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Article: Blueprinting the Twins Deadline Plan

minnesota twins derek falvey trade deadline
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 04:01 PM

At the All-Star break Rocco Baldelli’s Minnesota Twins currently own the third best record in the American League. They have a 5.5 game lead on the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central division, and the +113-run differential is second-most in all of baseball. This team is good, but they have areas needing improvement and just a couple of weeks to execute that improvement. You’ve read plenty of names by this point, but what does the actual blueprint look like?Minnesota has been linked to players like Marcus Stroman and Madison Bumgarner. The Twins have ties to any number of relievers, and you can bet the front office has no desire to leave any stone unturned. We’re soon getting to decision time though, and what they acquire will matter almost as much as who they acquire.

Needs

The bare minimum here is two relief pitchers. Taylor Rogers has been nothing short of exceptional this season, but he needs to continue with an ability to operate as a hybrid pitcher. Keeping him solely locked into the ninth inning or late inning work isn’t necessarily ideal. He benefits Baldelli most by working as the fireman, and being able to work multiple innings is a massive boost.

Ideally one of the arms acquired should be a southpaw and finding an impending free agent over 30 years-old with an ERA right around the mid-3.00 range shouldn’t be a difficult task. Realistically hat type of get isn’t going to cost any significant prospect and the boost could be substantial.

On top of relief help a starter would be a definite bonus. Minnesota has just Jose Berrios and Martin Perez locked down for the rotation in 2020, and a controllable asset there makes a ton of sense. Giving up prospects for relief help is never an enticing plan of action but tying in a controllable starter would help to lessen that blow.

When the deadline comes and goes on July 31st success should be measured for Minnesota numerically. At least two relief arms would represent a job well done, and an additional starter could tip things over the top.

Process

Derek Falvey is going to need prospect capital in order to make any move. I’d imagine, and probably suggest, that both Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff be non-starters in almost any package. From there though the Twins will have significant depth at their disposal. Finding a way to both utilize and conserve talent at the same time would provide an optimal crossroads.

Opposing organizations are likely going to want trades completed for one big-league asset at a time. If I’m Minnesota however, pairing the starter with a reliever is a way to mitigate risk. Working to pass on parting with real prospects for a rental or relief arm, adding in controllable starting talent opens the door to more coveted names.

There’s a handful of selling teams that have assets in both areas Rocco Baldelli’s club currently needs to upgrade. There should be no reason that any deal with those clubs doesn’t go down the path of two players at once when discussions start. Settling on one at a time is fine but look to pair a maximized return with a protected parting.

Redundancy

It’s true that there’re specific areas on the farm that you’ll never have too many prospects. Up the middle and on the mound, teams will forever find a way to utilize talent. For the Twins, in their current situation, one of the best ways may be in using said players as trade chips.

Falvey has a system chock full of middle infield prospects and corner outfielders. Although there’s not a significant number of upper-tier arms, there are a select few that have significant upside. Most of this talent is still at or below Double-A which makes the future risk carry a hefty amount of uncertainty. Using a trade partner to thin out some of that talent and turn it into big league commodities is hardly a bad blueprint.

This offseason the Twins will also be up against a 40-man roster crunch that will put some bigger names in a position where they could be exposed. Utilizing them now in a way that draws a return is a significantly better decision than seeing them lost in the Rule 5 Draft.

At its core the trade deadline should be a ton of fun for fans of the Minnesota Twins. This team is in position to be a legitimate player for the first time in nearly a decade. Good at the big-league level and on the farm, there’s opportunity to make some serious noise. The goal should be to acquire at least two assets, attempt to engage big with one partner, and work through some of your similar assets. How it all shakes out remains to be seen, but we’ll have answers soon enough.

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#2 ashbury

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 04:43 PM

When the deadline comes and goes on July 31st success should be measured for Minnesota numerically. ...

I have nothing of substance to contribute to the blueprint. I'll add a comment about how success should be measured, though: in addition to how things look on July 31, and then of course as the post-season passes, I'll be looking later on to how the Rule-5 Draft plays out. If we lose a couple of prospects, with a shrug of the shoulders to mean "hey, we can't add all our prospects to the 40-man, right?", it will invite scrutiny over the previous trade deadline. Best, then, to err on the side of slight overpays in trade - "you can't take it with you", so to speak.

 

Just want to get that out there, so that it isn't 20/20 hindsight later on.

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#3 darin617

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 04:54 PM

This does not look good when all you seem to hear is that the Twins are linked to the very high end player that the Yankees are also linked to. Not a good idea to get into a bidding war with them.

 

This could be the Twins way. Chase the high end player that you have no intention in inquiring to make it look good for your fans and fall short and end up with a couple of lower rate players.

 

But honestly the Twins would need to almost gut the system to land the players needed and we still would still be behind Houston & NYY.


#4 yarnivek1972

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 06:09 PM

This does not look good when all you seem to hear is that the Twins are linked to the very high end player that the Yankees are also linked to. Not a good idea to get into a bidding war with them.

This could be the Twins way. Chase the high end player that you have no intention in inquiring to make it look good for your fans and fall short and end up with a couple of lower rate players.

But honestly the Twins would need to almost gut the system to land the players needed and we still would still be behind Houston & NYY.


But the question is do the Yankees have the high end talent other teams want.

FWIW, bleacher report ranks the Yankee farm system 20th after the 2019 draft and the Twins 10th. The commentary notes that they lack an elite level top prospect. Their number one does not rank in the top 50. The Twins have 3 that do.

https://www.google.c...-draft.amp.html
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#5 Major League Ready

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 06:10 PM

 

Falvey has a system chock full of middle infield prospects and corner outfielders. Although there’s not a significant amount of upper tier arms, there’s a select few that have significant upside. Most of this talent is still at or below Double-A which makes the future risk carry a hefty amount of uncertainty. Using a trade partner to thin out some of that talent and turn it into big league commodities is hardly a bad blueprint.

This offseason the Twins will also be up against a 40-man roster crunch that will put some bigger names in a position where they could be exposed. Utilizing them now in a way that draws a return is a significantly better decision than seeing them lost in the Rule 5 Draft.

 

 

IMO the portion of the article above provides the starting point of the ideal blueprint. In other words, the best case scenario is to find a team that is willing to give up an asset or assets that fit for numbers of good prospects as opposed to an elite prospect. Yes, easier said than done but this is the starting point.We can't afford to give up any SP prospects that have a top of the rotation high ceiling because I think we only have two. Obviously, opinion will differ on this point.

 

We can afford to give up any OF prospects outside of Kirilloff and we have a number of middle infielders. Although, I guess the last couple months make you wonder about Rooker's ceiling.Anyway ... A team that wan'ts Gordon or thinks Stewart / Gonsalves Cave have value would be a good place to start as well. Arraez is our 2020 2B unless the league adjusts and he looks less promising.

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#6 yarnivek1972

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 06:27 PM

I think Alanis Morisette would point out that there are two former Twins on the all star roster as relievers.
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#7 darin617

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 06:49 PM

 

But the question is do the Yankees have the high end talent other teams want.

FWIW, bleacher report ranks the Yankee farm system 20th after the 2019 draft and the Twins 10th. The commentary notes that they lack an elite level top prospect. Their number one does not rank in the top 50. The Twins have 3 that do.

https://www.google.c...-draft.amp.html

 

They also have no issues adding to the payroll ever. Frazier is MLB ready and would be moved in a major deal. No reason to give up any top 5 prospects on any rental.


#8 yarnivek1972

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 07:29 PM

They also have no issues adding to the payroll ever. Frazier is MLB ready and would be moved in a major deal. No reason to give up any top 5 prospects on any rental.


They still have to have players the other teams want.
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#9 FlauerPauer

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 08:26 PM

 

This does not look good when all you seem to hear is that the Twins are linked to the very high end player that the Yankees are also linked to. Not a good idea to get into a bidding war with them.

 

This could be the Twins way. Chase the high end player that you have no intention in inquiring to make it look good for your fans and fall short and end up with a couple of lower rate players.

 

But honestly the Twins would need to almost gut the system to land the players needed and we still would still be behind Houston & NYY.

 

I think the Twins will hardly have to gut the system to acquire talent. The Twins farm system is nationally touted as top 10. Ahead of Yankees and Astros. Twins have three/four top 100 (three top 50) prospect. Most of the major deals over the past couple years have rarely included more than one top 50 prospect. Prospects are a dime a dozen. Need to utilize their value and sometimes their value is tradebait. And sometimes, you have to give up talent to acquire talent.

 

I'd consider the deadline a failure without acquiring two top notch relievers. 


#10 darin617

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 08:40 PM

 

I think the Twins will hardly have to gut the system to acquire talent. The Twins farm system is nationally touted as top 10. Ahead of Yankees and Astros. Twins have three/four top 100 (three top 50) prospect. Most of the major deals over the past couple years have rarely included more than one top 50 prospect. Prospects are a dime a dozen. Need to utilize their value and sometimes their value is tradebait. And sometimes, you have to give up talent to acquire talent.

 

I'd consider the deadline a failure without acquiring two top notch relievers. 

Relief pitchers don't matter if you can't get them a lead and starters to keep them in check. I would rather see Perez moved to the pen and add a starter or 2 as well as another RP.

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#11 Vanimal46

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 09:27 PM

I think Alanis Morisette would point out that there are two former Twins on the all star roster as relievers.


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#12 Darius

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 09:59 PM

If I had to make a choice, I’d like to see a starter. I know that Odorizzi and Perez have been good, and Gibson can be good at times. But, I’d rather not lean on any of those too heavily in a playoff series. I don’t feel great about navigating the gauntlet of New York/Houston when running a guy like that out there twice per series.

Starting pitching is huge in the playoffs. We may have enough guys to get by in the pen if the starters can get some relatively deep starts. Add a serviceable late-inning guy to a starter and we’re really in business. But, I think a high/quality starter does more for World Series aspirations than a 7th-8th inning guy.

#13 Rosterman

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 10:42 PM

Going into the off-season, the Twins will have up to 10 roster spots open for new blood. They have at least 15 names to consider putting on the 40-man. Both those numbers, yes, are high...but the Twins do have prospect depth. The question is who do they aprt with at the top of their list. Last year you wouldn't think of Romero, Gonsales, Thorpe or even Stewart. All are touchable, but far from in demand (which shows the risks of trading for prospects). The "other" team hopes to land some future bodies, salary relief (not this year but down the tube), as well as maybe future prospects totrade if situations reverse in the coming season.

 

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#14 old nurse

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:11 AM

Any player that is a rental should cost a player with a little bit better potential than a late first round pick. The Twins have plenty of those type of prospects without denting the farm system. A player with some level of control past the contract will require prospect capital.People have cited the Chris Archer trade as it is going to cost a lot. The Cole trade shows that sometimes it just costs a lot of bodies. It depends on the skill of the trader.

 


#15 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 05:15 AM

 

This does not look good when all you seem to hear is that the Twins are linked to the very high end player that the Yankees are also linked to. Not a good idea to get into a bidding war with them.

 

This could be the Twins way. Chase the high end player that you have no intention in inquiring to make it look good for your fans and fall short and end up with a couple of lower rate players.

 

But honestly the Twins would need to almost gut the system to land the players needed and we still would still be behind Houston & NYY.

The good thing about a bidding war is that the bids aren't in cash but in prospects. We've got plenty of those.

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#16 Thrylos

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 07:51 AM

The Twins need to be close to feel that they have at least half favorable rotation matchups with any post-season team to be relevant in the post-season.Not sure that they are there against the Astros and Dodgers (at least).

 

Also they need to have a pitcher who they trust that no matter what will keep them in the game.They had that in Johan.They even had that in Radke.Not sure that they have that in anyone in this rotation.I would think that everyone in this rotation is prone to a 5 run inning out of the blue.

 

So a starter better than Berrios/Odorizzi is a must for this team to be relevant in the post season.This might actually improve the pen by pushing one of the starters there.

 

As far as the pen goes, they need 2 arms better than Rogers for the RH setup up position and the closer position.

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#17 Ctwink

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:02 AM

Still think we should go after Max Scherzer. Yes, we'd have to give up alot, but if you can't produce that #1 starter type you have to get him from somewhere. And by slotting that #1 guy in, moving everyone down, sticking Pineda in the pen for the rest of the year (where he can rear back and just fire away and the Twins can limit his innings), and getting rid of whoever is the worst reliever, you strengthen the whole team and then the hitters don't feel like they have to win every game 9-5.

 

You can also use it to thin out the 40 Man Roster herd. So we send them Trevor Larnach, Wander Javier, Jhoan Duran, Lewis Thorpe, Nick Gordon, and Stephen Gosalves. You get 6 top 20 guys that are either ML ready or who have a high ceiling and we take on ALL of Scherzer's salary and call it good. 

 

That's the kicker in all this - his salary. Sure if we asked the Nats to pickup part of the out years part they'd want Lewis and Kiriloff to just start talking, but we are also taking on all the stupid parts of Scherzer's salary.

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#18 In My La-Z-boy

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:45 AM

One mentally tough, fierce competitor, eats nails for breakfast type starter and reliever please....Agree on one trade partner to get both. Giants are the team. MadBum has the fierce competitor thing down & Watson still has another year of control. Pineda to the pen. Giants, more so than most are looking for major league ready talent in return. Make Rooker or Gordon the centerpiece, and let them have some pitching - 3 of the following, either Thorpe, Stewart, Mejia, Gonsalves or Smeltzer. I hear the Giants aren't interested in anyone below AAA. They want to be viable next year - no major rebuild ha ha. Good luck with that. Also - reading Dodger blogs, don't get lost in MadBums current numbers - Dodger fans know they do NOT want to face Madison in October and are wishing somehow they could land him. I think they would know better than Twins fans what MadBum still has in the tank. Not thinking we could resign him - Watch LA make a play for him this winter - but thinking he'd be a horse for us on the mound with a TC ballcap on this fall.

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#19 SpicyGarvSauce

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:55 AM

Pretty incredible when you look at those teams in the top 10 of prospect lists, and how well their current MLB team is doing as well.


#20 Ctwink

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 09:07 AM

 

Giants, more so than most are looking for major league ready talent in return. Make Rooker or Gordon the centerpiece, and let them have some pitching - 3 of the following, either Thorpe, Stewart, Mejia, Gonsalves or Smeltzer.

 

If Falvey gives up that much in a trade for Bumgarner who is clearly just ML average at this point, no matter who the reliever is that is tossed in with him, he should be fired...

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