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Article: Twins With Options On The Trade Front

minnesota twins alex kirilloff nick gordon gerrit cole jake odorizzi
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 07:07 PM

Recent reports have suggested that the Twins may be interested in using the trade market to handle some roster moves this winter. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reported that Minnesota has called on names like Gerrit Cole and Jake Odorizzi. Meanwhile, Darren Wolfson of KSTP noted that he sees it more likely Minnesota will use the trade market to strike a deal. With these reports in mind, what do the Twins have to offer?First and foremost, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine sent a message that they intend to be active in the coming weeks and months. In leaving prospects like Jake Reed, Kohl Stewart and Lewin Diaz unprotected from the Rule 5 draft, they also kept four open spots on the 40-man roster. It stands to reason that those spots could be used on more immediate solutions, and potentially, players with higher ceilings. Suggesting that the Twins have four free agents in mind to take the openings is a bad bet, but the flexibility tells us the ball is rolling.

Guys like Cole and Odorizzi aren’t going to come cheap. They’ve had real success at the big league level and remain under team control going forward. There’s no doubt other names are being talked about, and if they are cut from the same cloth, the Twins won’t be able to simply pry away, at low cost, a player or two. Despite the farm system not being what it was a year or two ago, Minnesota actually has a nice stockpile of options to move, so let’s take a look at some of them.

The Shortstops:

This group may be among the most impressive collections in all of baseball. Both Nick Gordon and Royce Lewis are top 100 prospects, while Wander Javier is going to quickly shoot up prospect lists in the next few months. Add in names like Jermaine Palacios and Luis Arraez (more of a 2B), and you’ve got a quality collection of talent. If I’m an opposing club, this is a group that provides plenty of intrigue. If I’m the Twins, Lewis is probably the only player that’s off limits.

The Arms:

Although the Twins need pitching at the big league level, you can bet any deal for a true MLB starter is going to cost a prospect in return. Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero are the cream of the Minnesota crop, while Felix Jorge and Brusdar Graterol may be the next men up. The Twins added to the system in the form of names like Enlow, Littell, Leach and Watson over the past year, but it remains an area that any club is looking to build out. Gonsalves appears MLB ready now, and Romero should command a hefty ransom, but an acquisition with a proven track record may be enticing enough to move any of these names.

The Bats:

If we’re excluding the depth the Twins have in the middle of the infield on the farm, the offensive side of things takes a bit of a dip. Brent Rooker looks like a stud, and should soon be penciled in to big league lineups in Minnesota. Behind him however, things get a bit more uncertain. Diaz could skate through the Rule 5 draft having not played above Single-A, or the club could look to deal him first. Alex Kirilloff is a presence at the plate, but is coming off a lost season due to injury. Travis Blankenhorn looks the part of a sleeper prospect, and he could be joined by LaMonte Wade or 2017 pick Andrew Bechtold. Kirilloff seems like the most expendable asset here given the likelihood he moves the needle for an opposing club, but in this group there likely is not a cornerstone in any potential deal.

The Bigs:

Should the Twins be targeting major league ready talent, they may find themselves needing to give up some proven commodities as well. On such a young team, that’s a scary proposition, as the vast majority see their prime’s lying ahead of them. Eddie Rosario was a trade candidate prior to his breakout 2017, and Max Kepler may still be despite seeing his value sag. Minnesota could flip Jorge Polanco if there’s more belief in the farm options as well. As a whole however, plucking from this group seems like it could definitely come back to bite the hometown team.

No matter what moves the Twins make, there’s no such thing as getting talent without giving it up. Falvey and Levine are going to have to make hard decisions in acquiring players from another organization. While it’s just money on the free agent market, there’s more to be had through a potential trade. Trusting in evaluations of both their internal assets as well as what they’ll be receiving is obviously integral to the process.

Personally, I’d prefer to see the Twins dangle some combination built around Gordon or Kirilloff, maybe even getting interesting with international bonus money used. While doling out big paydays has become the norm, finding competitive advantages will always need to be the Twins plan of attack. The hot stove is warming up, and I’d be surprised if we don’t hear some of these scenarios begin to be speculated upon.

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#2 Han Joelo

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 07:29 PM

Nice write-up. I think I'd give Kirilloff another year before considering trading him. Seems like a sell-low deal right now.

You're right, though. Have to give to get. Whether it was Ramos or Hu or Billy Bullock, it was always too much for some.
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#3 nater79a

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 10:09 PM

Someone like Gerrit Cole is probably going to cost you Gordon plus a top pitching prospect like Gonsalves, Romero or Littell. Add in another lower level piece or two with a decent ceiling. Gets expensive but you can't win without pitching.

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#4 JaleelWhite FanClub

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 10:24 PM

Thanks for this article! I was going to go crazy if I had to read another article talking about the second- or third-tier free agents the Twins should target. You know, because the Twins and free agency have produced such great things these past years.

 

Look at the Royals. Look at the Cubs. Look at the Astros. Sure, the past 3 World Series champs had a lot of home-grown talent. But their front offices also utilized the stock piles of prospects their teams built with high draft picks to trade for players to round off their teams.

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#5 JaleelWhite FanClub

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 10:26 PM

The Twins shortstop situation is particularly intriguing. There's a lot of guys that if everything goes right will be ready for or already in Minnesota at the same time. I think the Twins should keep Gordon and Lewis. Gordon will hopefully be ready by late next season or ST 2019. Lewis is probably two years behind. The Twins can keep both and figure one can slide over to 2B to replace Dozier when the time comes or 3B when Sano moves full-time to 1B/DH.

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#6 Rosterman

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 11:29 PM

So much depends on the pieces the Twins choose to add. Sure, they need at least one solid TOP starter, which should be their biggest drive. They need a veteran bullpen arm, but it could be a backend guy if you see promise in the rookies, and you are better likely to get some value signing a 2-3 free agent (with the option to trade them if you, by chance, tank). They do need a bat...can the guy play the outfield AND an infield position?

 

The bigger question. Mauer extension and how much? Will the Twins extend Brian Dozier and what plans for him? Can they do something with the Hughes salary, or is insurance the best bet, for now.

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#7 beckmt

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 08:33 AM

Great article.Twins probably have the chips to trade.Might sent both Gordon and Gonsalves for the right FA pitcher.Especially if I can extend them.The win window starts this year. 

Would also consider trading Sano if discussions on an extension show he and his representatives are not interested.You win with pitching.In this line you hope Rooker can measure up. Or you deal with Tampa Bay for both Archer and Longorilla expected they are heading for a full rebuild.

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#8 DocBauer

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 08:48 AM

Personally, I'd like to keep Gonsalves, Thorpe no matter what, (just the rarity of a quality LHSP prospect with real potential). Very much like to keep Rooker and Lewis. Otherwise, I'm pretty much OK on anyone else to be included in trades.

Sign Dozier and losing Gordon doesn't hurt so much, and there is depth. But I have to say, as good as Gordon looks, I'm not so sure some of the younger SS prospects in the system don't look even better. If I'm the other team, I may be more intrigued by one of those guys.
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#9 Tibs

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 09:17 AM

Big fan of Gerrit Cole. I have a few questions about his durability though. Odorizzi doesn't move the needle much for me. I would not give up much for him.

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#10 laloesch

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 09:34 AM

Personally, I'd like to keep Gonsalves, Thorpe no matter what, (just the rarity of a quality LHSP prospect with real potential). Very much like to keep Rooker and Lewis. Otherwise, I'm pretty much OK on anyone else to be included in trades.
Sign Dozier and losing Gordon doesn't hurt so much, and there is depth. But I have to say, as good as Gordon looks, I'm not so sure some of the younger SS prospects in the system don't look even better. If I'm the other team, I may be more intrigued by one of those guys.


I'd prefer to keep Gordon unless the team signs Dozier to an extension bridging the gap to Lewis and some of the other shortstop prospects.

#11 gman

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 10:02 AM

I don't make a major trade of prospects until I know the Twins are a major WS contender. I don't know that. So I don't think 2018 is a go for it season. Hopefully they are a surprise and added a couple more wins to the 2017 total and continued roster development. But still too many question marks on what we have.

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#12 twinfan

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 10:37 AM

Ok. Are we the Twins of 2016 or 2017? Or somewhere in between? Is Buxton going to continue to improve? Will Sano bounce back? Is Berrios a possible #1 (I don't believe in #1,#2, etc stuff)? How much of the farm do we mortgage and for what? Cole and Odorizzi are not lights out pitchers but are as good as what we have at this point after Santana and Berrios. I would keep as many of our prospects as we can and see where we are in 2018. I hope we can repeat or better 2017 but the jury is out on that one. Let's see. And let's get a good closer.


#13 mikelink45

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 11:17 AM

Here is my confusion.Right after the WS and long before Rule V cuts we could have made trade offers with those we decided to not protect as the backend players in any deals.Since many of them have some interesting back stories, they would not have been wasted in such talks.Right now if it is a pitcher Slegers and Enns are both ready to move and clear 40 man space at the same time.  

​The glut at SS is not a glut until we have them ready for MLB and no place to play them.Give up Slegers, Kiriloff, Kepler and Gordon and see what that brings in - in my less informed mind that sounds like a nice package for a good pitcher like Cole that is coming off a poor year. 


#14 kab21

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 12:04 PM

 

I don't make a major trade of prospects until I know the Twins are a major WS contender. I don't know that. So I don't think 2018 is a go for it season. Hopefully they are a surprise and added a couple more wins to the 2017 total and continued roster development. But still too many question marks on what we have.

Catch 22

You won't know that the Twins are a major WS contender until they have some starting pitching. This team is going nowhere significant until the acquire some starting pitching.

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Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#15 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 12:05 PM

yeah, I'm not a fan of trading Gordon (though I've accepted it at this point). I think Jorge is the first guy I want to use to get help. If they are picking up a pitcher in trade and FA, you can probably shop Romero or Gonsalves too. I'd rather keep Thorpe and Gaterol at the moment.

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#16 Shaitan

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 12:37 PM

What is Polanco's ceiling?Will he ever hit 10+ HR again or was it a fluke (in a juiced ball year)?


#17 nater79a

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 12:46 PM

 

Here is my confusion.Right after the WS and long before Rule V cuts we could have made trade offers with those we decided to not protect as the backend players in any deals.Since many of them have some interesting back stories, they would not have been wasted in such talks.Right now if it is a pitcher Slegers and Enns are both ready to move and clear 40 man space at the same time.  

​The glut at SS is not a glut until we have them ready for MLB and no place to play them.Give up Slegers, Kiriloff, Kepler and Gordon and see what that brings in - in my less informed mind that sounds like a nice package for a good pitcher like Cole that is coming off a poor year. 

 

Seems to me the Pirates would want more high-end pitching prospects back than just Slegers.Not sure the Bucs have a major need in their OF for Kepler either.

Edited by nater79a, 24 November 2017 - 12:46 PM.


#18 nater79a

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 12:49 PM

 

Personally, I'd like to keep Gonsalves, Thorpe no matter what, (just the rarity of a quality LHSP prospect with real potential). Very much like to keep Rooker and Lewis. Otherwise, I'm pretty much OK on anyone else to be included in trades.

Sign Dozier and losing Gordon doesn't hurt so much, and there is depth. But I have to say, as good as Gordon looks, I'm not so sure some of the younger SS prospects in the system don't look even better. If I'm the other team, I may be more intrigued by one of those guys.

 

Yeah, I think Gordon is expendable in the right deal if Dozier is signed to an extension. Gordon might be a 2B long-term anyway.

 

I'd also like to hang on to Blayne Enlow if possible.

Edited by nater79a, 24 November 2017 - 12:50 PM.


#19 drew_7726

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 01:21 PM

Is Gordon, Jorge, and L. wells enough for Marcus Stroman or Archer


#20 bluechipper

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 01:51 PM

Is Gordon, Jorge, and L. wells enough for Marcus Stroman or Archer

If Kepler or Rosario is added, plus swapping out Gonsalves or Romero for Jorge, then maybe.
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