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A Trade Partner in the Royals

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#1 TwinsTerritory

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:00 AM

I don't see the Twins being sellers until after the All-Star break, but if this slide continues and they become sellers could the Royals provide a good trade partner?

As I read this weeks Grantland rankings (http://grantland.com...royals-dodgers/) it struck me that the Twins may be able to give the Royals some help and they also have some prospects that would be of interest to the Twins.

The article lists the Royals biggest needs as 3rd base and corner outfield. While trading Trevor Plouffe may be a risk until Sano makes it to the big leagues and shows he can play 3rd, it would seem to me that for the right prospects we could package him with Willingham and give the Royals help in both areas. Plouffe would be an upgrade on the awfulness provided by Moustakas and Willingham would provide some pop and the Royals have a late inning defensive replacement in Jarrod Dyson.

From the Twins perspective, the Royals have 3 shortstops among their top 10 prospects and a nice group of pitchers in their top 20.

Would the Royals give up two top 15 prospects for Plouffe and Willingham? Would the Twins be willing to gamble on Sano being ready next spring?

#2 tobi0040

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:08 AM

Interesting article, thank you for posting. I would be surprised by a move like this. Teams seem to irrationally think that it is a bad idea to trade with a division rival. I think the GM's get nervous about the trade back-firing and this would have risks on both sides (Plouffe is a good-steady 3B for the next 8-10 years or the prospect we get ends up being very good).

#3 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:14 AM

I can't see them dealing Plouffe to an in division team. Willingham is a different story since he will be a rental most likely. However I don't think they get much back for Willingham.
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#4 nicksaviking

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:14 AM

Interesting article, thank you for posting. I would be surprised by a move like this. Teams seem to irrationally think that it is a bad idea to trade with a division rival. I think the GM's get nervous about the trade back-firing and this would have risks on both sides (Plouffe is a good-steady 3B for the next 8-10 years or the prospect we get ends up being very good).


Two years ago the Twins traded Francisco Liriano to the White Sox at the deadline, three years ago they traded Delmon Young to the Tigers and five years ago they traded for Carl Pavano from the Indians. I'd say the Twins aren't too concerned trading within the division.

The Twins do have players the Royals need, but two vets for prospects doesnt usually happen. Usually you get better value if you split them up. I could see the Royals being interested in Plouffe, who could play 3B or RF. However I'd think the Twins would be more interested in moving Willingham.

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:17 AM

I'd rather the Twins move Plouffe to RF "permanently" and see what happens, frankly. I'd send Arcia down for a bit. I'd move Esco to 3B, and Santana to SS in that scenario.

I expect not one of those things to happen, though.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#6 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:45 AM

Given his age and control, I'd imagine Plouffe wouldn't come cheap. I'd be fine using Romero as a stop gap until Sano is ready, but I think Plouffe has a future with the team and I'm not sure it makes sense to deal. Willingham on the other hand...

#7 jorgenswest

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:10 AM

The best trade partner for the Royals finds them a 3B that hits right handed pitching. Danny Valencia has a 790 OPS against lefties this year following a season where his OPS was 1031 against lefties. Valencia can't hit right handed pitching, but he is better against lefties than Plouffe. Plouffe doesn't seem like a good fit as the platoon half against right handed pitching.

If they have given up on Moustakas, they might look for a cheaper solution like Eric Chavez and use him in a platoon with Valencia.

Willingham? They have a great left fielder. Willingham has said he isn't comfortable in RF. The Twins signed him hoping to play him there and it lasted less than a week in spring training. Unfortunately, he doesn't solve their RF problems. He would be a better bat off the bench than Ibanez, but they will be able to find a RF.

#8 spycake

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:26 AM

Interesting idea.

As bad as Moustakas has been with the bat, he has also graded out about 1-1.5 more wins per season on average over Plouffe defensively at 3B (although Plouffe has been improving by the metrics and Moustakas has been dropping, so they are roughly equal this season so far).

And Plouffe is a career 96 OPS+ bat, with a 99 OPS+ this season, with salaries rising to $3+ million. He's useful, but his value profile might be closer to Eduardo Nunez than any stretch-run difference maker.

The Royals RF hole also looks somewhat temporary -- I can't see them giving up much for Willingham unless something more permanent opens up (like benching Butler or Hosmer?).

#9 Brandon

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:59 AM

The Twins seem to do well with interdivision trades. (Pino for Pavano, Escobar for Liriano, and a relief prospect for Delmon which is still a win) So we do have another 3b option in Escobar if need be and a SS in Santana but we will loose our CF option in this scenario and likely run with Fuld out there. Assuming Plouffe is traded. Willingham can play LF and they can move their LF to right. The Royals may be more motivated to make a run since their star pitcher is set to be a FA this offseason. I don't know anything about their farm so I will trust TR to fleece them.

I still don't see this as a likely scenario however it is a realistic scenario.

#10 Winston Smith

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:29 AM

Plouffe has been around long enough now that he likely is what he is, mediocre. If they can get something good for him do it. We have enough mediocre right now.

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#11 ashburyjohn

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:44 AM

I'd be fine using Romero as a stop gap


Oof. Romero's a stop gap in case of injury to the guy you want to use until Sano, not as the guy you want to use until Sano. His 2014 numbers are out of line with the rest of his established batting credentials in the minors, which IMO suggest a major league OPS somewhere in the .600s, and if people complain about Plouffe's defense just wait until Romero is asked to flash any leather.

#12 Willihammer

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:47 AM

I'm skeptical Plouffe has turned any kind of corner with the glove. IMO he makes the easy plays a high percentage of the time, but still has no range.

Interesting to watch Escobar play. He plays really close to the line and has a lot more range. I'm not a believer in the bat but between him, Romero, Nunez, I think we could cobble together similar production out of 3B if Plouffe were to go.

#13 spycake

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:21 PM

Willingham can play LF and they can move their LF to right.


The Royals LF (Alex Gordon) is the defending 3-time Gold Glove winner in that spot, arguably their best hitter, and their highest-paid position player. They're not moving him for Willingham! Willingham would be far more likely to display Aoki in RF, even if he isn't as comfortable in the position.

Although I have to imagine Butler or Hosmer could be benched/moved if the team is serious about making a run, which could open a spot for Willingham too but it would also mean the Royals could target any 1B/DH and not just an OF.

#14 tobi0040

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:25 PM

Plouffe has been around long enough now that he likely is what he is, mediocre. If they can get something good for him do it. We have enough mediocre right now.


I do agree to an extent. Plouffe when healthy is maybe slightly better than mediocre, but definitely goes in stretches of mediocre. However, the depth at this position is scary thin around the league.

#15 nicksaviking

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:02 PM

Oof. Romero's a stop gap in case of injury to the guy you want to use until Sano, not as the guy you want to use until Sano. His 2014 numbers are out of line with the rest of his established batting credentials in the minors, which IMO suggest a major league OPS somewhere in the .600s, and if people complain about Plouffe's defense just wait until Romero is asked to flash any leather.


I don't care how bad the stop gap is, this team is going to stink until the prospects arrive anyway. And that's saying nothing about them actually panning out. The degree to which they stink really shouldn't be a concern unless the suits think winning 72 games is going to put more people in the stands than winning 70 games.

And frankly, that should not be a concern in the least, putting a team together that can win a WS should.

#16 Kwak

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:20 PM

I don't see ther Twins ever trading Plouffe--he is one of their "annointed". If/when Sano is ever promoted to play 3B, Plouffe will be retained in some capacity to serve as an insurance policy--see: CF and Hicks experience.

#17 Thrylos

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:01 PM

Would the Royals give up two top 15 prospects for Plouffe and Willingham?


No, but they might for Perkins or Dozier

Would the Twins be willing to gamble on Sano being ready next spring?


Would they? I doubt it. Should they? It does not matter. They should not trade Plouffe and sell low. Plouffe can actually play the outfield better than any of the three lumbering gentlemen they are currently rotating in the corners.

Should the Twins trade with the Royals? Last time I checked, they were only 4 games behind them in the L column yesterday before this series started. So a sweep away and they were there (but we all know what happened last night.) They should not trade with the Royals, unless the trade involved Burton, Florimon, Diamond and a few select other gentlemen.
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