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Trade Talk: Brian Duensing

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One of the players this board has discussed trading is Brian Duensing. The thought is other teams might look to him as a left handed LOOGY.

His line 5.06 ERA, 41g, 32in, 29k, 14bb (over his career left handed hitters have a .580 OPS)

Why trade him?
Brian is 30. He will be eligible for arbitration next year. He would likely be non-tendered. Caleb Thielbar appears to be the better option with Pedro Hernandez providing depth.

Why keep him?
He certainly isn’t at peak value now and has never been tried exclusively as a LOOGY. Perhaps he will find similar success as Craig Breslow found after leaving the Twins.

Which teams might fit?
Boston lost Miller but they have Breslow. The Indians are rumored to be looking for a lefty. The Reds are reportedly seeking a lefty.

What is the value of a LOOGY at the trade deadline?
I found 5 trades (and a waiver claim) over the last 3 summers involving a left handed reliever as the primary target. I am not sure Duensing is a great match as all others had ERAs under 4. When looking at the ability to get left handed hitters, he might be a match.

Brain Fuentes for (PTBNL) Loek Van Mil- 25, AA, 6.37 ERA

Javier Lopez for John Bowker and Joe Martinez – both 27 year old AAAA players

Will Ohmann for Rick Vandenhurk 25, AAA starter, 4.68 ERA

Craig Breslow for Matt Albers(29) and Scot Posednik(36) – major leaguers

JC Romero for Carlos Rojas – 28, AA, utility infielder

Jose Mijares -waived by Royals and picked up by Giants.

There were no prospects dealt in these trades. A few were already replacement AAAA players. Van Mil and Vandenhurk were 25. Vandenhurk had started 11 games for the Marlin the previous season. None of them appeared on team top 10 lists though Vandenhurk had pitched in the futures game three years earlier.

Best Terry Ryan LOOGY trade
The Twins traded JC Romero for Alexi Casilla in 2005. The return of Casilla is far better than anything in the last three years.

How will the Twins replace Duensing?
It seems that Thielbar already has replaced Duensing. Hernandez is 6 years younger and seems better suited to relief.

Bottom Line
When looking at comps, we can expect virtually nothing in return for Duensing. He certainly would not merit a sleeper prospect. Anything the Twins are able to get in return would be a bonus. An Alexi Casilla A-Ball type prospect would be an outright steal.
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  1. Otwins's Avatar
    From the looks of the expected return I would keep him. If he starts pitching like he has in the past he is better than anything we would receive. As far as his salary status I would worry about that at year end.
  2. spycake's Avatar
    I don't think Duensing has been anything special against LHB since 2010, although I don't have his platoon splits broken down by starting/relief, so correct me if I am wrong. It might be why he's not a LOOGY right now. I'm guessing he either stays and re-signs cheaply or is non-tendered.
  3. jorgenswest's Avatar
    The Twins non tendered Mijares a few years ago to avoid arbitration. Mijares had a better track record as a relief pitcher than Duensing. I would think Duensing will be nontendered or DFA'd prior to the end of the season.

    On the other hand, they took Butera to arbitration and his performance as a catcher is probably a comp to Duensing's as a reliever.

    They may designate him and use the 10 days to find a trade partner and take any offer.
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