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Article: Twins Trade Rumor Recap: Teams Pondering Selling

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:15 PM

The rumor mill has been pretty dry lately, so Bob Nightengale’s recent story with trade talk rumors was a tall glass of water. The revelations in the story are related to the lack of news: it turns out there are a number of teams that are still trying to decide if they are selling or buying. Or perhaps whether they can get away with selling when their fans want them to be buying.Fans (and in some cases, ownership) look at standings, not playoff odds reports. For a lot of these teams, the standings suggest their team is still in a race for a couple of Wild Card spots, while the math suggests they're a pretty significant longshot.

 On a regular basis, Twins Daily curates MLB's trade deadline rumors to determine what they mean for the Minnesota Twins. 
The Texas Rangers are a good example. They weren’t supposed to be competitive this year, but are just five games back of the American League Wild Card. But that also mean they are one of six teams chasing two Wild Card spots, and they’re the second worst one. Plus, while they’re four games above .500, they’ve been outscored on the year. So playoff odds reports have them at a 1-2% chance of making the playoffs.

That’s important to the Twins because the Rangers have one of the few starting pitchers available that could upgrade the Twins rotation, Mike Minor. “Well, publicly, they are telling teams they can’t trade Minor as long as they’re in the race, but privately, they know his trade value will never be higher,” writes Nightengale. He says they’ll strongly consider moving him if they slip further back in the Wild Card race – and they face the Astros this weekend.

If they do start selling, they also have several relievers that would interest the Twins. Chris Martin has been a reliable right-handed setup man who will be a free agent at the end of the year. Shawn Kelley is their closer, but is really more of a setup arm, who has a $2.5M option next year. Jose LeClerc is a young arm who dominated last year, lost the closer job, but is still doing good work and under contract through 2022 with team option years through 2024. That adds a lot of talent to the shopping mart.

Nightengale also mentions Kirby Yates, about whom the Twins have inquired. Nightengale reports that the Padres “certainly are listening.” Yates is one of the few relievers who could be an upgrade on Taylor Rogers, and is under team control next year, too.

But will the Padres want to sell? They’ve also had a surprising year, and are just three games back of the National League Wild Card spot. But just about everyone in the NL is within five games, so the playoff odds reports gives the Padres just a 4-7% chance of making the playoffs. They face the Cubs this weekend, and a slide might be the excuse management needs to set themselves up for a more realistic chance in 2020 or 2021.

The biggest surprise potential seller in Nightengale’s story was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are just a half game back of the last NL Wild Card spot. Playoff odds reports give them a 20-40% chance of making the playoffs, but Nightengale says “privately, they want to sell.” They have several players that would make sense for the Twins, starting with starting pitchers Zach Greinke (whose salary they would love to shed) and Robbie Ray, who new Twins Daily writer Copper Carlson profiled yesterday. But they also have relievers that make sense, like closer Greg Holland, who will be a free agent at the end of the year.

Finally, Nightengale also reported that the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, who currently have the second worst record in the National League, wants to stay in the race as long as possible. Considering they have several impending free agents and 4-9% chance of making the playoffs, pressure should increase to change that attitude.

The Reds have several names that make sense for the Twins. Carlson’s story also talks about Reds starter Sonny Gray, left-handed reliever Amir Garret will soon return from the IL, and closer Raisel Iglesias is under contract through 2021.

So while the waiting is frustrating, it’s probably working in the Twins favor. A lot of these teams are going to be facing some ugly realities in the next two weeks, and the market for buyers could be considerably better than it is today.

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#2 jkcarew

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:38 PM

"Finally, Nightengale also reported that the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, who currently have the second worst record in the National League, wants to stay in the league as long as possible."

 

So far, so good! They've stayed in the league since 1869. :)

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#3 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:56 PM

 

"Finally, Nightengale also reported that the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, who currently have the second worst record in the National League, wants to stay in the league as long as possible."

 

So far, so good! They've stayed in the league since 1869. :)

 

Lol. Fixed. I can reread my work five times and still miss obvious stuff. It's like a superpower. 

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#4 nater79a

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:58 PM

 

"Finally, Nightengale also reported that the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, who currently have the second worst record in the National League, wants to stay in the league as long as possible."

 

So far, so good! They've stayed in the league since 1869. :)

 

Ha! The Cincinnati Red Stockings...

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#5 PDX Twin

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:12 PM

 

Ha! The Cincinnati Red Stockings...

 

I remember that in the 1950s they were still being called the "Redlegs." Maybe that was deemed politically incorrect...

It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#6 DocBauer

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:25 PM

Very nice report and offers up a lot of context why things have been so quiet here just past mid month.

The Reds and the Diamondbacks would seem obvious sellers to me. Some of the other clubs, I can see their reasoning/optomism.

There are quite a few guys mentioned here I'd be interested in.
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#7 J_Dobs

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:25 PM

 

Nightengale says “privately, they want to sell.” They have several players that would make sense for the Twins, starting with starting pitchers Zach Greinke

I have been dreaming of getting Greinke for a long time. I wonder what this trade looks like, if you take the money off the books from the Diamondbacks I have to believe you could get a deal. Something Boston, Yankees, Astros cannot offer. 


#8 HawksNest

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:33 PM

 

Lol. Fixed. I can reread my work five times and still miss obvious stuff. It's like a superpower. 

 

I completely understand.

 

I work in communications/media relations and still, to this day, miss errors in my own work all the time.


#9 Tomj14

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:40 PM

If the Twins get a starter who goes to the pen? are any of the 4 going to be happy with that, with 3 being free agents at the end of the year?

 

Odorizzi averages the least amount of innings per start but has the lowest ERA.

Pineda has been pretty consistent giving them six decent innings (7 of 10)

Perez hasn't been great but is the only lefty right now (only non FA to be)

Gibson has been hot and cold but does have the 3rd best ERA

 

Maybe Minor is that guy, but he throws a ton of pitches, are the Twins going to let him consistently pitch more than 100 pitches?

The only game he has thrown less than 90 pitches was his first game, and 15 of his 19 have been 98 pitches or more.

 

 


#10 spycake

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:25 PM

I have been dreaming of getting Greinke for a long time. I wonder what this trade looks like, if you take the money off the books from the Diamondbacks I have to believe you could get a deal. Something Boston, Yankees, Astros cannot offer.


The Astros? They are $17 mil under the first luxury tax threshold (which isn't that bad, actually -- just a tax on the overage). And something like $52 mil under the third and highest threshold (the one where your draft slot moves down).

The Astros are also not included on Greinke's 15 team no-trade list (while the Twins are).

I wouldn't expect Houston to pursue him, but then again, I wouldn't expect anyone will ultimately give the Diamondbacks enough talent and take on enough of the contract to convince them to make a deal.

#11 yarnivek1972

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:34 PM

It’s worth remembering that the Twins are on Greinke’s no trade list. That’s not necesarily insurmountable, but it certainly complicates matters.
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#12 Thrylos

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:45 PM

 

 

So far, so good! They've stayed in the league since 1869. :)

 

1892.They switched from the American Association to the NL before that season, along with the Brooklyn Dodgers.That team was founded in 1881.There was an earlier National League team with a similar name, Cincinnati Red Stockings, that lasted from 1876 to 1879 in the NL and then was disbanded. An even earlier Cincinnati Red Stockings team of the National Association of Base Ball Players moved to Boston in 1871.

 

So the Reds were the 3rd team with a similar name in Cincinnati and were originally an AA team.

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#13 spycake

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:46 PM

It’s worth remembering that the Twins are on Greinke’s no trade list. That’s not necesarily insurmountable, but it certainly complicates matters.


Yup. Even if you satisfy the Diamondbacks demands, Greinke can put the brakes on the whole thing. (And there's not even an obvious enticement that the Twins could offer, other than more money. Might be hard to sell the Twins as his best shot at a title now either, especially if someone like Atlanta got involved -- and Atlanta isn't on his no-trade list...)

#14 spycake

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:49 PM

I remember that in the 1950s they were still being called the "Redlegs." Maybe that was deemed politically incorrect...


Actually they went with "Redlegs" in the 1950s due to anticommunist sentiment:

https://www.espn.com...-became-redlegs
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#15 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 04:08 PM

 

Fans (and in some cases, ownership) look at standings, not playoff odds reports. For a lot of these teams, the standings suggest their team is still in a race for a couple of Wild Card spots, while the math suggests they're a pretty significant longshot.

 

I've always felt that the postseason probabilities are just another way to interpret the standings. The standings are the standings, and the probabilities are derived from that. Nothing more. I mean, are the Twins still 96% sure to win the division? The Nationals 12.5% chance to grab a Wild Card? So, you play the game and see what happens.

 

Even assuming the front offices have their own proprietary data, using a playoff probability would seem like a poor reason to give up on the season in July with two months left. Maybe not necessarily for the back of NL Wildcard group this year, but for a team chasing down another team for a division lead (like the AL Central the past few seasons), I think so. It just seems misguided and a sleight to the fans.

 

Thoughts? 

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#16 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 04:12 PM

Hey. I just changed the headline, and I wanted to explain why. Apparently Skor North has been using a "Twins Trade Rumor Roundup" as a series, and I didn't realize. So now we'll go with "Twins Trade Rumor Recap." Sorry Derek!

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#17 David HK

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 04:37 PM

Well, we keep sitting around like this, shuffling AAA deck chairs, we'll be on the list of "sellers" soon enough.

#18 Dantes929

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 04:50 PM

 

I've always felt that the postseason probabilities are just another way to interpret the standings. The standings are the standings, and the probabilities are derived from that. Nothing more. I mean, are the Twins still 96% sure to win the division? The Nationals 12.5% chance to grab a Wild Card? So, you play the game and see what happens.

 

Even assuming the front offices have their own proprietary data, using a playoff probability would seem like a poor reason to give up on the season in July with two months left. Maybe not necessarily for the back of NL Wildcard group this year, but for a team chasing down another team for a division lead (like the AL Central the past few seasons), I think so. It just seems misguided and a sleight to the fans.

 

Thoughts? 

I have always thought the percentages were too easily derailed by a good or bad 10 day stretch.Most teams have a bad stretch of 2-8 but it is just part of the fabric of the season and can come at any time.I am more optimistic than most on here but I don''t feel like the Twins have a 96% chance to win the division. I think with the way the Twins and Tribe are playing and with their schedules there is a good chance they will be overtaken but then the schedules change and usually teams don't stay hot or cold forever so there is a fair chance the Twins retake the lead and we have a real exciting last month.Obviously the lead is still nice to have right now but there is just too much ebb and flow with a lot of games left to feel like our odds are greater than 90%.

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#19 Blake

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 05:06 PM

 

Lol. Fixed. I can reread my work five times and still miss obvious stuff. It's like a superpower. 

Or a disease, as I have it also.


#20 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 05:21 PM

 

I have always thought the percentages were too easily derailed by a good or bad 10 day stretch.Most teams have a bad stretch of 2-8 but it is just part of the fabric of the season and can come at any time.I am more optimistic than most on here but I don''t feel like the Twins have a 96% chance to win the division. I think with the way the Twins and Tribe are playing and with their schedules there is a good chance they will be overtaken but then the schedules change and usually teams don't stay hot or cold forever so there is a fair chance the Twins retake the lead and we have a real exciting last month.Obviously the lead is still nice to have right now but there is just too much ebb and flow with a lot of games left to feel like our odds are greater than 90%.

Just to be clear, the 95.9% was from June 3rd. Today the division is at 84% which is predicting a 5 out of 6 chance. (please no RR jokes here!).

 

I think 84% is still too high. It would be interesting to see how many division leaders with 4 game leads at this point, do go on to win. Or if they get passed up in the standings, or whatever. I think 5 out of 6 might be a touch high (but not much).

 

Anyway I agree the standings are much more likely to remain neck and neck and I do also think the Twins are capable of pulling away again, even if by virtue of Cleveland faltering again at some point. 

 

 

 

.... Anyone else? I'm genuinely looking for insight into this probability thing John raised, and how FOs might think about it

 

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 18 July 2019 - 05:29 PM.