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  • Big Trades Impact Twins

    Two huge trades went through yesterday and both of them impact the Twins to some degree.

    Yankees Acquire Ichiro Suzuki
    Yesterday the Yankees acquired Ichiro Suzuki (and cash) for little more than a lesser prospect and a waiver wire pickup. It had been reported that they had explored trades for both Denard Span and Shane Victorino of the Phillies, so this gives the Twins one less suitor to court. But it doesn’t properly reflect the market.



    In nearly all respects except name recognition, Denard Span is worth quite a bit more than Ichiro to a major league team. Ichiro is 38, comes with a price tag over $6M for this year, is a free agent at the end of the year, and his OBP is just .288. (For reference, Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s OBP last year was just 10 points lower.) Span is 28, will cost the team $1M, is under contract for two more years (plus a 3rd year team option) and has an OBP of .340. Finally, Ichiro had trade veto rights, so he was only going to go where he WANTED to go. This was a salary dump, and possibly a favor to Ichiro, which is very different than a Span trade would be.

    But it does mean one less team is interested in Span, taken by a player we didn’t really know is on the market. That doesn’t mean that the market has dried up. As far as lead-off hitters go, there are still plenty of options: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore and the Dodgers could all be labeled “borderline desperate” for a high OBP player. So could the Nationals, who incidentally approached the Twins about Span last year.

    The more I look at it, the more I believe that some team is going to talk themselves into Span at the deadline. He’s a better fit for more teams than has generally been acknowledged.

    Tigers Acquire Anibal Sanchez
    When the Marlins, who had seemingly pushed all their chips into the middle of the table this offseason, announced they were looking to sell off key players, it was bad news for the Twins. The Marlins have plenty to offer teams looking to get better. That includes right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez, who is becoming a free agent at the end of the year and positioned to do even better than Francisco Liriano on the free agent market.

    He was traded yesterday to the Detroit Tigers along with Omar Infante, a starting second baseman. In return, the Tigers built a package around starting pitcher Jacob Turner, who entered the season as an “A” prospect, though he’s struggled a bit in AAA and the majors this year. They added a couple of “C” prospects too.

    Meanwhile, there were multiple reports that the Cubs had an agreemenent to trade Ryan Dempster to the Braves for a package that include Randall Delgado, another “A” starting pitching prospect who has struggled a bit this year in the majors.

    This suggests that right now, eight days before the deadline, aggressive (or risk-adverse) teams are willing to overpay with borderline “A” pitching prospects for an exceptional pitcher. That doesn’t mean the Twins have received that kind of an offer. Dempster was clearly valued higher than Liriano. Sanchez is at least comparable, and certainly has been more consistent. (Also, since the Tigers are in the Twins division it was unlikely they would want to trade the Twins a prospect that will face them for years to come.)

    There are still a few hands to play before we find out where Liriano ranks in the trade market. Lots of additional names could hit the market - or they could not. The Phillies are negotiating with Cole Hamels. Zach Greinke and Matt Garza both suddenly have injury concerns. Either way, there are still plenty of teams interested in Liriano. But so far, the market seems to be dictating that the market for moving a pitcher like Liriano is strong. We’ll see in the next week whether it gets better or worse.
    This article was originally published in blog: Big Trades Impact Twins started by John Bonnes
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Teams are giving up more than I expected for rental players. I thought the lack of compensation picks for traded players would negatively impact the market but that doesn't seem to be the case. A good sign for the Twins.

      And damn, Ichiro looks old in that photo.
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      Don't worry the Twins will find a way to screw up somehow. I bet they give Liriano away for nothing and hold on to Span. I guess Ryan believes these guys are superstars or something. The only real trade chip is Josh Willingham and for some stupid reason Ryan is refusing to trade him. Willingham has a history of being injured and is having a career year. This is clearly the best time to trade him at 33.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Ryan needs to trade Liriano before his next start. I think the risk is just too high that Frankie poops the bed Sunday and has little trade value. Pitt Tex LAA and LAD should be called and take the best offer.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      this is certainly encouraging... would be nice to trade Liriano for a Randall Delgado type pitcher and then trade Span for another starter plus a high ceiling A ball kid who is also (hopefully) a pitcher.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack View Post
      Don't worry the Twins will find a way to screw up somehow. I bet they give Liriano away for nothing and hold on to Span. I guess Ryan believes these guys are superstars or something. The only real trade chip is Josh Willingham and for some stupid reason Ryan is refusing to trade him. Willingham has a history of being injured and is having a career year. This is clearly the best time to trade him at 33.
      If teams are willing to give up high upside pitching prospects for Willingham and Ryan turns it down he has failed again. How will the Twins become competitive again eithout trading high on assets like Willy for pithing? We know that draft/develop is not an org strength snd I dont see the Polads upping payroll anytime soon.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      If teams are willing to give up high upside pitching prospects for Willingham and Ryan turns it down he has failed again. How will the Twins become competitive again eithout trading high on assets like Willy for pithing? We know that draft/develop is not an org strength snd I dont see the Polads upping payroll anytime soon.
      What is this organizations strength????
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      We know that draft/develop is not an org strength snd I dont see the Polads upping payroll anytime soon.
      Yeah that group of Cuddyer, Mauer, Morneau, Kubel and Span that the Twins drafted and developed sure were crappy!
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Yeah that group of Cuddyer, Mauer, Morneau, Kubel and Span that the Twins drafted and developed sure were crappy!
      All drafted before over 10 years ago...try again.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by DPJ View Post
      All drafted before over 10 years ago...try again.
      Guys like Perkins and Plouffe have both been nice draft picks Revere looks like he can contribute in the majors, Ramos turned into a nice player as did Garza, Loshe and others.

      Also Arica, Hicks, Rosario, Buxton, Gibson and Benson are all within a year or two from potentially being impact players in the bigs.

      It's not as big of a wasteland as people make it out to be.

      IMO what killed them more than anything else was getting nothing but garbage for Santana, how nice would it have been if we would have taken any of the other rumored packages out there? We should have gotten at least one very good major leaguer (all-star) and one or two others that eventually would contribute.

      All we got were a 4th OF, a AAAA pitcher (humber) and a couple AAA relief pitchers. Ouch.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Yeah that group of Cuddyer, Mauer, Morneau, Kubel and Span that the Twins drafted and developed sure were crappy!
      Not many pitchers in that bunch.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Not many pitchers in that bunch.
      Garza, Radke and they developed guys like Santana and Liriano. That "bunch" won 6 titles in 9 years.
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Guys like Perkins and Plouffe have both been nice draft picks Revere looks like he can contribute in the majors, Ramos turned into a nice player as did Garza, Loshe and others.

      Also Arica, Hicks, Rosario, Buxton, Gibson and Benson are all within a year or two from potentially being impact players in the bigs.

      It's not as big of a wasteland as people make it out to be.
      So relief pitcher in Perkins, Ploufee who's done nothing in his career outside of an insane June/July. Loshe hasn't been in the organization for years, Revere is still living off a hot May and has such a limited ceiling even if he makes it.

      As for the kids in the minors, let me know when they're up and contributing.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Garza, Radke and they developed guys like Santana and Liriano. That "bunch" won 6 titles in 9 years.
      Radke was drafted in 1991, which is a long time ago.

      Garza pitched all of 133 innings for the Twins.

      Santana and Liriano both came to the Twins in trades, which you can give the scouts credit for, but they were major league ready when the Twins got them.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The issue is the gap between the veterans of the early 2000s, and today.

      Not one legit starting pitcher has come up since Garza/Baker. Most of the relievers are from outside the system. No SS or 2B has come up in years. We don't know if a 3B has come up for more than a month or year in over a decade.

      This year, they added Plouffe, that's pretty much it.*
      Last year they added Revere (who while a nice player, isn't a very good/great player)
      The year before, um, who did they add?
      The year before, um, who did they add?

      That's the issue. The gap.

      If you won't sign FAs, you need to bring up contributors (plural) every year.

      *in this list, I'm probably missing a relief pitcher or three
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Santana and Liriano both came to the Twins in trades, which you can give the scouts credit for, but they were major league ready when the Twins got them.
      Not really.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Agreed, neither Santana nor Liriano were starters when they got here day 1.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Radke was drafted in 1991, which is a long time ago.

      Garza pitched all of 133 innings for the Twins.

      Santana and Liriano both came to the Twins in trades, which you can give the scouts credit for, but they were major league ready when the Twins got them.
      Yeah, but in those 133 innings he pitched well, just like he has the rest of his career! I forgot pitchers like Baker and even Blackburn had a couple nice years.

      Also Liriano and Santana were NOT major league ready when the Twins got them. The whole reason they got Santana in the rule 5 draft is because the team that gave him up didn't think he was major league ready. He had only pitched as high as low A ball when they got him and he was 20 years old. The Twins did amazing with their development of Santana.

      Ditto with Liriano, he was 19 when the Twins got him and had all of one inning pitched above low A ball.
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      The bottom line is the Twins haven't done well at delveloping pitchers and position players over the last decade. Hell if they would have they wouldn't have to give 2 year deals to 38 year old infielders or have a rotation with a bunch of no-name AAAA scrubs.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by DPJ View Post
      The bottom line is the Twins haven't done well at delveloping pitchers and position players over the last decade. Hell if they would have they wouldn't have to give 2 year deals to 38 year old infielders or have a rotation with a bunch of no-name AAAA scrubs.
      This.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Nice article, bleh on the comments . . . good god.
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