My main takeaway from the acquisition of Kenta Maeda is this: we apparently had no choice but to part with a pitching talent, despite our hopes of dealing from perceived strength in position players - outfielders in particular.
First, I need to check my assumptions: does anyone recall the front office actually coming out and saying that their drafting strategy is to pick position players when they have a very early draft choice? For me it's basically been inference: 2019 they chose a SS and LF before nabbing a pitcher with the 54th overall choice, in 2018 it was two OF and one C before a pitcher at #154, and in 2017 it was SS and OF before a pitcher at #37.
You can usually figure out how to spread the work among 13 really good arms on a MLB pitching staff, if you happen to be so lucky to have that many good ones. But with position players, you usually face major league roster limitations that keep you from making use of them if your luck happens to concentrate good performers at a given position, particularly when it's not up-the-middle skill.
So it seemed, to me at least, implicit that closely tied to the apparent drafting strategy was an intention to aggressively trade the eventual redundancy of good hitting prospects, for high-end pitching talent that might be missed out on in the draft. Keep the best, trade the rest.
I've been skeptical of this expectation, and now I think there is a direct refutation, in the form of this week's trade.
We didn't package, say, Rooker and Wallner for a rotation arm. We had to offer a young pitcher.
Drafting pitchers is inherently risky. But going for safer picks with position players doesn't look like it's going to pay off, with anything other than a larger pool of position players to feed the major league team with.
In the grand scheme of keeping a pipeline of talented pitching coming, it seems to me that the Twins' drafting strategy has a hole in it.