this spring he signed a deal that keeps his salary team-controlled through 2016 at a level considerably below that of a closer.

    So how should the Twins play that? On the one hand, they could trade him now to a team that finds a left-handed reliever (with closer potential) especially appealing. Or they could turn him into a closer later the year and (provided he excels and stays healthy) he becomes even more valuable. Or, I suppose, the team could hang onto him in the hope that the next competitive Twins team could still have him around. But that is by far the riskiest of the choices.

    The Twins flexibility is enhanced by another spring addition. Jared Burton has been more effective than Perkins (or closer Matt Capps) this year, despite handling earlier innings. He also has quite a bit of history being an effective reliever from before he joined the Twins. Finally, with 28 strikeouts and just 3 walks in 26 innings this year, he also looks like a possible closer.

    Burton has another year after this one before he turns a free agent, and he just turned 31 years old. If the Twins were to ponder trading away Perkins any time over the next year, they could prepare by putting Burton in the same position that they put Perkins in spring training. Namely, offer him a long-term deal at a setup man's salary which puts him first in line when there is an opening at closer.

    Or, they could just shop him around at the trade deadline. Or I suppose they could keep him as Perkins insurance.

    In some ways, the road block here is Capps. With his closer role, he's blocking two guys who are probably going to be more effective. If the Twins can trade him - even if it is for very little - it allows them to increase the value of at least Perkins and put Burton in an heir apparent role, providing incentive for a long-term deal. And if he becomes the closer, and they mine the minors/waiver wire for yet another arm, they can move him....

    This is how a non-competitive team can, fairly quickly, add core talent to their system. The team can afford to give relievers a chance to rediscover their stuff. They can afford to invest innings in them, even high leverage innings. And until the core pieces of a competitive team are in place, they can afford to let other competitive teams fight over these developed assets.

    The question isn't if they should do it. The question is when the fruit should be picked.

    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Must Decide When, Not If, Glen Perkins & Jared Burton Are Available started by John Bonnes
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by CK View Post
      So you're saying there's a chance?!
      That's the spirit, Lloyd!
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      I hope like hell the team has a plan for 2013 to get a top line starting pitcher that doesn't involve trading their "core"guys. If they had a competent rotation Twins would be in the hunt for a play-off spot.
      The Offense is good
      The Bullpen is above replacement level
      The defense is not bad
      The Starting pitching has been horrible.
      Add 1 or 2 decent Starters and this team is .500 and just 4-5 games out from first.

      I would be disappointed if they blew it all up for some prospects unless they could get guys who could be Top-Line pitchers or All stars. And nobody on the MLB Team is going to give them that kind of return. So I would be against these moves because the type of return probably won't be there.

      If there is one thing I hope they learned from the Bill Smith Era is the only way to get better is to Fleece the other team (See Baltimore and Tampa Bay) and they don't have the assets to be the Fleecer.
      I couldn't agree with you more Clutterheart. I would trade Capps, Liriano, or Mornea partly to dump salary and possibly get a return. keep the younger guys here.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Nick, his overall stats have been fine, but he's had a few hiccups that have, through last week at least, left him with a neutral (maybe even negative) WPA. I think he would probably agree.

      WPA? Seriously??
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      Trading away all your good players is what KC tried for two decades.
      That seems like a very valuable observation here. People are frustrated for good reason, but the Twins need to be building/preserving a core of good players.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      The Twins are in last place in the American League and on track for a 100 loss season. The bullpen has been good. The lineup has been better than expected but there are a ton of holes. Biggest one is pitching--are the Pohldads going to shell out the bucks to get somebody who is a number 1 (CC, Verlander, etc.) NO. Therefore, Ryan has to trade to get a starter to build around--that means getting rid of assets where you have a replacement (Span, Willingham--where you have Benson and Revere to play) or those who may be at their peak right now (Plouffe). If we trade people who are basically spare parts (Doumit, Carroll, etc.) or who have health history (Morneau) we will get more pitchers in the tradition of Sir Sidney, Marquis, R. Ortiz...
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