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Article: Potential Twins Bullpen Target: John Gant, RHP, Cardinals

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#1 Matthew Lenz

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:00 AM

It's no secret, the Twins will be seeking bullpen help as the trade deadline approaches. The current group of relievers has helped get the Twins where they are, but let's face it, there is plenty of evidence that suggests upgrades are required. Who may be available? Today we'll take a look at Cardinals right-hander John Gant.John Gant, RHP, 26-years-old
St. Louis Cardinals (35-33 in NL Central)
Three more years of team control via arbitration.

2019: 1.66 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 8.53 K/9, 2.13 BB/9 in 38.0 IP
2018: 3.47 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.50 4.50 K/9, BB/9 in 114.0 IP (19 games started)

What’s to Like?
He’s just under 27-years-old and could be with the team for three more years, which could turn out to be pretty valuable if his first 33 innings as a full-time reliever are any indication. With a 1.64 ERA his peripherals would obviously suggest the possibility for negative regression, but Gant has elite stuff that has been fooling hitters all year.



Per Statcast, the movement of his changeup (23.9 percent usage), four seamer (23.1 percent), and curveball (11 percent) are all considered top 10 or better in the league. This leaves out his most oft used pitch, the sinker (33.1 percent), against which opposing hitters have a slugging percentage of .301 in 2019.

Concerns
I don’t mean to be overly optimistic, but there isn’t a lot to be concerned about here since he’s been so good. That said, some things to consider: given his age, contract situation, and success he’ll be more expensive than Oliver Perez and Craig Stammen, the move from the NL to the AL means he would be facing better hitting (primarily a DH instead of a pinch hitter), and as he gains more innings, hitters will have more of a scouting report on him.

The concerns are really grasping at straws here. Gant would be a phenomenal add to our bullpen and would probably fit right into an eighth-inning role.

See Also
Alex Colome, RHP, White Sox
Seth Lugo, RHP, Mets
Greg Holland, RHP, Diamondbacks
Sean Doolittle, LHP, Nationals
Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres
10 Relievers Minnesota Could Target

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#2 AKTwins

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:30 AM

Tough to predict the type of package we would need to give up. Probably similar to what the'stros gave up for Pressley, but he doesn't have Pressleys track record. I'm thinking Blackenhorn and Jax. Maybe Molina and Alcala.

#3 ashbury

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:49 AM

It's really unclear to me why St Louis would be looking to move Gant. Even if they fall further out of the Wild Card race by the deadline, he's under team control for a while longer and I can't imagine the Cardinals doing a fire sale / rebuild. They seem more like buyers than sellers. Maybe I haven't been keeping up with them.

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#4 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:52 AM

St. Louis is above .500 and still in the race... That's problem number one.

 

Problem number 2 is that I'd rather target a reliever with much stronger peripherals... when the OP is openly noting that he may regress... well, I don't want that. We have enough regression candidates in the pen to begin with. 

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#5 baumannmd

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:56 AM

I don’t see this even remotely happening. St Louis is only 3.5 games out of first and they’re looking to compete the next few years. Even if they were listening to trade offers, the Twins would have to give up a pretty hefty package. Or, they know something the Twins don’t and would be looking to unload spoiled goods.

#6 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:00 PM

The Cardinals are third in their division and eighth in the NL. They're 13-17 over their last 30 games, which is 13th in the NL. No, they're not likely to be selling off pieces right this minute, but if they can't break out of this funk, I'm sure they'll start to entertain the idea of selling off pieces. Gant is a guy to keep on the radar over the coming weeks.

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#7 Thrylos

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:34 PM

Why would the Cardinals even consider selling, is beyond me.

 

John Gant is a treadable target as much as anyone in the Red Sox' or Cleveland's bullpen right now.

 

TOR, BAL, DET, KC, SEA, PIT, CIN, SF, MIA and maybe WSH are the realistic sellers right now.Talking about "targets" from any other teams does not make much sense...

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#8 Aerodeliria

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:12 PM

...and just like that Encarnacion has a new home. Seattle will be dealing, and the Yankees will be buying like they always do. I hope we don't sit on the sidelines counting our prospects for too long.

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#9 twinsfaninsaudi

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:01 PM

What does an upper tier reliever on the free agent market cost for a contract that gives the team three years of control? Whatever it is it probably makes giving up one or even two of the likes of Kiriloff, Wander Javier, Larnach, Lewis, Diaz etc. for a guy like this.

#10 jimbo92107

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:31 AM

Commanding a 2-seamer that precisely is very impressive, but he'd need more than that to get by in the AL. Does he have a good change? Slider? Cutter? Otherwise, paying a ton for him would be a dubious proposition. 

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#11 Twodogs

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:11 AM

...and just like that Encarnacion has a new home. Seattle will be dealing, and the Yankees will be buying like they always do. I hope we don't sit on the sidelines counting our prospects for too long.


I wouldn't put it past the Yankees to buy up a couple of guys that would help the Twins and or the Astros and just stash them on their bench so as the Twins and Astros or anyone else that may be in competition with them can't have them.

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#12 Twodogs

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:11 AM

But I don't see how someone like Gant would be available.

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#13 Turndownforwatt

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:56 AM

I have watched him before and he has got amazing stuff. I think that if they let Wes Johnson do his work he could be a sub 2 era reliever. He is very legit. Now if only the Cardinals where about .400

#14 MMMordabito

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:21 AM

St. Louis isn't going to move this guy for anything reasonable... Even if they fall out of the race, which isn't guaranteed at all, they aren't a rebuild candidate.I could see them moving Miller or Wacha, but Gant is going to be part of their longer term competitiveness.


#15 SpicyGarvSauce

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:29 AM

Without looking too much into it, wouldn't this be similar to the Twins moving Pressly last season? A damn good reliever that is under team control...you would think it would require a similar package, right?


#16 spycake

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:23 AM

Without looking too much into it, wouldn't this be similar to the Twins moving Pressly last season? A damn good reliever that is under team control...you would think it would require a similar package, right?


Gant has 3.5 seasons of team control, vs. 1.5 for Pressly last summer.

Not that the Pressly trade was a common move among non-rebuilding teams either...
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