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Article: GM For A Deadline, Part Two

kyle gibson fernando rodney
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#1 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 09:41 PM

Before returning to action after the All-Star Break, we took a look at potential landing spots for the two biggest trade chips/rentals that the Twins have to offer contenders.

Since then, the Twins got swept at Kansas City before getting back on the right track on Monday at Toronto. Dozier has one hit since his walk-off grand slam and a whole bunch of strikeouts. Escobar has gotten a couple hits and looks, hopefully, like he is starting to hit his way out of the slump he previously found himself in.

There was also the Ken Rosenthal report that the Brewers had asked the Twins about acquiring both players. This article isn't about Dozier and Escobar... but I'll give you a little dessert after the main course.As teams look at the market, it becomes a balance of “what have you done for me lately?” and “who is this player typically?” When the answer to both of those questtions is very good, you’re getting a lot in return. Negotiations become slightly more difficult when the answers don’t match up… especially when the player is on the wrong side of 30.

Today, we’re going to look at a few other players who, for one reason or another, stretch those questions a little bit further than Dozier, a top second basemen who is having a down year, and Escobar, a versatile defender with a solid bat.

Kyle Gibson is having a great year. He’s got an additional year of control, his slider is nearly unhittable and when he’s not producing outs by strikeouts, he’s getting them on ground balls. He’s a great example of a player who, if he continues pitching the way he has since the second half of last year, could really help the Twins get back into contention in 2019. The Twins, though, appear poised to head into spring training with more viable rotation options than any other year in recent memory.

In short, maybe it’s worthwhile to shop Kyle Gibson. Though there isn’t an urgent need to move him - there are worse things than plugging him into an experienced rotation next year - it’s worth taking a look around to see who might be interested.

For me, there is one team that sticks out: the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are in the midst of a NL West battle that may last until the final days of the season and have gotten productive seasons out of four of their five rotation members. Their fifth member, Chad Bettis, is currently on the DL with a blister. In his place, Colorado has been starting Antonio Senzatela, who himself just returned on Sunday from his own blister issues. I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about their rotation, but it seems like blister issues are typically a recurring problem.

Enter Gibson, who has made 27 or more starts in each season since returning to health after Tommy John surgery. Colorado, where no free agent pitcher ever wants to go, should be motivated to add a groundball pitcher with another year of team control, even if they don’t stay in contention to win the division.

The targeted headliner in a return package from the Rockies should be 23-year-old AAA infield Ryan McMahon. McMahon played almost exclusively at third base until shifting over to first base. The Rockies have all-world Nolan Arenado to man the hot corner for the foreseeable future, so McMahon was moved to help accelerate getting him into the lineup. He's also played quite a bit of second base. McMahon is a good hitter, has a good understanding of the strike zone, hits for power and also can steal some bases.

Now here’s where the problem starts. If you’d paid close attention to Gibson over his last calendar year, you think he’s turned the page and is now a mid-rotation starter and his trade value should match that. “Yeah, but…” would be how every other team in baseball responds to that. I would think McMahon isn’t enough. I’d want someone in addition who is closer to MLB ready. The Rockies might think McMahon alone is too much. To move Gibson, though, the offer would need to overwhelm.

Fernando Rodney is another example of a player who might not get the value his performance has dictated. Understandably, too, as he’s 41 years old. If not for his age and the rapid decline that will set in at some point - though there is nothing in his peripherals that suggest that decline is going to happen soon - Rodney has value, under contract for $4.25 million next year.

The Braves, having recently lost their closer, seems like an excellent match. Would the Twins have interest in 19-year-old RHP Freddy Tarnok, a third-round pick last year who is new to pitching and having success in low-A ball? The Braves didn’t seem to have too much interest in Jeurys Famillia before the Mets dealt him to Oakland. One of the reason had to do with not wanting to deal from the top of their stash of prospects. Tarnok doesn’t fit into that group, but his potential certainly does. I don’t think any return for Rodney is going to include much. Is it worth it to deal away a controlled, affordable, mostly reliable closer for what amounts to a lottery ticket? It might be easy to say no to that from the Twins perspective. At the same time, the Braves might ask if it is worth trading a high-ceiling lottery ticket for a guy who is over twice the lottery ticket’s age. They might pass on that as well.

Lance Lynn and Ervin Santana have both done enough (or not enough) to stay safe through the July deadline. Logan Morrison is having such a disastrous season, it’d be hard to merit any return.


So I guess that leaves Joe Mauer. I’d accommodate Mauer if he wants to chase a championship. Regardless, I’d consider it more than likely that Mauer is back in a Twins uniform next year.

But that might be a conversation for a different day.

***
BONUS BITS: Typically trading multiple pieces to the same team will reduce the return. Dealing Escobar and Dozier to the Brewers in the same trade might enable them to ask for one of their top prospects, like Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta or Corey Ray. (I still don't think the Brewers have any desire to move any of those three.) The other thing that adds intrigue to this situation is that the Brewers just lost a starting pitcher for the rest of the season.

How much might Milwaukee give up to secure a pitcher like Gibson? Might they be interested in Lance Lynn? There are a number of questions that can only be answered in time. But I certainly wouldn't rule out a creative deal that packages multiple players together. Likely? No. Possible? Sure.

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#2 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 10:36 PM

Maybe we should also consider dealing Hildenberger and Pressly (along with Gibson) if we really want to get a worthwhile return.

It’s time to cash in while we can, because rentals aren’t worth anything anymore (unless you’re Manny Machado).

#3 curt1965

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 12:05 AM

I would hate to trade Gibson, but the Twins do not have a viable 3rd base option in their organization, other than Escobar (Sano is not an option).
Is Escobar is traded, do you think McMahon is the long term solution at 3rd, Jeremy?

#4 beckmt

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 12:15 AM

 

I would hate to trade Gibson, but the Twins do not have a viable 3rd base option in their organization, other than Escobar (Sano is not an option).
Is Escobar is traded, do you think McMahon is the long term solution at 3rd, Jeremy?

Escobar can walk away at the end of the year.Do not know the odds on resigning him, but would like to get something for him (and the other rentals).


#5 slash129

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 05:16 AM

Trading Gibson and Odorizzi (not mentioned in this article, but often otherwise) leaves the Twins with a 2019 rotation of ...

Berrios
Romero
Pineda
Mejia
Littell

With depth of ...

Slegers
Gonsalves
May
Thorpe (possibly knocking)

To me that's Berrios and lots of inexperience and question marks. It doesn't appear to be a contention rotation, even with the "depth".
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#6 alarp33

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 05:45 AM

 

Trading Gibson and Odorizzi (not mentioned in this article, but often otherwise) leaves the Twins with a 2019 rotation of ...

Berrios
Romero
Pineda
Mejia
Littell

With depth of ...

Slegers
Gonsalves
May
Thorpe (possibly knocking)

To me that's Berrios and lots of inexperience and question marks. It doesn't appear to be a contention rotation, even with the "depth".

 

They will have the 2019 off-season as well. They don't have to finalize their 2019 rotation this July

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#7 Riverbrian

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 06:08 AM

If you feel you have a chance in 2019. You don't trade Gibson. You try to acquire more guys like Gibson or better. 

 

If you don't feel you have a chance in 2019... Then trade him but you end up jumping from window to window until you find the window that opens just right. 

 

I think the Twins have a chance in 2019. 

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#8 Dman

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 06:57 AM

I think the Twins can afford to trade Odo or Gibby but not both.I would see what they can get for both and decide which one to trade.I would hate to lose Gibson but if some team overpaid I would totally trade him.I think he can be replaced if needed but I wouldn't let him go easily because the rotation for next year looks much better with Gibson penciled in.

 

I don't see anyone really being interested in Rodney but who knows.I doubt that what they could get for him would be worth trading him.I bet they keep him.

 

I can actually see a few teams wanting to grab Lynn not because he is great but he can get the job done and he would come cheap.

 

Santana, who knows.If he pitches well maybe some team(s) will be interested.But again the return looks low because of the risk involved.Maybe August will be a better time to try and trade Santana of he has value then.

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#9 SF Twins Fan

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 06:59 AM

I feel like the Twins would have to be blown away to trade Gibson. On a contending team he's a solid 3/4 in a rotation and he's already locked in for one more season. The only way I trade him is for a pitcher who is already at AA or higher, is pitching well and has a high floor / good ceiling. 

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#10 slash129

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 07:44 AM

 

They will have the 2019 off-season as well. They don't have to finalize their 2019 rotation this July

 

So then get rid of Gibson and Odorizzi (both under control and likely quite affordable) to bring in FA's that will start around the 12 mill that Lynn got for marginal back end performance and cost around $20 mill and up for multiple years if you actually want a good player (e.g. Corbin) ... Seems counter-productive

 

Sure, you'll have another question mark lotto piece in the system, but I doubt that will cover the difference.

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#11 slash129

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 07:59 AM

 

If you feel you have a chance in 2019. You don't trade Gibson. You try to acquire more guys like Gibson or better. 

 

If you don't feel you have a chance in 2019... Then trade him but you end up jumping from window to window until you find the window that opens just right. 

 

I think the Twins have a chance in 2019. 

 

And the window after 2019 starts to lineup with the White Sox' window, a team in a much larger market that will spend to supplement.Fortunately, KC looks to be down for awhile longer and Detroit gets to start each season with $30-70 mill locked up in bad contracts through 2023.Cleveland will continue to be strong due to lots of team friendly contracts on marquis players.

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#12 lukeduke1980

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 07:59 AM

Which contending teams might Gibson or Odorizzi help?I would imagine most contenders already have decent rotations, so teams might be looking to upgrade their #5 and less likely to meet what the Twins would be asking for.  


#13 alarp33

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:00 AM

 

So then get rid of Gibson and Odorizzi (both under control and likely quite affordable) to bring in FA's that will start around the 12 mill that Lynn got for marginal back end performance and cost around $20 mill and up for multiple years if you actually want a good player (e.g. Corbin) ... Seems counter-productive

 

Sure, you'll have another question mark lotto piece in the system, but I doubt that will cover the difference.

 

1) I never suggested they get rid of Gibson and Odorizzi, and I'm not sure anyone did. It's unlikely they trade either in the next week, and extremely unlikely they trade both. 

2) There is a trade market in the off-season as well as free agency. The options are not "pay $12 million for marginal back end performance" or "$20 million + multiple years for a good player"

Edited by alarp33, 24 July 2018 - 08:01 AM.

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#14 Doctor Wu

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:13 AM

The Brewers now need another starting pitcher after Suter just got injured and willneed TJ surgery. I'd like to keep Gibson, but would gladly offer them Lynn or Santana for some low level prospect. Or package the pitcher with Dozier and aim higher?

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#15 slash129

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:18 AM

 

1) I never suggested they get rid of Gibson and Odorizzi, and I'm not sure anyone did. It's unlikely they trade either in the next week, and extremely unlikely they trade both. 

2) There is a trade market in the off-season as well as free agency. The options are not "pay $12 million for marginal back end performance" or "$20 million + multiple years for a good player"

 

I guess I did read too much into your response and assumed the Gibson/Odorizzi departure as a qualifier, since that was my qualifier to that rotation list.  


#16 birddog

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:19 AM

Free agency seems to be more often than not a swing and a miss. Twins should have plenty of budget money next year, so in the offseason work some trades with teams looking to save money and unload their established players. If Buxton and Sano--Buckno--show no signs of life, we retool for '20 or '21 (man that sounds scary), but if they can show some signs of being the players we had prayed for we are just a few players short of being a contending team. If that is the case give up some prospects and get us accomplished players to help.

 


#17 jorgenswest

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:23 AM

Would it be wise to trade Gibson and then go back in the market this winter and hope to trade for someone like Gibson? The possible net gain is not worth the risk that a trade partner can’t be found.

They should trade Gibson if they don’t believe he will sustain this performance. They should trade Gibson if they feel they have 5 better starters for the 2019 rotation. Otherwise they should keep him.
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#18 alarp33

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:28 AM

 

Would it be wise to trade Gibson and then go back in the market this winter and hope to trade for someone like Gibson? The possible net gain is not worth the risk that a trade partner can’t be found.

They should trade Gibson if they don’t believe he will sustain this performance. 

 

This seems contradictory? If they trade Gibson because they don't believe he'll sustain this performance, I'm guessing they'd aim higher than "someone like Gibson". 

 

Also, you don't know what the net gain is, because you don't know what return they would get for him, or who their potential off-season targets will be (and what they'd cost). 

 

I certainly could see a scenario where they could get a nice piece for Gibson but replace him in the rotation easily enough

Edited by alarp33, 24 July 2018 - 08:28 AM.

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#19 Brandon

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 09:09 AM

As a gm Im looking at trading Lynn, Odorizzi, Santana, Duke and Rodney on pitching and either trading or extending Dozier and Escobar. Though likely dealing Dozier.

You listen on everyone but I want to set my team up for a potential run in 2019. So Gibson and anyone in long term plans is sitting still.

#20 Brandon

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 09:13 AM

Also i may use this as an opportunity to build up my international signing bonus pool for next year if I can or this one too. The prospects are gonna suck as its a buyers market but getting a large pool of cash together we may be able to sign a top international prospect next June or before time runs out on this signing period but before the next international signing period begins next July.



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