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Article: Winter Meetings - Search For A Starter

gerrit cole chris archer zack granite tyler jay nick gordon
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:31 AM

The Winter Meetings are an interesting event, particularly for fans. There are a multitude of rumors, and we need to sift through them to find out which are real and which are just talk. Monday was fairly quiet on the Twins rumor front, but maybe Tuesday will get things going. If nothing else, an early-morning tweet got my mind running.

It's no secret that the Twins are going to have a lot of discussions in Orlando this week with teams and agents in a search for an upper echelon pitcher. What are the options and what could a trade cost the Twins in terms of prospects?The Twins have two options if they would like to acquire a top-level starting pitcher. They can give up money, a lot of money, to acquire a top free agent starter. It would likely also cost a draft pick. The other option to acquire a starting pitcher is via trade which, of course, costs a number of top prospects.

FREE AGENTS

Yu Darvish is the big name on the free agent market. He's clearly the top starting pitcher available. The cost for Darvish would be either five or six years at somewhere around $23-26 million per year.

Jake Arrieta has won a Cy Young, and he's been good, but there are several question marks surrounding him this offseason after a "tough" year with the Cubs in 2017. Regardless, he's going to get three or four years and at least $20 million per season, probably more.

Those are the top two free agent starting pitchers, but two others are getting a lot of talk and a lot of interest.

Lance Lynn is going to get three or four years and $18-20 million per season. Alex Cobb is also going to get three to five years, and he will get between $17-21 million. The fact that the Cubs are interested in Cobb will likely push those dollars to the upper end of that range.

All four of them would cost the Twins a draft pick.

THE TRADE MARKET

We've heard some of the same trade candidates mentioned since the trade deadline. Chris Archer and Gerrit Cole are, well, if they're not Aces, they're upper tier starters, guys we would be happy to have at the top of the Twins rotation.

But what might the cost be?

Early on Tuesday morning, a tweet from Pirates Breakdown caught my attention. I don't know much about the site, though a quick glimpse and it looks great. And I don't know whether or not this 'source' is legit of not. What I do know is that it does make sense for a conversation starter. Whether it is for Gerrit Cole, or a similar trade for Chris Archer, it's enough to keep the trade talks going.



As much as I hate seeing prospects traded, I think even I would make that trade for Gerrit Cole.

Nick Gordon is a top three Twins prospect regardless of the ranking source. I had him ranked as the Twins #3 prospect last week. To acquire a pitcher of Gerrit Cole's caliber will require a top prospect. As much as I like Gordon and believe in his future, there are still some question marks about his offensive potential and whether he can stay at shortstop.

Likewise, Tyler Jay can be a star bullpen arm if healthy. But again, if his role is going to be out of the bullpen, the Twins can replace those 65 innings per year with other internal options or on the free agent market.

Zack Granite can be a solid starter in the outfield and can definitely roam center field for a team. With the Twins current roster, he would be the fourth outfielder, capable of playing all three outfield spots, taking quality at-bats, etc.

I don't know if this package would be enough to get the Pirates to pull the trigger, but this is a deal that I would make. What do you think?

I generally have this assumption that if I personally would be willing to make a theoretical trade then the other team (the Pirates in this case) would probably want more. For instance, I would think they might want a top pitching prospect (Stephen Gonsalves or Fernando Romero) to go with their current crop of young, talented pitchers (Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Chad Kuhl, Ivan Nova, Trevor Williams, etc.). But maybe they like that young core of pitchers and want to build up their lineup with two guys who could, in time, hit at the top of their lineup.

Cole is a Boras client who made $3.75 million in 2017, his first year of arbitration. He will likely make $7-8 million in 2018, and maybe $10-12 million in 2019 before becoming a free agent. So, the Twins would likely need to pay him $17-20 million over two years.

Chris Archer will make $6.25 million in 2018 and $7.5 million in 2019. There is a club option for 2020 at $9.0 million ($1.75 million buyout) and a second club option for 2021 at $11.0 million ($0.25 million buyout). The Twins would likely end up paying him $33.75 million over four years.

The Twins need pitching and need starting pitching. What direction would you prefer to go, free agency or the trade route? Besides Chris Archer and Gerrit Cole, what other pitchers would you like to see the Twins contemplate acquiring?

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#2 T_J

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:45 AM

That would be a no brainier trade. At that cost, there is still plenty left to make other moves. 

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#3 Han Joelo

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:56 AM

I've seen plenty of outlandish trade proposals by fans, but I think many of the astute posters at TD sometimes undervalue the Twins--almost an overreaction to the "Duensing for Kersharw" type trades..  If the Pirates are looking for a CF, SS, and RP, all three of those guys could contribute, probably right out of the gate.  That isn't a bad trade for them at all. 

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#4 big dog

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:56 AM

I like the trade but would like it a lot better for 3 years of control rather than just two.
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#5 nater79a

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 07:03 AM

Archer and Cole make for solid trade targets.Danny Duffy too, if the Royals would make him available.

 

As for the aforementioned rumor, surprised the Bucs wouldn't have asked for Alex Kirilloff, a Pittsburgh area native, instead of Granite, Would be three Twins #1 draft picks in a row- Gordon ('14), Jay ('15), Kirilloff ('16) - in one trade!.Pirates probably want Granite for OF depth in case they move 'Cutch.


#6 markos

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 07:17 AM

I would make that trade for Cole in a heartbeat.

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#7 LFRGary

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 07:36 AM

 

I would make that trade for Cole in a heartbeat.

 

I'd rather pull the trigger for Archer & it isn't that close. If I'm giving up prospects for pitching, I want that pitcher around for 4+ years, not 2 years. That's likely going to cost more in prospects so let's go big.

 

Let's package Sano, Gordon, Jay & another prospect for Archer & Longoria. With a cheap contract for Archer, let's use the savings to sign Brian Shaw.

 

Let's not dip our toe in the water. Instead, let's make a splash.

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#8 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 07:37 AM

I'd rather bite the bullet and get Archer complete with his strikeouts and his  good4 year contract. The Twins do not have any minor league pitchers who project to be as good as Archer has been. Even if you argue that 1 or 2 "might" be, you still have the word "might" in there. He is a bulldog on the mound.


#9 071063

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 07:46 AM

 

I'd rather pull the trigger for Archer & it isn't that close. If I'm giving up prospects for pitching, I want that pitcher around for 4+ years, not 2 years. That's likely going to cost more in prospects so let's go big.

 

Let's package Sano, Gordon, Jay & another prospect for Archer & Longoria. With a cheap contract for Archer, let's use the savings to sign Brian Shaw.

 

Let's not dip our toe in the water. Instead, let's make a splash.

Yuk! Terrible trade! I like Archer but not giving up Sano! Terrible!

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#10 rdehring

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 07:47 AM

I like the trade, Seth.But would prefer giving them up for Archer because 4 years is a lot better than 2.

 

And by including Granite, the Twins would still have 4 open spots on their 40-man roster. 


#11 markos

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:13 AM

 

I'd rather pull the trigger for Archer & it isn't that close. If I'm giving up prospects for pitching, I want that pitcher around for 4+ years, not 2 years. That's likely going to cost more in prospects so let's go big.

 

Let's package Sano, Gordon, Jay & another prospect for Archer & Longoria. With a cheap contract for Archer, let's use the savings to sign Brian Shaw.

 

Let's not dip our toe in the water. Instead, let's make a splash.

I don't disagree. Archer is clearly the superior pitcher, but he is also probably 3 times as expensive. Given his combination performance, age, salary and years of team control, there is a strong argument that Archer is the most valuable pitching trade asset in baseball right now. 

 

I'm intrigued by your Sano, Gordon, Jay for Archer & Longoria suggestion. That seems about right considering that the 32-year-old Longoria is probably underwater for the remaining 5 years of this contract. 


#12 olivia11

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:24 AM

In an MLB.com article about the Rays' trade pieces, they suggested that the Rays would have to be "overwhelmed" to trade Archer in a similar way that they were when the Cubs traded for Matt Garza in 2011.Using that trade as a baseline, I wonder if we can estimate what it might take to get Archer and if it's possible to do so without giving up Royce Lewis and both Romero and Gonsalves. 

 

2011 Trade:

Cubs Acquire:

Matt Garza (3 years arb left; above average starter)

Fernando Perez (OF, AAA, ceiling 4th outfielder) 

Zac Rosscup (RHP, 23 year old SP prospect in A+, Cubs 20-30 range)

 

Rays Acquire: 

Sam Fuld (MLB OF; underwhelming) 

Chris Archer (RHP, Cubs #1 prospect, BA #27 in MLB)

Hak-Ju Lee (SS, Cubs #4 prospect, BA #92 in MLB)

Brandon Guyer (OF, Cubs #10 prospect)

Robinson Chirinos (C, AA/AAA defensive-first catcher)

 

At the time of the trade, it seems like it came down to Lee & Archer for Garza.People also generally considered this to be an over-pay for Garza. 

 

Since Archer in 2017 is probably more highly regarded than Garza was 2011, let's use this potential over-pay as a guideline. I would also think the Twins wouldn't be comfortable sending so many prospects for one player, so let's say they also try and get Alex Colome.Also, if I'm the Twins, Lewis is off the table and I am not going to trade both Romero and Gonsalves but will trade one of them.

 

Could this potentially work?

 

Twins Acquire: 

Chris Archer (RHP, 4 years control remaining)

Alex Colome (RHP, 2018 first year arb eligible)

 

Rays Acquire: 

Robbie Grossman (OF, MLB) [Sam Fuld role]

Nick Gordon (SS, Twins #2, MLB #30) [Chris Archer role]

Stephen Gonsalves (LHP, Twins #3, MLB #64) [Hak-Ju Lee role]

Alex Kirilloff (OF, Twins #6, potential top 100 by end of season) [Add]

Tyler Jay (LHP, Twins #8) [Add]

Zack Granite (OF, Twins #26) [Brandon Guyer role]

 

 

Kirilloff and Jay are added to make up the difference between the over-pay for the slightly-less-regarded Garza with add-ons for the better-regarded Archer plus Colome.  

 

Is this anywhere close?

 

 

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#13 nytwinsfan

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:27 AM

Seth, Darvish wouldn't cost a draft pick. You have that wrong. He was traded to the Dodgers, so no draft pick compensation is attached.

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#14 nytwinsfan

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:28 AM

How about we do that trade for Cole AND we sign Darvish and stup ****ing half-assing it? Why not both? The only good answer is that the Twins have never done something that aggressive before, and frankly, that's a terrible answer.

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#15 nytwinsfan

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:33 AM

 


Since Archer in 2017 is probably more highly regarded than Garza was 2011, let's use this potential over-pay as a guideline. I would also think the Twins wouldn't be comfortable sending so many prospects for one player, so let's say they also try and get Alex Colome.Also, if I'm the Twins, Lewis is off the table and I am not going to trade both Romero and Gonsalves but will trade one of them.

 

Could this potentially work?

 

Twins Acquire: 

Chris Archer (RHP, 4 years control remaining)

Alex Colome (RHP, 2018 first year arb eligible)

 

Rays Acquire: 

Robbie Grossman (OF, MLB) [Sam Fuld role]

Nick Gordon (SS, Twins #2, MLB #30) [Chris Archer role]

Stephen Gonsalves (LHP, Twins #3, MLB #64) [Hak-Ju Lee role]

Alex Kirilloff (OF, Twins #6, potential top 100 by end of season) [Add]

Tyler Jay (LHP, Twins #8) [Add]

Zack Granite (OF, Twins #26) [Brandon Guyer role]

 

 

Kirilloff and Jay are added to make up the difference between the over-pay for the slightly-less-regarded Garza with add-ons for the better-regarded Archer plus Colome.  

 

Is this anywhere close?

No, probably not. Archer is going to take a package that probably includes Royce Lewis. He is much more highly regarded than Matt Garza, and rightly so. From 2014 to 2017 he was the 12th best pitcher in the majors in terms of WAR.And he has a great contract. He's gonna be costly.


#16 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:48 AM

Wow, rumor of a solid proposal. I would do that trade.
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#17 Carole Keller

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:52 AM

 

Wow, rumor of a solid proposal. I would do that trade.

I would, too! If there is any truth to that, I'm thinking ... why isn't it done already??? (And that it not being done already, I wonder at its truth. :) )

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#18 dbminn

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:55 AM

I've been a supporter of trying to negotiate a deal for Cole (as opposed to trade at any cost). The deal is intriguing. I'm actually a little iffy on including Granite. If the Twins are trying to win next year, he could end up being important. I'd cheer if the Twins made the trade.

 

As nater mentions, Duffy might be available too. He's signed for 4/$59.5. I'd at least call KC and offer a similar package. He has less excess value/yr than Cole so his prospect cost should be in the same ballpark. He'd add more to payroll but 4 years would be nice.


#19 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 09:01 AM

I would, too! If there is any truth to that, I'm thinking ... why isn't it done already??? (And that it not being done already, I wonder at it's truth. :) )

Gordon is near-MLB ready and plays a premium position. Very agonizing to part with a guy like that!
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#20 MidwestTwinsFan15

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 09:05 AM

Big fan of both Cole and Archer - either one would be a welcomed addition to the Twins Pitching Staff...but at what cost to the organization.

 

If the proposed trade for Cole is Gordon, Jay and Granite - you do it without hesitation. Relief Pitching (Jay) and a 4th/5th OF (Granite) can be found internally/FA Market. Plus Jay has the health concerns.

 

Cole is coming off two down years, so his value isn't what it was coming off his terrific 2015 season, so this could be a good grab. Archer misses more bats than Cole and has additional years of team control that is enticing for sure. 

 

Cole would be my first choice - based solely on the proposed players that have been discussed to be traded back to the Pirates. Archer has the higher upside long term but would cost us bigger prospects in the immediate. Would be curious to hear what pieces could attract a Archer trade.

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