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Article: Five Potential Dual Pitcher Trades the Twins Could Make

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#1 Andrew Thares

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:09 PM

As we approach the trade deadline, it has become a widely accepted notion that the Minnesota Twins need to add one or two more pitchers in their bullpen, along with potentially adding another starter to their rotation for the postseason. Here at Twins Daily, we have already touched on more than 20 different reliever options the Twins could target before the trade deadline, but many of these relievers are on teams that have a good starting pitcher that should be available before the trade deadline as well. If the Twins could convince one of these teams to trade them both a starter and a reliever, they could knock out two birds with one stone.In this article, I will mostly focus on pitchers that I think could realistically be traded in a dual player deal before the end of July. While some combinations like acquiring Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, along with a backend of the bullpen reliver would make great additions to the Twins, it is starting to look like none of them will be available this summer, let alone as part of a package with another player. I am also leaving out players from teams I am not expecting to be sellers at the deadline, like the Cincinnati Reds who find themselves just 5.5 games out in the very winnable NL Central. With that being said, lets look at some of the options that I think could be available for the Twins.

Marcus Stroman & Ken Giles: Toronto Blue Jays

We will start with the deal that we already know the Twins have asked about, which is a trade for Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman and closer Ken Giles. These are two pitchers that have been on the radar of Twins fans since their series in Toronto back in early May. Stroman has been an a solid, top of the rotation, starter for the Toronto Blue Jays since he broke onto the scene back in 2014. He had an off-year from an ERA perspective in 2018 (5.54), but his 3.91 FIP suggested he should return to form in 2019, which he has to the tune of a 3.18 ERA in 104 2/3 innings pitched. Stroman isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, just 7.2 K/9 in his career. However, Stroman does an excellent job inducing groundballs, as his 59.6 percent groundball rate since he entered the league in 2014 ranks 2nd among all pitchers who have thrown at least 400 innings over that time. Stroman still has one more year of arbitration left on his current deal, so acquiring him could help fill one of the three or four spots in the Twins rotation that will open up after 2019.

Like Stroman, Ken Giles will also enter his third year of arbitration this offseason, meaning he too will be under team control through 2020. Also, like Stroman, Giles entered the league in 2014 and was an immediate success. Since 2014, Giles has accumulated an fWAR of 9.2, which ranks fifth among all MLB relievers over that time. In 2019, Giles is on pace for the best year of his already great career. He has a 1.45 ERA (1.49 FIP) and a career high 15.39 K/9. Among the 237 relievers with at least 20 innings pitched this year, those numbers rank 8th, 2nd and 4th respectively.

Madison Bumgarner & Will Smith: San Francisco Giants

The other dual pitcher trade that Twins fans have been talking about quite a bit is the San Francisco Giants duo of Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. Unlike Stroman and Giles, however, both Bumgarner and Smith will be free agents at year's end. This means they will likely be cheaper to acquire, but they won’t help the Twins need for pitchers beyond 2019. Bumgarner in no longer the ace pitcher that he once was, but he could be a serviceable arm in the rotation that could compete with Kyle Gibson to be the Twins third starter in the playoff rotation. Additionally, he could provide some depth in the Twins rotation in case one their top starters goes down with an injury.

Will Smith missed the entire 2017 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Since his return, Smith has transformed himself into a top-tier reliever. Between 2018 and 2019, Smith has a 2.39 ERA (2.04 FIP), with 12.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 across 90 and 1/3 innings pitched. Smith has done an excellent job of limiting hard contact, as he has allowed only two barrels (per Statcast) all season.

Matt Boyd & Shane Greene: Detroit Tigers

Matt Boyd has broken onto the scene in 2019, posting a 3.95 ERA (3.47 FIP) with 12 K/9 and just 1.9 BB/9. Home runs have plagued Boyd so far this season, but his high 16.1 percent home run to flyball ratio suggests that he is due for some positive regression in this department. If the Twins were to acquire Boyd, they would have him under team control through the 2022 season, the same season Jose Berrios is set to become a free agent. Acquiring Boyd could give the Twins a strong 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation for the foreseeable future.

In addition to Boyd, the Tigers could also be looking to move their closer Shane Greene. Greene currently holds a microscopic 1.09 ERA, but his 3.72 FIP suggests he is due for some regression down the stretch. Even if he does, Greene could still serve as a back end of the bullpen righty to pair with the left-handed throwing Taylor Rogers. Additionally, Greene is under team control through 2020, which gives the Twins some help going into this offseason.

Zack Wheeler & Seth Lugo: New York Mets

We have talked a lot about Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard as potential trade targets for the Twins, but perhaps the most likely starting pitcher for them to target is Zack Wheeler. While the Mets might be hesitant to completely blow things up by trading deGrom and Syndergaard, who are both under control for a few more seasons, there is no reason why they shouldn’t move Wheeler, who will be a free agent after this year. Wheeler has dealt with his fair share of injuries during the early part of his career but has still be an effective pitcher when he’s on the mound. In 2018, Wheeler put together an excellent season with a 3.31 ERA (3.25 FIP) over 182 and 1/3 innings. In 2019, Wheeler’s ERA has taken a step back, down to 4.69, but many of his underlying metrics say he has been a better pitcher than his ERA suggests. Wheeler’s strikeouts are up a strikeout per inning, up to 9.83, while his walks are down to 2.57 per nine. Like Matt Boyd, Wheeler has been bitten by home runs in 2019.

Seth Lugo isn’t the big name that some of these other relievers are, but he is more than effective enough to be another trustworthy arm that Rocco Baledlli can use in big innings down the stretch. Lugo was moved to the bullpen for the 2018 season, which has really helped him improve as a pitcher. Between 2018 and 2019, Lugo has 2.85 ERA (3.25 FIP) with 10 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9, including 11.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 this year. Lugo is also under control through the 2022 season, which could pair him up with Taylor Rogers in the back end of the bullpen for a few seasons to come.

Robbie Ray & Greg Holland: Arizona Diamondbacks

A couple of pitchers that haven’t gotten as much talk, but could make solid additions to the Twins pitching staff are the Arizona Diamondbacks duo of Robbie Ray and Greg Holland. Ray is one of the premier strikeout starting pitchers in the game today. Since 2016, Ray’s 11.76 K/9 trails only Max Scherzer and Chris Sale for the highest mark among starting pitchers with at least 400 innings pitched. However, walks have plagued Ray over that time, and as a result Ray has a respectable 3.91 ERA (3.92 FIP) over that time. Ray is another starting pitcher that could fill a spot in the Twins rotation next season, as he won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season.

Like Robbie Ray, Greg Holland is a high strikeout, high walk, pitcher. So far in 2019, Holland is striking out 10.74 batter per nine, while walking 5.23 batters per nine. When he’s off, Holland can be quite the headache to watch, but when he’s on, he can come in and close the door on any bad situation he has been put in. With Holland becoming a free agent at year's end, and some control question marks surrounding both him and Ray, this could be high risk-high reward trade for the Twins.

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#2 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:59 PM

While I’d be comfortable with Wheeler alone, having Lugo as a multi-inning guy would definitely help our entire pitching staff stay fresh for the 2nd half, and hopefully the postseason. And if this happens to be the path that the FO ends up taking; great, but I still want Vazquez.
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#3 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 01:50 PM

My vote would be the Mets trade.
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#4 yarnivek1972

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 01:52 PM

My vote would be the Mets trade.


With Ryan O’Rourke as a throw in loogy.

#5 Soft Tosser

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 04:02 PM

I really like Lugo as well


#6 Han Joelo

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:26 PM

 

With Ryan O’Rourke as a throw in loogy.

A Loogy in addition to Lugo?  Why not add some Caviar? (Beluga, of course)

 

Luckily, we already have La Tortuga.

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#7 curt1965

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:56 PM

I’m already on record endorsing the Boyd-Greene combo.
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#8 Linus

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 06:02 PM

I’m already on record endorsing the Boyd-Greene combo.


Me too. I like longer term solutions
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#9 Bavarian

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 05:39 AM

Has a duo pitcher trade ever happened? Just asking. I've never seen one but then again, I'm not as locked in on MLB as many here. 

 

BTW, why does Stroman wear pants that overlap his cleats? If he had to run, wouldn't he trip up? Looks like he's wearing pajamas. 

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#10 sdangus

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 06:16 AM

Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel are two pitchers traded togrther, but that was more two starters than one of each. Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from Oakland to Washington is a 2 reliever trade (that cost Washington dearly). Cleveland got Adam Cimber and Brad Hand together, but again 2 relievers.

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#11 Steve Lein

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 08:30 AM

 

 

BTW, why does Stroman wear pants that overlap his cleats? If he had to run, wouldn't he trip up? Looks like he's wearing pajamas. 

 

Because he's so short. They don't make MLB pants his size...hah

 

Seriously though, the pants over cleats thing is very common, especially if you have to deal with pants being a bit oversized. It's how I wore mine. Your metal spikes punch through the pants and keep them in place better and they don't bunch up on you.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#12 Monkeypaws

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 08:41 AM

MLB just posted "5 trade ideas so crazy they might just work," which had the Twins acquiring Stroman and Giles for a package of Graterol, Javier, Jax, Maciel, and Widell.

 

https://www.mlb.com/...line-approaches

 

I think the Twins would take that deal in a heartbeat.

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#13 Twins33

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:05 AM

MLB just posted "5 trade ideas so crazy they might just work," which had the Twins acquiring Stroman and Giles for a package of Graterol, Javier, Jax, Maciel, and Widell.
 
https://www.mlb.com/...line-approaches
 
I think the Twins would take that deal in a heartbeat.

As would I.

Boyd-Greene is my number one choice due to Boyd. Greene is alright but I want a better reliever than him as well in a different trade.

Wheeler-Lugo would be my second choice.
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#14 Vanimal46

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:54 AM

Milwaukee's showing interest in Will Smith... Tick tock, Falvey.

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#15 Bavarian

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:02 AM

Hmm, it seems that many are willing to throw in Graterol in trade scenarios.I'm not included. 


#16 nokomismod

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:06 AM

I would be happy if the Twins landed any of these combos. This weekend was a fun series, and the bullpen (with the exception of that one May's pitch) was very effective. However the three best starters failed to go deep in two of the three games against a fairly mediocre offense.


#17 spanman2

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:38 AM

Next 2 weeks should be very interesting.We as a fan base have waited a long time for our Twins to be this competitive.Personally I trust the FO to put the team in the best situation for this year and beyond as it pertains to what move(s) they make in the next 2 weeks.HUGE HUGE series win in Cleveland!!!This ballclub has something about them that is just there.Whatever the "it" is they have "it"!We are close to having a team that can go somwhere come October.WIN TWINS

I WAS TOLD I WOULD NEVER MAKE IT BECAUSE I AM TOO SHORT. WELL, I'M STILL TOO SHORT. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR HEIGHT IS. IT'S WHAT'S IN YOUR HEART.

KIRBY PUCKETT

#18 SpicyGarvSauce

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:59 AM

What about Robbie Ray & Andrew Chafin from the D-Backs?

 

Or Greinke & Chafin?

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#19 yarnivek1972

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 11:09 AM

What about Robbie Ray & Andrew Chafin from the D-Backs?

Or Greinke & Chafin?


Not that it is an insurmountable obstacle, but aren’t the Twins on Greinke’s “no trade” list?
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#20 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 12:38 PM

Hmm, it seems that many are willing to throw in Graterol in trade scenarios. I'm not included.

I’d 100% include Graterol in a Syndergaard deal if the opportunity presented itself, every day of the week without hesitation. Would really hesitate to in a Stroman deal but in a package including Giles (if he’s healthy) would probably have to think long and hard about it. Absolutely not in a rental or a reliever only deal.

Can’t believe I’m jumping on this bandwagon but I’d actually rather trade Graterol at this point over Balazovic.

Edited by twinkiesfan11, 15 July 2019 - 12:39 PM.

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