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  1. 2019 MLB Trade Deadline Review

    Here is every move made during this deadline season. It includes prospect rankings per MLB Pipeline. If they weren’t on the top 30 for a team then they are listed as NR (not ranked).

    7/27

    • RP Jake Diekman acquired by Oakland Athletics from Kansas City Royals for OF Dairon Blanco (NR), RHP Ismael Aquino (NR)
    • RP Sergio Romo, SP Chris Vallimont (NR) and PTBNL acquired by the Minnesota Twins from Miami Marlins for 1B Lewin Diaz (#12)
    7/28
    • IF Eric Sogard acquired by Tampa Bay Rays from Toronto Blue Jays for two PTBNL
    • SP Marcus Stroman acquired by the New York Mets from Toronto Blue Jays for LHP Anthony Kay (#5) and RHP Simeon Woods (#7)
    7/29
    • SP Jordan Lyles acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers from Pittsburg Pirates for RHP Cody Ponce (NR)
    • SP Jason Vargas acquired by Philadelphia Phillies from the New York Mets for catcher Austin Bossart (NR)
    7/30
    • RP David Phelps acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Thomas Hatch (NR)
    • RP Chris Martin acquired by the Atlanta Braves from the Texas Rangers for LHP Kolby Allard (#16)
    • Three team trade: Indians acquire Franmil Reyes, Yasiel Puig, Logan Allen (#7), Scott Moss (#12), and Victor Nova (NR). Reds acquire Trevor Bauer. Padres acquire Taylor Trammell (#1).
    7/31
    • Catcher Martin Maldonado acquired by the Houston Astros from the Chicago Cubs for IF Tony Kemp.
    • 1B Jesus Aguilar acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays from the Milwaukee Brewers for RHP Jacob Faria.
    • RP Daniel Hudson acquired by the Washington Nationals from the Toronto Blue Jays for prospect Kyle Johnston.
    • SP/RP Drew Pomeranz acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers from the San Francisco Giants for top prospect Mauricio Dubon (#3).
    • SP Tanner Roark acquired by the Oakland Athletics from the Cincinnati Reds for prospect Jameson Hannah (#8).
    • RP Hunter Strickland and RP Roenis Elias acquired by the Washington Nationals from the Seattle Mariners for prospects Elvis Alvarado (NR), Taylor Guilbeau (#15), and Aaron Fletcher (#21)
    • SP Zac Gallen (#5) acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks (#1) from the Miami Marlins for SS prospect Jazz Chisolm
    • OF Corey Dickerson acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Pittsburgh Pirates for international signing money and a PTBNL
    • RP Shane Greene acquired by the Atlanta Braves from the Detroit Tigers for prospects LHP Joey Wentz (#7) and OF Travis Demeritte (NR)
    • IF Jedd Gyorko acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers from the St. Louis Cardinals for a PTBNL
    • RP Joe Biagini and SP Aaron Sanchez acquired by the Houston Astros from the Toronto Blue Jays for Derek Fisher
    • RP Nick Anderson and SP/RP Trevor Richards acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays from the Miami Marlins for OF Jesus Sanchez (#4) and RP Ryne Stanek
    • OF Nicholas Castellanos acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Detroit Tigers for prospects RHP Alex Lange (#23) and RHP Paul Richtan (NR)
    • SP Mike Leake acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the Seattle Mariners for IF Jose Caballero (NR)
    • SP Zack Greinke acquired by the Houston Astros from the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects Seth Beer (#3), Corbin Martin (#5), J.B. Bukauskas (#4) and Josh Rojas (NR)
    • RP Sam Dyson acquired by the Minnesota Twins for prospects OF Jaylin Davis (NR), SP Kai-Wei Teng (NR) and Prelander Berroa (NR)
    • RP Carl Edwards Jr. acquired by the San Diego Padres from the Chicago Cubs for LHP Brad Wieck
    • IF Scooter Gennett acquired by the San Francisco Giants from the Cincinnati Reds for a PTBNL
    Winners: Indians, Astros, Nationals, Braves, Athletics

    Losers: Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Reds

    Most confusing: Giants, Mets

    What did you think about what the Twins did? Go vent in the comments. Let it all out!

    • Jul 31 2019 03:36 PM
    • by Cooper Carlson
  2. Leading Off Podcast With Cooper & Matt: Trade Deadline Season

    We finally have an RSS feed! Listening to the podcast is much easier than it ever has been before. We use Spotify and next week we hope to be approved for iTunes, but for the Spotify version click the link below!

    https://open.spotify...ho6tEhWSRwNfbG8

    If you have any comments or want to ask some questions for next weeks podcast, just tag our twitter accounts with the comment or question...

    Matt: Matthew_btwins
    Cooper: Carlson_MNTwins

    • Jul 29 2019 07:09 AM
    • by Cooper Carlson
  3. Let's Make A Deal, Part V: Are We Getting Noah Syndergaard or Someone Else?

    Have you missed the earlier parts of this series?

    Part 1: 2020

    Part 2: Payroll

    Part 3: The Ammunition

    Part 4: The Sellers


    **********


    At the top of the Twins - and every other team’s - wish list is a front-end starting pitcher who has team control. By adding one of these players, the Twins would take a current starter (probably Martin Perez) and move him to the bullpen for the remainder of the year. I’m also being more than generous lumping some of these guys into the “front-end” conversation. These guys are starters and would be inserted into the rotation if acquired.

    Zack Greinke, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks. Turns 36 in October, 4.7 bWAR, 3.15 FIP, 8.2 K/9; owed a boatload of money over this season and the next two, also has a lot of deferred money he is owed and the Twins are on his no-trade list. Will he be a Twin? No, he won’t. But it would be really fun.

    Marcus Stroman, RHP, New York Mets. Turned 28 in May, 3.2 bWAR, 3.52 FIP, 7.1 K/9; owed ~$2.5 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $14m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Stroman would slot in perfectly behind Berrios despite not having overpowering stuff. He’s survived the AL East and performed heroically in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets traded for him Sunday afternoon, and appear to be keeping him rather than flipping him. Will he be a Twin? The Twins certainly had the pieces to deal with Toronto, but couldn't/didn't beat the Mets package. The Mets now have the most intriguing rental (Zach Wheeler), player with one year of control (Stroman) and player with two years of control (Syndergaard).

    Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets. Turns 27 in August, 1.2 bWAR, 3.64 FIP, 9.0 K/9; owed ~$2 million over the rest of the 2019 season and has two more years of arbitration left before heading to free agency. Syndergaard has not been as good this year as in the past, but the price is still incredibly high. The Padres and Braves sound like the most interested trade partners, with the Astros and Yankees showing interest as well. After adding Stroman, maybe the Mets are going for it. Will he be a Twin? We can dream, right? At this point, that’s what it is, despite having the ammunition to get it done.

    Matthew Boyd, LHP, Detroit Tigers. Turns 29 in February, 3.0 bWAR, 3.57 FIP, 12.0 K/9; owed ~$850,000 over the rest of the 2019 season and has three years of arbitration remaining. Not the youngest on this list, but is the one with the most team control, which makes him the most valuable. Will he be a Twin? Because he’s in the division, there is a very slim chance the Twins acquire Boyd.

    Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians. Turns 29 in January, 2.4 bWAR, 4.19 FIP, 10.6 K/9; owed ~$4.3 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $18m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Do the Indians move Bauer? And would they move him to the team they competing directly with for a playoff spot? Will he be a Twin? Extremely unlikely, despite his Sunday meltdown.

    Robbie Ray, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks. Turns 28 in October, 1.1 bWAR, 4.27 FIP, 11.9 K/9; owed ~$2 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $11m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Ray is probably a step below many of the other available. Will he be a Twin? They’ve kicked the tires on Ray and the teams were able to match up on a deal last year. Will a team not in on the big names try to strike early? It’s possible. I don’t consider Ray to be one of their top choices, so I don’t see this being a match unless it happens very late in the process.

    Lance Lynn, RHP, Texas Rangers. Turned 32 in May; 5.0 bWAR, 2.94 FIP, 10.2 K/9; owed ~$3.1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and is under contract for two more years at $20.7m. Lynn has been an above-average pitcher for his entire career, except for his time with the Twins, when he couldn’t throw strikes. Will he be a Twin? It would be a nightmarish reunion for fans, especially if he doesn’t perform well. But he’s been really good this year, the cost wouldn’t be excessive and he would help with the playoff push. If he keeps playing like he has so far this year, all fans would get over his 2018 performance.

    Mike Leake, RHP, Seattle Mariners. Turns 32 in November, 2.0 bWAR, 4.71 FIP, 6.7 K/9; owed ~3.6 million over the rest of the 2019 season and acquiring team would be on the hook for $11m of his $15m contract in 2020 as well as a $5m buyout on a $18m mutual option in 2021. The Twins could afford to take on the $20 still owed to Leake and, in doing so, could avoid moving their better prospects. He’d also help fill a need in next year’s rotation… but is he an upgrade on anyone in the current rotation? That’s a big question. Will he be a Twin? If the Twins are convinced they’d be better with Leake in the rotation and Perez in the bullpen than with Perez in the rotation and a new acquisition in the bullpen, then this is a move I could certainly see the team making.
    Mike Minor, LHP, Texas Rangers. Turns 32 in December, 5.8 bWAR, 4.20 FIP, 9.1 K/9; owed ~$3.3 million over the rest of 2019 and under contract for $9,833,333 next season. Minor will be a free agent following the 2020 season. Despite how good he’s been this year - he’s been great - his track record isn’t. Will he be a Twin? There is definitely familiarity between Thad Levine and Rangers GM Jon Daniels. And though he’s been arguably the best pitcher who is available, the cost shouldn’t be as high as others.

    Next on the Twins list would be a controllable, dependable back-of-the-bullpen type.

    Shane Greene, RHP, Detroit Tigers. Turns 31 in November; 1.5 bWAR, 3.74 FIP, 10.0 K/9; owed ~$1.3 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $8m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Greene is having his best season by far and the Tigers are looking to cash in. Will he be a Twin? Fortunately, the Twins and Tigers don’t appear likely to connect on a trade, saving the Twins from trading for someone who has a very short track record despite being a relief pitcher for the last three seasons.

    Jake McGee, LHP, Colorado Rockies. Turns 33 in August; 0.8 bWAR, 4.92 FIP, 7.3 K/9; owed ~$2.8 million over the rest of the 2019 season with $11.5m more guaranteed over the next two years, including a likely-to-vest option for 2021, increasing the guarantee to $18.5m. McGee is not the same performer he was with Tampa Bay, but has dominated left-handed hitters this year (which he did not do last year). Will he be a Twin? There are better, less expensive options available currently. But if it gets close to the deadline and the Twins are still in the market for another left-handed option, they could do worse.

    Edwin Diaz, RHP, New York Mets. Turned 25 in March; 0.0 bWAR, 3.50 FIP, 14.0 K/9; owed ~$200,000 over the rest of the 2019 season and has three years of arbitration left before free agency. Diaz was the best reliever in baseball in 2018 and the Mets paid for it. He hasn’t been good this year, yet the Mets are still asking for a ton, as they should. Will he be a Twin? The cost will be super high. The Twins appear most interested in Diaz of all the potential Mets trade chips, but that still doesn’t make this move more likely.

    Kirby Yates, RHP, San Diego Padres. Turned 32 in March; 2.4 bWAR, 1.07 FIP, 14.7 K/9; owed ~$1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $7m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. The Padres turned a waiver-wire claim in Brad Hand into a Top 100 prospect in Francisco Mejia. They’re likely to try to do the same thing with Yates. Yates has been great, don’t get me wrong. But he’s a great example of how elite relievers don’t always take the path that begins with being a top prospect. Will he be a Twin? His price will be high, but if the Twins insist on moving big-time prospects for a controllable reliever, Yates is one of the better options.

    Felipe Vasquez, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates. Turned 28 in July; 2.0 bWAR, 1.96 FIP, 14.1 K/9; owed ~$1.5 million over the rest of the 2019 season, with two more guaranteed years ($13.5m) before two team options ($10m each). Vasquez would certainly change the complexion of the bullpen, wouldn’t he? Will he be a Twin? Like Diaz, the cost will be extreme, which makes the likelihood of a trade small.

    Ian Kennedy, RHP, Kansas City Royals. Turns 35 in December; 0.9 bWAR, 2.16 FIP, 11.1 K/9; owed ~$5.5 million over the rest of the 2019 season and $16.5m in 2020. Kennedy’s career has been rejuvenated by a move to the bullpen. He’s walking less and striking out more hitters than ever before. Will he be a Twin? This is a move the team should make. With financial flexibility to take on salary, which would offset the need to part with top prospects, the Twins and Royals can match up nicely. That is, if the Royals are ok sending their closer to an in-division team.

    Ken Giles, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays. Turns 29 in September; 1.8 bWAR, 1.60 FIP; 14.9 K/9; owed ~$2.1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $10m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Giles should be high on the priority list for the Twins and others. You can definitely find reasons to not like Giles - he’s basically a two-years-younger-version of Cody Allen. But there’s a lot to like too. Will he be a Twin? The Twins will go as far down this path as they can. Will it end with Giles in Minnesota? We’ll find out soon.

    We're getting down to it... who are the Twins going to add?

    • Jul 29 2019 06:46 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  4. Trade Deadline Topics: Prospects, Scouting, Rumors

    The first thing we all need to admit, the term Prospect means something different to everyone. People aren’t going to agree on every prospect or rank them exactly the same. My Top prospect ranking looks a little different than Cody’s rankings or Tom’s rankings and with others, we have our Twins Daily Top 40 rankings. It looks different than Baseball America which looks a little different than Baseball Prospectus which looks a little different than FanGraphs which looks a little different than MLB Pipeline Which looks different than ESPNs rankings. And that’s OK.

    But as it relates to the Trade Deadline, the only prospect rankings and organizational depth charts that matter are the Minnesota Twins and any team that is scouting their players.

    That is the reason that each individual can have a slightly different, or fully different, opinion on a trade and the players dealt away.

    To that degree, we love our prospects, right? Every fan base loves its own prospects. No matter the deal, any trade that sends a player away hurts to some degree because, even if we don’t know that player personally, he’s part of the “We” that includes players, front office and fans too.

    At the same time, we all understand that in order to get something, something has to be given up, and in baseball, especially at the trade deadline, that comes in the form of prospects.

    I’ve been giving it some thought… let me know in the Comments if this makes sense.

    By definition, signing a free agent means that a team was willing to pay a little bit more than the other 29 teams were willing to pay. So it is overpaying, but hopefully just by a little bit. However, each team should also have a maximum amount (in years and dollars) for each player.

    It is sort of the same at the trade deadline. You know in every trade, the seller accepts the trade from the team that offered them the most. The acquiring team overpaid by just enough to “win” the trade.

    So, the goal of a Buyer when they really want to acquire a player should be to overpay, but just by a little bit. Each team should also have a maximum amount (in terms of prospects) for each player.

    So as it relates to the trade deadline, what does that mean? For each of the following players, how much would you be willing to trade? How much is too much?

    Noah Syndergaard:
    Marcus Stroman:
    Ken Giles:
    Mike Minor:
    Lance Lynn;
    Sergio Romo:
    Daniel Hudson:
    And the list goes on and on.

    How much do we love “our” prospects? But how much do we want to increase the Twins likelihood of winning a World Series incrementally? That is the question for you in the comments below, but it is also the question for the Twins front office in the next four to five days.

    SCOUTING UPDATES

    There are often scouts from other organizations at minor league games, just doing their job and getting information on players from the Twins organization. However, I have heard that there have been a lot of scouts in the last couple of weeks, particularly in Ft. Myers and Pensacola. The teams that have sent scouts to the Twins include (but certainly not limited to) the Blue Jays, Mets, Tigers, Royals, Giants, Rangers and Diamondbacks.

    That only makes sense. Teams are looking for pitching, and almost every night, there are real quality pitching prospects going for those affiliates. Teams certainly want to get a look at the likes of Edwar Colina, Jhoan Duran, Blayne Enlow, and even a guy like Cole Sands who has been really strong in his professional debut. Scouts have seen Jordan Balazovic, though his next start will be for Team Canada against Cuba on Tuesday at the Pan Am games in Peru. And they would certainly like to see Brusdar Graterol who hasn’t pitched in a game since May 19th, though there were reports this week that he could start a rehab assignment soon in the GCL.

    As for position players, the players that teams are scouting are in the lineup most every day, so it’s easier to know that they can be seen.

    There are scouts assigned to cover certain teams, and generally speaking they continue to be on-hand and scout as usual. However, over these last week or two they may be asked to focus on a target or two. Also over this time frame, teams may pull one of their other scouts will be pull off of their regular duty to get extra eyes on an organization that could be a trade partner.

    Twins Rumors

    On Thursday afternoon, the big talker became Noah Syndergaard.

    On Friday afternoon, the spotlight shifted again, this time north of the border to Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles.



    Jon Morosi from MLB Network got Twins fans talking for going very specific. A top-of-rotation starter and a veteran reliever are available, but Morosi says the Twins aren’t sure that they would give up both Trevor Larnach and Brusdar Graterol for him.

    Would the price come down if the teams waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday, or will another team swoop them up? Would it cost more or less to acquire the two together or in separate deals? In other words, what would the cost be for the Twins to acquire Stroman and then to acquire Giles (or another top reliever) in individual deals?

    And how does the Twins interest in Daniel Hudson factor into these discussions?


    Hey Sergio!

    The Twins will be in Miami during the trade deadline next week. Could they get Sergio Romo to switch dugouts mid-series?



    The 36-year-old is in his 12th season in the big leagues. He won three World Series titles with the Giants. He has 126 saves. He has 10.0 K/9 rate and 2.1 BB/9. This year with the Marlins, he has a 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 to go with a 3.58 ERA. He is also 17 for 18 in save opportunities.

    Romo is now a soft-tosser, reliant on his moxie, and a good mix of changeup and slider. The cost to acquire him would be quite low.


    Syndergaard Updates

    Joel Sherman from the New York Post.reported again on Friday night that the Mets are definitely looking to trade Noah Syndergaard. He mentions the Astros, Braves and Padres are the teams they feel have the best opportunity to acquire him.

    LaVelle Neal from the Star Tribune noted on Thursday that it might take Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to acquire Syndergaard. That should not be the case for the hard-throwing right-hander who has an ERA over 4 this year and missed most of the 2017 season with injury. But he is an ace caliber right-hander who has two more years of team control after this year.

    Dan Hayes from The Athletic pointed out that the Twins would be willing to move Lewis or Kirilloffin the right deal, meaning, for an Ace starting pitcher.

    In the same Sherman article, he pointed out that the likelihood that closer Edwin Diaz being traded “has greatly increased as well.” In fact, Jim Bowden says there may be more interest in the hard-throwing right-hander.



    And hey, Ken Rosenthal has found a scenario where the Mets trade Syndergaard to the Padres and then the Mets would acquire Marcus Stroman. Ah, trade deadline rumors.



    Twins Inquire on Robbie Ray Availability



    Yeah, that’s really it. The Twins have called the Diamondbacks to ask about Robbie Ray…

    As they have called on probably every potentially available pitcher at the trade deadline.

    Cross Him Off the List…

    One name mentioned in Twins rumors over the last month has been traded. On Saturday afternoon, Royals lefty reliever Jake Diekman became A’s lefty reliever Jake Diekman, per Jeff Passon:



    The A’s sent two minor leaguers to Kansas City to complete the deal,20-year-old right-hander Ismael Aquino (second season in the Arizona League) and outfielder Dairon Blanco, a 26-year-old Cuban outfielder in AA.

    (I was asked what an equivalent trade from the Twins may have looked like. I think the best I could do to compare would be GCL RHP Donny Breek and AA/AAA OF Jimmy Kerrigan.

    • Jul 27 2019 03:51 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  5. Trade Deadline Thread: What To Do About the Rotation?

    The first question I’d like to ask is should the Twins add a starting pitcher to the rotation?

    As of Thursday, there were 58 American League pitchers with 70 innings. In terms of FIP, Twins starters ranked 13th (Berrios), 17th (Odorizzi), 21st (Gibson), 24th (Perez) and 27th (Pineda). In other words, the entire rotation was in the top half of that sample.

    To put that into perspective, the Astros have three guys inside the top 27 (Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Brad Peacock), Cleveland has two (Shane Bieber and Trevor Bauer) and the Yankees only have one (James Paxton).

    Sounds really good right? I agree, however, this only tells us what has happened so far. FIP is a good predictor of future success (well, at least better than ERA), but the unknown element is whether or not the other contending teams in the AL will make significant additions to their rotations over the coming week.

    While the Twins rotation flexes in terms of depth, the other top teams in the AL have much more formidable pieces at the top. Can that still work?

    Yes, I think it can. We only need to look back to last year’s Milwaukee Brewers for proof. That team had a similar solid but unspectacular rotation that relied more on its depth. Jhoulys Chacin was the ace of that staff, though Wade Miley was very good when healthy. Neither of those guys can hold a candle to Berrios.

    That Milwaukee team managed to beat the Cubs in a Game 163 to take the NL Central with 96 wins. The pitching matchup was Chacin vs. Jose Quintana. The Brewers then swept the Rockies, giving up just two total runs in those three games. They even pushed the Dodgers all the way to a Game 7 in the NLCS behind a rotation of Miley, Chacin and Gio Gonzalez.

    The big difference is Milwaukee had an excellent bullpen, though it wasn't comprised of costly big-name arms. The Twins will need to upgrade their pitching staff, nobody is going to argue with that, but I’m not so convinced they really need to add a starter. Let me know what you think.

    The second thing I’d love to year your opinion on is if the Twins do acquire a starting pitcher, who gets booted to the bullpen? I think this is a tricky question. Might it actually come down to matchups?

    Berrios is clearly the No. 1 guy on the staff, but things get very fuzzy after that. Odorizzi went to the All-Star Game, but he has a 7.99 ERA over his past seven starts. On the other end of the spectrum, Pineda has a 2.93 ERA in his last seven outings. Gibson has been steady, but never spectacular. Perez has by far the worst WHIP on the staff, but he's also the only lefty starter.

    Deadline Discussion

    Should the Twins be aggressive on the starting pitching market? Would you trade Lewis and Kirilloff for Syndergaard? Who transitions to the bullpen if there is an addition? And if you hear any more rumors today, please feel free to pass them along.

    • Jul 26 2019 05:47 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  6. Trade Deadline Thread: Why So Few Trades So Far?

    As I mentioned, we are one week from the July 31st trade deadline. In years past, there were two trade deadlines. July 31st was the non-waiver trade deadline, meaning anyone can be traded up until that point. Then there was a second trade deadline at the end of August in which players had to be put on trade waivers to be traded. It’s a little more complex than that, but no need to dive into something that is no longer a thing this year.

    The decision to have just one trade line was made this past offseason. A big reason for it was because of how slow the offseason free agency was. When the best free agents were still available in March and a couple were still available in June, they thought something needed to happen.

    The idea was first proposed by the MLB Players Association to “"to protect the competitive integrity of the 162-game regular season, create more certainty for players and force teams to decide earlier whether they are buyers or sellers."

    Many thought it would create more activity at the deadline. So far it hasn’t, unless trades of Homer Bailey or Andrew Cashner or Martin Maldonado excite you. Why?

    At the end of the day, a deadline is a deadline. Right now, the “sellers” are asking for the world in terms of prospect return. No rational GM is going to do that.

    Right now, most of the National League teams are still in playoff contention, at least to some degree. There are at least seven of the American League teams vying for five playoff spots as well. A few may choose to “Sell” by the time the deadline rolls around, but until then, they might as well keep playing.

    Consider that the Giants have won 16 of their last 19 games and are now nearing a Wild Card spot. Does that mean that Madison Bumgarner and their slew of relief pitchers are still unavailable? Probably, at least for now.

    Because of those names (and others) likely not being available right now, Jon Heyman thinks it could cause the Toronto Blue Jays to try to deal Marcus Stroman more quickly.



    Earlier this week, Andrew Thares asked what it might take for the Twins to acquire Stroman.

    Ultimately a deadline is a deadline. The fact that there is just one only means that there are more buyers (usually) at the July deadline than there might be if there was still an August deadline. GMs don’t want to overpay, and that’s what the sellers are trying to get in return right now. And the only thing that will force those sellers hands is the deadline. So I expect there may be a few traded trickling in over the next few days, I think that most trades will happen in the final 24-48 hours leading up to the July 31st deadline… same as it always has been.


    Deadline Discussions
    • MLB Trade Rumors created a poll asking readers to give their thoughts on the Pirates potentially trading left-handed reliever Felipe Vasquez, quietly one of the best relievers in baseball. What makes him intriguing (and very, very costly) is that he signed a four year, $20 million contract a couple of years ago. Looking into his contract, he is owned $5.25 million in 2020 and $7.25 million in 2021.Even better, he has two options in the deal in which he could get $10 million in 2022 ($1 million buyout) and 2023 ($500K buyout) if things are going well. Thieres wrote about Vasquez in our Potential Bullpen Target series.
    • Old Friend Rhett Bollinger reported last Friday that the Angels had DFAd RHP Matt Harvey. On Tuesday, The Dark Knight officially became a free agent. Could he be a match for the Twins, maybe not as a starter, but as a long relief option?
    • Jim Duquette in The Athletic wrote about six players he believes should not be traded right now, and that list includes four pitchers that have been linked to the Twins (to some degree) over the last month.
    • Ken Rosenthal (The Athletic) asked if the Twins should have jumped on relievers sooner?
    • And from our Forums, USA Chief writes an embattled plea to the Twins front office to make a move to help this Twins bullpen, and soon!
    • Also in our Forums, there are threads dedicated to Noah Syndergaard and Matthew Boyd.
    • On his most recent episode of The Scoops podcast, Darren Wolfson chatted with Trevor Hildenberger. As it relates to the trade deadline, he also spoke with Twins CBO Derek Falvey. Listen here.
    Over the next week, we will provide a daily Trade Deadline thread in which we will discuss a topic briefly and provide some of the day’s rumors. Use this thread to discuss Twins rumors. Obviously if and when the Twins make a move, we will have an article ready to discuss that, but this should be a fun gathering ground for Twins rumors. If you see a Twins rumor, post it in the comments. Otherwise, let’s discuss.

    This is a big week for the 2019 Twins.

    • Jul 24 2019 08:48 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  7. What Will It Take to Acquire Marcus Stroman?

    To figure out what it might take to acquire Marcus Stroman, let’s start by looking at what he brings to the table. Stroman is currently 28 years of age and is under team control through the 2020 season. Stroman currently possess a 3.06 ERA (3.62 FIP) in 117 and 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays so far in 2019. For his career, Stroman has a 3.78 ERA (3.62 FIP) through his first six MLB seasons. Stroman isn’t a heavy strikeout pitcher, as his career 19.3% strikeout rate is quite low for today’s standards. From a control perspective, Stroman is solid, as his career 6.7% walk rate is slightly above average for an MLB starting pitcher. What makes Stroman so effective is his extremely high groundball rate. In a era where hitters are trying to hit the ball in the air more than ever, Stroman does an excellent job of preventing them from doing so. Since his debut in 2014, Stroman has a 59.6% groundball rate and a 22.1% flyball rate. Among the 152 starting pitchers with at least 400 innings pitched over that span, those numbers rank as the second highest and third lowest respectively.

    The next step is to look at the deal the Blue Jays are reportedly asking for. The blockbuster trade of last summer was the deal that sent Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and Shane Baz. At the time Archer was still a highly thought of starting pitcher, with three and a half years of team control remaining. More than double of what is left on Marcus Stroman’s contract. Glasnow and Meadows were both highly touted prospects in the Pirates system who were up with MLB team, but hadn’t shown much at the MLB level quite yet. Still they were prized possessions, who many believed were ready to break out sooner rather than later, which is exactly what happened. Meadows has gotten off to a great start to 2019 and was named to the American League All-Star team. Glasnow was on his way there too with a 1.86 ERA (2.32 FIP) in eight starts before getting shut down with forearm inflammation. In addition to those two, Baz was the Pirates first round pick in 2017, and was ranked as the 95th best prospect in baseball by MLB.com at the time of the trade. Baz currently sits as MLB.com’s 91st best prospect in baseball, right around where they have Trevor Larnach and Jordan Balazovic ranked, for context. If the Twins were to match that offer, they would be looking at giving up a package deal that includes Alex Kirilloff, Brusdar Graterol and Jordan Balazovic.

    It is probably safe to assume that the Blue Jays won’t be getting any offers for Marcus Stroman that are remotely in the range of that Chris Archer deal that a year later is already considered on of the worst deals in MLB history. Especially given the fact that Stroman has less trade value now than Archer did at this point last summer given the length of control each player has/had. If the Blue Jays don’t get a package that they like for Stroman, they could always hang onto him. However, they have little leverage to use that in a negotiation right now because MLB teams know the Blue Jays won’t be competitive again until after his contract is up, and from this point on, his trade value is only diminishing as the number of starts he can give the team that acquires him goes down. So, if the Blue Jays want to maximize their value for Stroman, they need to make a deal happen before the July 31st trade deadline.

    If we want to look at a more realistic trade to comparison for a Marcus Stroman deal, a better trade to look at might be the Sonny Gray trade in 2017. At the time of his trade, Gray still had two and 1/2 years of control left before free agency, and like Stroman, was considered a young arm that would slot right into the top of the rotation on a postseason contender. While this is more than Stroman has left on his deal, it is a lot closer comparison than the Chris Archer deal. In that trade the Yankees gave up Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian, who were their fourth, eighth and twelfth ranked prospects respectively according to MLB.com. However, both Fowler and Kaprielian’s trade values had been significantly diminished at the time of the trade due to injury. Kaprielian was only a few months removed from Tommy John surgery and Fowler had torn his right patellar tendon after crashing into the while during the first inning of his MLB debut. At the time of the deal, the Yankees were considered to have a top farm system, like the Twins do now. So, if the Twins were to offer up their fourth, eighth and twelfth ranked prospects, according to MLB.com, the deal would include Trevor Larnach, Jhoan Duran and Stephen Gonsalves. To me, this seems like a much more realistic trade proposal for the Blue Jays to receive than one that would match the Chris Archer deal. However, since Gray still had an entire extra year of control remaining, it still stands to question that a fair trade for Stroman would be a little less expensive than that.

    With all those factors laid out, we can start to make a more accurate prediction as to what it should cost to acquire Marcus Stroman. While this isn’t an exact science, because we don’t know exactly how the Twins and Blue Jays value the players in the Twins farm systems, and we don’t know exactly what other teams are willing to offer, we can probably get pretty close to a fair market value for Stroman. Personally, I think both Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff should not be on the table in trade discussions for Stroman, as each carries much more value to the organization than acquiring Stroman for one and a half years would. Additionally, I find it hard to believe that the Twins will look to move Brusdar Graterol right now with his value being diminished due to his shoulder injury. This leaves both Trevor Larnach and Jordan Balazovic to injclued as the headliner in the return package back to the Blue Jays. I think it will take at least one of these two, plus one or two other mid-level prospects to get the deal done.

    My Offer: Trevor Larnach, Lewis Thorpe and Nick Gordon

    What do you think? Is this package enticing enough to convince the Blue Jays to trade Marcus Stroman to the Twins, or is this offer too much to give up for him? What would you be willing to trade away to get Stroman? Let us know in the comment section down below.

    • Jul 22 2019 09:16 AM
    • by Andrew Thares
  8. Building a Perfect Twins Trade Deadline

    Deadline Blueprint
    With one of the baseball’s best offenses, it makes sense for the Twins to focus on adding pitching before the deadline. Minnesota’s most glaring need is the bullpen. Taylor Rogers might be the AL’s most valuable reliever, but he won’t be able to pitch every postseason inning. Ryne Harper, Tyler Duffey and Zach Littell have been more than serviceable, but they might be better suited for pitching the middle innings.

    Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi have been leading the pitching staff, while the rest of the rotation has fit into their roles nicely. Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez have had some up and down moments throughout the year. Michael Pineda has provided an upgrade over recent fifth starters. Would you trust one of these pitchers to face the Yankees or Astros line-up in the ALDS?

    Ideally, the Twins would add two relief arms and a starter before the calendar turns to August.

    Bullpen
    In a perfect world, the Twins would be able to add both a right- and left-handed reliever to assist Rogers in his late inning role. There are some internal options for the Twins including two left-handed pitchers that are already on the 40-man roster. Both players would be unknowns in a relief role, so it makes sense to find someone with some experience if the price in prospects isn’t too steep.

    When it comes to left-handed relievers, Will Smith is the name on everyone’s list. He is currently being used as the Giants closer, but his cost might be slightly lower since he is a free agent after the season. John projected a package of Kohl Stewart and Edwar Colina for Smith. If that’s the deal on the table, I pull the trigger.

    For Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers, there have been few bright spots this year. However, Shane Greene has been one of the team’s best players. In 2018, he struggled in his first chance being the full-time closer. He posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP with a 65 to 19 strikeout to walk ratio. For how bad he was last season, he has done a complete 180 this year. He has a microscopic 1.06 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks. He’s also under team control through 2020.

    Starting Pitching
    There’s been lots of talk about Madison Bumgarner since he is a pending free agent and the Giants are likely to be sellers. One must wonder what version of Madison Bumgarner a club would receive in a trade. He’s been a World Series hero but that was half a decade ago. This season he has posted a 3.86 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP to go along with 121 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings. Another thing to consider is Bumgarner has a lot of miles on his arm with 1755 big league innings over the last 11 seasons.
    Toronto’s Marcus Stroman is another potential trade target and he is younger than Bumgarner. So far this season, he has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has 88 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings, so Bumgarner has him beat in that category. Stroman has another year of team control as the 2020 season will be his final year of arbitration eligibility.

    Both above-mentioned pitchers could help the club, but I’d rather the team target Arizona’s Zack Greinke, even if he has a no-trade clause that includes the Twins. There are a few reasons I’d rather the team go after a 35-year old pitcher with a big contract. First, it would likely take fewer high-ranking prospects to acquire Greinke because of his large contract. Greinke has been very good this year with a 2.95 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.

    Minnesota has the financial flexibility in the years ahead to absorb the Greinke contract. Plus, three of the Twins current starters will be free agents following the World Series. Greinke could fit in at the top of the rotation with Berrios for the next handful of seasons. If he isn’t still an ace in 2021, the Twins could still fit him in some part of their rotation.

    Greinke, Smith, and Greene put the Twins in better position to win October games. Who would be part of your perfect trade deadline for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

    Other Stories of Interest
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    Twins Trade Rumors Roundup: Teams Pondering Selling

    • Jul 18 2019 08:45 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  9. Tracking Reinforcements for the Twins

    Looking at how well the lineup has performed, and the depth that should be available to keep a long and dismal slump at bay, pitching is where Minnesota can look to improve. The starting rotation went into the year with a clear ace, but the performances from Martin Perez and Jake Odorizzi have been a welcomed addition. Michael Pineda doesn’t look like a great bet at this point however, and the 5th turn in the rotation could be expanded upon.

    In the bullpen Minnesota left themselves open to plenty of criticism. Banking on unknown commodities such as Matt Magill and Ryne Harper, while hanging onto a miscast starter in Adalberto Mejia, there was plenty to worry about. The back end of the pen has been solid, and really the group has stayed afloat. Bringing in a high-level arm that can push everyone down a notch would only strengthen the unit.

    On the starting front, here’s who some of those names may be:

    Marcus Stroman- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021

    I’ve been crushing on Stroman’s numbers for years now. He’s routinely put up better peripherals than the ERA suggests, and he’s a guy that’s previously performed at a very high level. Under team control for another season he won’t come cheap, but it’d be in the Blue Jays best interests to move him sooner rather than later. On the season he owns a 2.96 ERA with a 3.09 FIP. His ERA+ sits at 145, or exactly where it was when he finished 8th in Cy Young voting during 2017.

    Madison Bumgarner- Giants 29 years old FA 2020

    It’s crazy to think Bumgarner is just 29 (almost 30) given how long he’s been around. He’s approaching 2,000 big league innings but pitched at least 200 innings every year from 2011-2016. The velocity has remained consistent over the past four seasons, and his track record speaks for itself. The Giants ace is amid his best season since 2016 and would slot in nicely behind Jose Berrios. Given his impending free agency, this could be a situation in which the Twins operate on a try before you buy model. Miguel Sano to the National League is questionable, but a straight up swap may be enticing for Minnesota.

    Mike Minor- Rangers 31 years old FA 2021

    The least of the options on this list, Minor has plenty of intrigue in his own right. He’s coming off a mediocre 2018, but his 2019 has seen a nice resurgence. Minor has jumped his whiff rate roughly 2% from 2018, and it’s come on the heels of a career high in changeup usage. Being under team control for another year, he’ll cost a bit more than his numbers may warrant, but as a stabilizing force to round out the rotation he has some appeal.

    Relief help has some interesting names as well:

    Craig Kimbrel- 31 years old Unsigned

    At this point Kimbrel won’t be signed until after the June amateur draft. Without being tied to pick compensation, he may find suitors offering both long-term and one-year pacts. Kimbrel is arguably the best closer in the game, and while he’ll need some ramp up time, he’s coming off a 2.74 ERA and 13.9 K/9 season. Sure, he had some blowups in the postseason, and if you’d like to nitpick, there’re warts here. At the end of the day though, this is an elite talent that costs a team nothing but cash to acquire.

    Ken Giles- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021

    Here’s another guy from Toronto and still under team control for another season. Giles comes with personality questions, as the Houston Astros shipped him out growing tired of his inconsistencies on and off the mound. He’s already on his third big league team, and despite being ultra-talented, he’s proven to be expandable. If that can be vetted out, the Blue Jays are offering a reliever with a 1.65 ERA 1.79 FIP, and 13.8 K/9. Walks have never been much of a problem, strikeouts are aplenty, and velocity is through the roof. He can operate as a closer or setup man, and that would give the Twins some flexibility.

    Sean Doolittle- Nationals 32 years old FA 2020 ($6.5MM team option)

    An unexpected name on this list given where the Nationals assumed they’d be this season. The reality is that Davey Martinez hasn’t done well taking over for Dusty Baker, and the team is a mess. For the opposition, a guy like Doolittle becoming available would be a massive boost. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for nearly a decade, and his numbers in 2019 are equally eye-popping. A lefty with strong strikeout stuff, he’s not a platoon pitcher, and Baldelli could use another Taylor Rogers type in relief.

    When it comes to execution on any deals they’ll do, the Twins have some very different options to consider. Miguel Sano could establish himself as an expandable, and valuable piece. They have prospect capital behind the untouchables of Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Brusdar Graterol. There’s also no reason to believe this club is cash poor, and simply doling out money is a possibility as well.

    If it’s up to me, I’d prefer to see Minnesota land a starter they believe can help them in 2019 and beyond. Someone that slides in at the middle of the rotation or higher, and will be around for another run, is a guy I’d give up some pieces for. In relief, choosing the cash route on Kimbrel makes the most sense. I’m not sure you want to part with assets in both areas, but it depends on the names you’d have to give up.

    We’re at least a month out from some of these deals potentially coming to fruition, but you can bet plans are in place to make sure the decision is a clear one when the time comes.

    • May 09 2019 07:35 PM
    • by Ted Schwerzler
  10. Deadline Primer: The American League East

    After reviewing the National League teams last week, Nick reviewed the AL West teams yesterday.


    STANDINGS

    Boston Red Sox 56-47
    New York Yankees 53-46 1.0 GB
    Tampa Bay Rays 53-49 2.5 GB
    Baltimore Orioles 48-53 7.0 GB
    Toronto Blue Jays 47-54 8.0 GB

    The Yankees are currently sitting in the first of two wild card positions, a half-game ahead of the Royals. The Rays are a half-game out of the second wild card spot. The Orioles are 4.5 games back, and the Blue Jays are 6.5 games back.

    THE BUYERS

    Unlike other divisions that we have highlighted, the AL East has three of their five teams which could fit into the buyers’ category.

    The Red Sox are already making moves. They released Pablo Sandoval, eating millions upon millions of dollars in salary. They called up top prospect Rafael Devers, and they traded a couple of prospects for former Twins infielder Eduardo Nunez.

    Last week, the Yankees made a big move, adding third baseman Todd Frazier and closer David Robertson from the White Sox. They are believed to be in serious talks with the A’s regarding Sonny Gray.

    The Rays don’t have the economic means to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees for high-priced talent, but they’ll certainly be on the phone a lot over the rest of the week. Also noteworthy, any rumors (real or imagined) a few weeks ago that Chris Archer might be available are certainly untrue now.

    As the Twins continue to fall behind Cleveland and Kansas City and are further out of the wild card race, the Twins could find interest in the likes of Ervin Santana, Brandon Kintzler and even Jaime Garcia in the AL East.


    THE SELLERS

    That leaves two teams that should fit into the sellers category, the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays.


    The Orioles

    That the Orioles are only a handful of games under .500 is pretty impressive when you consider their starting pitching.

    • Kevin Gausman is 7-7 with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP.
    • Wade Miley is 4-9 with a 5.69 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.
    • Ubaldo Jimenez is 4-6 with a 7.19 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP.
    • Chris Tillman is 1-5 with a 7.01 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP.
    My guess is any of those pitchers would be available. Gausman, the #3 overall pick in the 2012 draft, would cost quite a bit and he would be intriguing in the long-term. The other three could be had for very little.

    The Orioles do have a couple of intriguing relievers. 31-year-old Brad Brach has been very good in the late innings. In 43.1 innings, he has a 2.70 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. He’s got 46 strikeouts over 43.1 innings. Side-winding Darren O’Day is also likely available. Though he’s posting a 4.67 ERA over 34.2 innings, he has 43 strikeouts. Zach Britton has missed most of the season. He was the best reliever in baseball a year ago, but he’s only had limited time since returning and hasn’t yet returned to dominance.

    The Blue Jays

    The Jays got off to a terrible start. Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitski have missed significant time with injury. They lost Edwin Encarnacion to Cleveland and Jose Bautista got off to a miserable start. Bautista might be of interest since he’s come on a bit and his contract is up after the season. The name that Toronto should be throwing out is 1B Justin Smoak who, frankly, hasn’t been very good until this year when he has become a huge power hitter. Sell high.

    As it relates to the Twins and their need for pitching, the Jays probably aren’t a likely partner. They do, however, have Marcus Stroman who is one of those pitchers that has incredible talent and years of team control remaining. He’s the kind of guy that a team will be willing to give up a lot for, a couple of high-ranking prospects and more.

    Francisco Liriano hasn’t been particularly good (5.99 ERA, 1.67 WHIP), but he’s rumored to be of interest for the Royals. Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.52 ERA, 1.49 WHIP) does have 118 strikeouts in 109.1 innings. He could be intriguing. J.A. Happ is 3-7 with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. He’s pretty Jaime Garcia-like.


    SUMMARY

    As noted, the Twins have gone from buyer to we’ll-see, and there’s a chance they could be sellers by the deadline on Monday. That change likely means that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will not go overboard in terms of what they’d be willing to give up right now.


    However, if they still are buyers, there are some players, particularly a few bullpen guys, who the Twins could have some interest in acquiring.

    • Jul 27 2017 12:26 AM
    • by Seth Stohs