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Twins' Trade Bait and Why the Twins Should Sell

josmil pinto kendrys morales kurt suzuki minnesota twins phil hughes
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#1 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:58 PM

Visit http://gogonzojourna...ins-should-sell for the original post.

After a devastating 2-1 extra-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox, Wednesday — their fifth straight — the Minnesota Twins, despite being just 6.5 games back, should start selling...and should be happy about it.

For the first time in years the Twins have players that will be of interest to almost any contender and a general manager who won't **** it up. They have a right- and left-handed bat, a deep bullpen, and even rotation depth. Yes, I said rotation depth. They have someone for everyone.


Kurt Suzuki


The Twins' best offseason acquisition has paid dividends to say the least. Owed roughly just $1.5 million over the remainder of his contract and likely the most attractive trade chip for the Twins, Suzuki should pack his bags and Twins' GM Terry Ryan should enjoy the fruits of his labor on this one. Josmil Pinto should be playing everyday anyway.


The Baltimore Orioles are in desperate need of a catcher in the wide-open AL East with Matt Wieters out for the season, and Suzuki will fit the mold perfectly. The Orioles even have minor league depth at catcher, so losing one shouldn't get their panties in a bunch. Chance Sisco is a grade B, A-ball catcher currently slashing a .310/.379/.437 line. He's expected to improve defensively if Josmil Pinot cannot, giving Pinto the option to move to DH in a few years. Oh, and the Orioles also have catcher Michael Ohlman at AA, so losing Sisco won't be the end of the world. The Twins should take either.


Josh Willingham


The man everyone's wanted to move for a solid year or more might actually be worth something. His team-friendly contract would have been nice to trade last year, but injuries made that an impossibility. Since returning from the DL with a wrist injury, Willingham has been taking more walks and going the other way, as his on-base percentage is also nearly 50 points higher (.422) than it was two years ago when he hit 35 homers, and his OBS is 27 points higher than it was during that amazing season (.494).
So who needs a left fielder who can't play left-field? The Yankees. They have the worst DH production in the American League, sporting a .248/.325/.430 line. Willingham would be a massive upgrade, and with just $3.5 million owed to him over the second half of the season, it's a cheap option for New York. So what can the Twins expect in return? How about Double-A RHP pitcher Bryan Mitchell? He boasts a wicked fastball and a 9.5 K/9 ratio and would be available.


Phil Hughes


This one could hurt, but it should be an easy decision for Terry Ryan. After wasting $11 million on Mike Pelfrey, he needs to find a way to get that money back, and trading Phil Hughes is a great start. The only reason this trade happens is because of the Twins' Triple-A rotation, which has been incredible, and because Hughes is now an All-Star-quality starter. There's been no better time to trade Hughes...except for that time the Twins were moving Johan Santana and the Yankees wouldn't move Hughes. So, who would want Hughes? But more importantly, where would Hughes succeed?
The Mariners are only a half game back in the Wild Card at this point, and given the dimensions of Safeco Field, that would be the best place for Hughes. The reason this trade is so great for the Twins is because of Hughes' performance thus far and the potential return. Danny Hultzen has been lights out at Triple-A Tacoma. He's got a .848 WHIP and 10 strikeouts per nine innings. Not a guy the Mariners would be shopping, but for an All-Star caliber pitcher it's more than reasonable, especially if grouped with more trade bait. It's a great two-and-a-half-year salary dump for the Twins and gives them another rotation spot to call up Trevor May or Alex Meyer, which they'll need if Kevin Correia finishes the season.


Kendrys Morales


Like the Yankees, the Mariners could also use some help at DH, and Morales could be the answer. Morales has not let a vacation for nearly a third of the season affect his swing. He's hitting .273/.314/.364 with 4 RBI and 4 runs scored in 35 plate appearances. Although the Mariners' offer of 2 years and $20 million was well below the $14 million qualifying offer Morales declined, at this point in the season the Mariners can't afford to be cheap. Under his current contract Morales would be a steal for the Mariners and wouldn't cost much in prospects.


Grouping Hughes and Morales together gives the Twins more leverage and an opportunity to grab up to three prospects. I still like Hultzen, and Victor Sanchez is a 19-year-old right-hander tossing for the Mariners' Double-A affiliate. He's got incredible control for being just 19, giving up 12 walks in 44+ innings, but his real problem is the home run. He's giving up two homers per nine innings this season. If the Twins coaching staff at Rochester and New Britain can iron out the wrinkles, Sanchez could be a great acquisition to fit into the future middle of the rotation for the Twins.
It's understandable to be down why the Twins are playing their way out of the AL Central, but the potential moves to be made by the front office should help squelch the disappointment. There is finally value on the roster, and it's time for Terry Ryan to act.

#2 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:00 PM

You want to trade the best pitcher the Twins have had in years for salary relief? Pelfreys contract is not going to hamstring them at all

#3 Monkeypaws

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:07 PM

Surprised Dozier isn't on your list too.

i agree on Willingham, but that is about it. Maybe a tad too aggressive approach.

#4 Thrylos

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:10 PM

Trading Hughes (who just entered his prime btw) makes zero sense.

Not sure how long they have to keep Morales before they trade him.

I think that they should sell high on Dozier, because his reminds me a lot of this guy (check how the OPS is driven by SLG and the BA and OBP levels) and his peak will not even be close to that guy's, but he does have value now.

If Correia and Deduno and Theilbar and Swarzak can bring a warm body with a pulse, I'd take it at this point, just because May and Meyer and Achter and Johnson are better players.

I don't think that they are getting anything for Guerrier and Burton, but they should go (heck Burton might be already gone)
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#5 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:16 PM

Hughes? Seriously? This one just slapped me in the face and kicked me in the Jack Groin. Out of the question.

The rest are ok, but we need to deal Correia for anything. Suzuki could be an option to bring back next season. No one wants to block Pinto, but let's realize that Zuke has been valuable in his own right.

#6 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:19 PM

It's important to be aggressive. Willlingham is a perfect example of the Twins not being aggressive enough in the past. His highest value was in the first year of a team-friendly contract, like Hughes, and the Twins, despite losing 96 games, didn't deal. This is not a team that will compete with playoff contenders, so give it up and let the kids play. There's too much talent at AAA to let veterans that won't be part of the future eat up MLB at-bats. Pinto should be playing everyday. Meyer and May should be called up. Outfield is already bad, so let Parmelee and Arcia work RF and LF with Santana/Fuld in center...have Rosario (now playing CF), Hicks, and Buxton waiting.

#7 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:20 PM

Correia isn't worth anything. Almost every fifth starter in baseball is better than him.

#8 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:21 PM

Burton should be gone but it would be hard to find a buyer. Same situation as Correia.

#9 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:21 PM

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I will, because I'm a sadist and a dead horse cant feel it, but it may help tenderize my horse steak I'm having for dinner.

Trading Hughes doesn't make any sense. He's a guy who can be a part of the future of success in Minnesota for the next couple years+.

Hammer, Kurt's Mortorcycle Shop and Kendrys can all go and should fetch something in return. I'm not sure what value Correia has except to eat innings, and there are a lot of back of the rotation guys who can do that everywhere and anywhere. He doesn't make a ballclub better for a playoff run this season or anytime in the future. Same with Burton and the rest.

There are really just the big three to move, unless I'm missing something. I'd be happy if the Twins move all or none of them. Keeping them makes this team for fun to watch down the stretch, even if they never find themselves in contention. Moving them means acquiring guys for the future, and for a team who I pegged to win 72-75 games this season, working towards the future sounds like a good idea.

#10 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:22 PM

Correia isn't worth anything. Almost every fifth starter in baseball is better than him.


Correia can get cash back, and we remove a road block at the MLB level for May or Meyer. That is not worthless. And I actually like Correia.

#11 JB_Iowa

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:22 PM

There is a significant value in having a pitcher who can anchor a young staff.

I have doubts whether Nolasco can do that.

Right now, Hughes is demonstrating that he can. I want him around for Gibson and Meyer and May (and whomever else we may promote). By the time his contract is up, maybe one of them can be an anchor.

#12 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:23 PM

I like Fein and Theilbar. Swarzack and Deduno don't have much value. Not great trade bait.

#13 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:37 PM

Getting maximum value is most important, and I find it hard to believe, given his track record, that Hughes will continue to pitch this well. His lowest BB/9 ratio (0.8) before this year was 2.2. Sure the Twins' staff has preached pitching to contact, but it's inconceivable that Hughes will average less than one walk per game throughout the season. His career average for BB/9 is 2.61. And the way Hughes works up in the zone, balls will start to leave the park in the hot summer.

#14 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:43 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to keep Hughes, but considering what he can fetch as trade bait, he's the best bait we got. I'd hate to see him regress or get hurt and get nothing for a great signing that paid off for a team that misses the playoffs...especially with three starters in Rochester who deserve a shot.

#15 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:45 PM

Nolasco MUST do that. His contract and ERA alone make it impossible for the Twins to move him. I don't care if he ends up the fourth or fifth starter, but he (like Pelfrey for another year) is along for the long haul.

#16 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:47 PM

That's only one roster spot. There are three, if not four, AAA starters deserving of a shot. And if you like Correia, you pay him.

#17 Twinsoholic

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:50 PM

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this elsewhere, but I have to believe that Pino, if he pitches well, would be a trade piece. His numbers at AAA are fantastic, but he's not going to fetch much as a AAA pitcher. Giving him a shot to pitch at the MLB level increases his trade value if he pitches well. Of course, if he pitches well, one might ask "why trade him," but with Meyer, May, Berrios, and Darnell and Johnson also pitching well, Pino is sort of a placeholder. If he pitches well, he could be potentially flipped to a team looking for pitching help in July. The Twins could then shift May or Meyer or Johnson/Darnell into his rotation spot. Pitchers who are effective will always have trade value even if they are thirty year old rookies.

#18 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:50 PM

Hughes? Seriously? This one just slapped me in the face and kicked me in the Jack Groin. Out of the question.


All I have to say is maximum value. Can't afford to be a fan in times like these. Hughes has the most trade value on the team besides maybe Suzuki. No reason not to field offers.

And sure Suzuki has been valuable, but he'd be even more valuable as a AA catcher with potential that can move Pinto to DH.

#19 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:56 PM

I think that they should sell high on Dozier, because his reminds me a lot of this guy (check how the OPS is driven by SLG and the BA and OBP levels) and his peak will not even be close to that guy's, but he does have value now.


Good point on Uggla, but I like Dozier defensively and the Twins have him under contract on the cheap until 2019. No reason to move that contract.

#20 strumdatjag

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:57 PM

Correia and Willingham are trade-able. It would be crazy to trade Hughes, Morales and Suzuki.

#21 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:58 PM

Agreed, but it's not just for salary relief. It's for one of Seattle's top five prospects.

#22 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:04 PM

Correia and Willingham are trade-able. It would be crazy to trade Hughes, Morales and Suzuki.


Correia has very little value now. Could be part of an August waiver deal, though. Not at all crazy to move Hughes, Morales, and Suzuki. Maybe a little for Hughes, but Morales was basically trade bait the moment he signed, and Suzuki was a pleasant surprise that you can't pass up on when a contender is in need of a catcher.

#23 Intramural Legend

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:40 PM

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this elsewhere, but I have to believe that Pino, if he pitches well, would be a trade piece. His numbers at AAA are fantastic, but he's not going to fetch much as a AAA pitcher. Giving him a shot to pitch at the MLB level increases his trade value if he pitches well. Of course, if he pitches well, one might ask "why trade him," but with Meyer, May, Berrios, and Darnell and Johnson also pitching well, Pino is sort of a placeholder. If he pitches well, he could be potentially flipped to a team looking for pitching help in July. The Twins could then shift May or Meyer or Johnson/Darnell into his rotation spot. Pitchers who are effective will always have trade value even if they are thirty year old rookies.


Contrary to popular belief, I highly doubt there is a GM in baseball that is as dumb as some of us Twins fans would love to believe. Short term success is not going to increase trade value to anything more than the nearly nothing we could have gotten for him yesterday. This guy could have been had by anybody 5 short months ago...

#24 Intramural Legend

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:43 PM

Correia has very little value now. Could be part of an August waiver deal, though. Not at all crazy to move Hughes, Morales, and Suzuki. Maybe a little for Hughes, but Morales was basically trade bait the moment he signed, and Suzuki was a pleasant surprise that you can't pass up on when a contender is in need of a catcher.


I would also point out that trading a guy like Morales right now proves that fans don't always understand the human aspect of player development. Let's be honest, if you are a free agent, and you see a team that is willing to trade a player less than 2 weeks after signing that player, the person is going to be incredibly leery of that team.

I know it is hard for us to always thing of the players as more than a commodity, but in building a long term brand, it MUST be considered.

#25 drivlikejehu

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:45 PM

Fans massively overrate the trade value of their team's players. Many players mentioned have literally zero trade value (or even negative value - other teams don't want to pay their salary).

Hughes obviously won't be traded so its purely philosophical, but I don't see a credible argument in favor. He gets paid very little for even a decent mid rotation starter, let alone someone at his current performance level.

#26 HansGruber

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:48 PM

I think that they should sell high on Dozier, because his reminds me a lot of this guy (check how the OPS is driven by SLG and the BA and OBP levels) and his peak will not even be close to that guy's, but he does have value now.


I do not see a problem with listening to offers for Dozier but would be extremely hesitant to deal him with the amount of team control he has left. While they have a couple similarities the Uggla comparison is a bit off the mark. Dozier probably won't sustain the type of power Uggla had at his peak but is a better defender, strikes out a bit less and is a threat on the base paths.

#27 Highabove

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:51 PM

The Twins number one priority, is to have a better and more entertaining product on the field. The Twins realize that they have to stop the exodus from Target Field. Making wholesale trades in the name of prospects will not cut it this early in the season. Like it or not, that's the reality.

Edited by Highabove, 18 June 2014 - 08:02 PM.


#28 RonCoomer

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:31 PM

Longtime lurker, but I had to register to respond to this…Trading Hughes would be detrimental and I think shortsighted (on the same level as trading JJ Hardy for Jim Hoey) for a team that's close to competing. Sure he could fetch a nice prospect, but it's important to remember the point of signing guys in the first place: to be competitive. The goal is to build a team that can win the world series. When you start unloading top of the rotation starters that are under contract for three years, which we know don't fall from the sky, you are acting against your own interests.

#29 TKGuy

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:02 PM

I couldn't disagree more on Hughes. He seems comfortable here and has a team friendly contract, at some point we have to keep some of these players. Dozier also née to be extended. Suzuki I am torn about. I don't think he keeps up his hitting pace, but we have no one to replace him except signing another FA, so I would actually keep him also. Willingham will probably not be back next year with Rosario probably ready, unless he is your full time DH, meaning Morales is gone. However, they would be blocking Vargas, who I hope gets at least a September callup this year.

Good trading chips are Hammer and Morales. Trade Correia and Duensing for whatever you can get

#30 Kwak

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:05 PM

The only reason to trade Hughes is if he said he would never sign another contract with the Twins. Trading Dozier would also be an act of foolishness. The twins just lost three games they should have won because...they can't hit! Dozier is one of the few who can actually hit a HR (and play some defense). Trade Suzuki? Who will play catcher? Pinto is barely adequate as a backup catcher. The minor league catchers? puhlease!

I believe this season was built around the premise of veteran ballplayers, especially those who have "won before". The Twins need to finish this 'tack" until they are satisfied that a major rebuild is required.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: josmil pinto, kendrys morales, kurt suzuki, minnesota twins, phil hughes