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Should The Twins Shop Miguel Sano?

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#1 Cody Pirkl

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 07:00 PM

After the Twins early exit from the postseason, GM Derek Falvey hinted that some shake ups to the roster's core weren’t out of the question after the regulars disappointed yet again. In what looks to be an unprecedented offseason looming, there are several reasons that may make Miguel Sano the perfect “core” piece to look to trade.Miguel Sano is Good:
I love Miguel Sano, and you should too. Trading him should make you nervous if you remember a man named David Ortiz. He’s been an above average hitter according to wRC+ in every season but two and is almost 20% above in his career as a whole. In addition, he’s locked up for about $10m/year with a team option through 2023.

As we all know, Sano is incredibly streaky and swings and misses… a lot. That being said, he also set the pace for Major League Baseball when it comes to average exit velocity, hard hit % and barrel rate in 2020. He also shifted to 1B and held his own at a new position this last year and looks to be a viable option to remain there for the near future if it fits a team’s needs. Sano should fetch a good amount of value on the trade market.

NL Designated Hitters:
The National League will likely adopt the DH moving forward, a position some feel Sano is destined for in the future. Despite Sano’s encouraging debut at 1B, it’s fair to wonder what the future holds for him in the field considering his 6’4 frame and injury history. A team could just cut bait on his transition to 1B and utilize him solely in their lineup to avoid injury.

Furthermore, the DH was sort of sprung on the NL this year, and they largely suffered at that position. Competitive teams relied on players like Matt Carpenter (84 wRC+), Ryan Braun (99 wRC+), and Jay Bruce (83 wRC+) for example. There should be no shortage of teams willing to pay handsomely for a controllable slugger to immediately step in as they try and plan more carefully for a full season of designated hitters in the NL.

Kirilloff the First Baseman:
Alex Kirilloff is hopefully here to stay after impressing in his trial by fire in the playoffs. While he played right field and is assumed by many to be a corner outfielder, Kirilloff actually spent close to half of his time at 1B in 2019. The Twins had the foresight to recognize their inevitable log jam in the outfield and began the switch. Kirilloff’s bat appears to be up to the task when it comes to producing at the level of an MLB corner infielder. Furthermore, reports are fairly high on Kirilloff’s defensive prowess on first base. The Twins did a fantastic job in getting Sano acclimated in a hurry, and Kirilloff already has about 300 innings more at the position than he did.

If the Twins believe in Kirilloff’s bat enough to hand the position over to him, trading Sano opens a nice path to keep Rooker on the team as well as give Larnach a chance in the outfield. All of this while shedding payroll and getting a healthy return for Miguel Sano.

Do I actively want the Twins to trade Miguel Sano? Not really. The topic of shaking up their core is a bit nerve racking when looking at the regular season success of this squad over the last two years. That being said, if the front office feels they need a change to get over the postseason hump, I’m interested in what they can scheme up.

There are too many other core pieces that are valuable and affordable i.e. Kepler, Polanco, Buxton. Sano has ample replacement options and players of his skill set may be at an all time high when it comes to trade value. If a shake up of the Twins core is on the horizon, I think Miguel Sano may be the odd man out. Do you agree?

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#2 Otwins


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Posted 17 October 2020 - 07:49 PM

The Twins should shop everyone. Take the offer that nets you the best players back.They could replace at least two of Sano, Rosario, Kepler, Polanco, Arreaz or Buxton by playing their young players

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#3 mikelink45


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Posted 17 October 2020 - 07:56 PM

The Ortiz syndrome should not stop the team if the results of a trade are really favorable. 

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#4 4twinsJA


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Posted 17 October 2020 - 08:41 PM

If Twins can do another Maeda type trade where Twins give up a player of good value but receive a high quality player that fills a need, then yes/

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#5 bobs


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Posted 17 October 2020 - 09:05 PM

In a word, yes.The relatively team-friendly deal may help them get more for him.James Rowson seemed to be the only hitting coach who could get Sano to produce consistently in 2019....and he isn't coming back.

I'm afraid a deal now wouldn't bring back value b/c of his 2020 struggles though.Could you move him for a top bullpen arm?A solid starter that can slot in as your #4 starter?Is that hoping for too much?A trade for prospects would free up the roughly $20 million they would have had to pay to keep Rosario and Sano.Another $15 million could net Trevor Bauer?:)

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#6 bighat


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 03:26 AM


The Ortiz syndrome should not stop the team if the results of a trade are really favorable. 

True, but don't we also have Aaron Hicks syndrome? The Ortiz trade was awful, but don't forget the most recent fumble.


In the case of Hicks, I do understand the trade...the problem is the return. If the Twins are going to trade Sano or anyone else, they've got to get some great talent and start winning some of these trades. They may have won the Escobar and Pressley trades, but the jury's still out.

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#7 wsnydes


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:04 AM

I don't see why they wouldn't shop him. This core has shown nothing in the postseason. They clearly still need additional pieces and if dealing Sano is the way to get them, then that's what they should do.
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#8 Original_JB


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:26 AM

Unless they figure out he needs glasses, or has an "aha" moment, it doesn't matter at this point; If they were going to do it, his value would have been higher a year or two ago because he still had some "intrigue" left; but now he is a known quantity, and unless a team has a specific need for "him", it will be tough to fleece another them in a trade. So, that said, and Donaldson'spropensity for injury, might as well keep him unless they're totally blown away by an offer. So shop? No. Listen to offers? You bet.

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#9 TwinsFan268


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:55 AM

Yes. Trade Sano. I agree with you 100%, except I WANT them to trade Sano and I've been saying it all year long. He's too reliable and can't hit after the 5th inning or when there's two outs. So trade him, and get someone new.

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#10 Platoon



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Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:58 AM

Give him away, nope. Move him for a needed piece, yup. WHEN he hits the ball it’s awesome. It’s the ‘when’ thats the problem. Add in his mediocre defense, his injuries, and what still could be considered a questionable dedication to his craft make him very expendable. Yes, it’s hard to look past that awesome power, but for me it’s still the ‘when” that’s the problem. 

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#11 Nine of twelve

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 07:22 AM


The Twins should shop everyone. Take the offer that nets you the best players back. 

Yes, but only if the other team overpays.

#12 Doctor Gast

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 07:43 AM

Things seems to be up in the air. I don`t know if they should trade Sano or not. But I like to say that Sano is not a bad 3B. Just the combinationw/ Polanco & Arraez was bad. So if someone who`s looking for an average 3B w/ a big bat Sano could also be a fit. 2020 was a freak year, hope not a lot of credence is put into it. If we trade Sano we need to make a sensible trade, an area where we need a sizable upgrade which I really don`t see.Trevor Bauer is the only one on my list, I was hoping we could`ve traded for him before the deadline. Alas he`s a FA 

#13 chinmusic


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 08:31 AM

I wonder if the future of friend and mentor Nelson Cruz as a Twin, would influence any decision to move Sano. Probably not. Regardless, I'd like to see them hang on to the big guy for another year.

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 08:42 AM

As replacements at 1st base, in addition to Kirilloff there is Rooker who I think is better at 1st than the outfield. There also is Lamont Wade Jr who proved to be adept at 1st. Kirilloff can hit for power and average. Wade can hit for average. Rooker can hit for power. The Twins need to find an adequate 3rd sacker for Donaldson can't go. Perhaps, a good utility player that can play 3rd could come back for Sano. I would want much more than that but I am not sure what the market is.

#15 TopGunn#22



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Posted 18 October 2020 - 08:50 AM

I certainly trade Sano.He's the most likely guy that SHOULD be moved (Rosario, alas will probably get released, which is unfortunate that you wouldn't get anything for him but also needs to be done.We have young talent that we need to employ).


1.Sano has tremendous power potential.True he has holes in his swing but the power is undeniable.Several teams should be interested.Trading Sano would free up payroll to employ elsewhere on the roster.Putting Kiriloff at 1B gives the Twins better defense.It would put a more consistent at-bat-by-at-bat hitter in the Twins lineup.


2.How would we use the $20 million dollars saved by moving on from Sano and Rosario?We push all our chips into the middle of the table and we sign Trevor Bauer and KEEP Nelson Cruz for another year plus a mutual option.Cruz is the most professional hitter in our lineup.We don't become any kind of a better lineup without Cruz in the #3 or #4 spot next year.Bauer, Maeda, Berrios, Pineda (Hill, Dobnak, etc... as #5).Solid starting pitching with the core of a solid bullpen (Taylor Rodgers needs to bounce back, but he will).  


3.Moving on from Sano and Rosario allows the Twins to keep Cruz and go get Bauer.  


4.Let the Youth Movement begin !Jeffers, Garver, Kiriloff, Arraez, Rooker, Lewis, Blankenhorn, and a bunch of guys in our bullpen are VERY payroll friendly.So are Kepler, Polanco, Buxton and even Berrios and Maeda for that matter.Larnach is GOOD.He will be up pretty soon as well.The Twins have a bunch of young players that will be very payroll friendly for several years.It's time to leverage that so that Cruz, Donaldson and someone like Bauer can be fit into a payroll structure.


5.Getting something decent for Sano would be good.Waiting for someone to over-pay or the "perfect" deal would be a mistake.Getting anything for Rosario would be nice.But moving these two talented yet terribly inconsistent hitters out of our inconsistent lineup would be addition by subtraction.And what have the Twins got to lose ??What they have hasn't been getting the job done (18 straight post season losses is NOT a mirage).  


Possible Twins Lineup in 2021 without Sano and Rosario:


1.Arraez 2B


3.Cruz DH





8.Rooker LF



Starting Rotation:

1..Bauer$30-$35 million one year deal (3-years if he'll do it).

2. Maeda

3. Berrios

4. Pineda

5. R. Hill/R. Dobnak


That's a pretty good lineup.That's a GREAT rotation.If somehow Bauer gets away, go after James Paxton.


Change is coming to the Minnesota Twins.With Falvey and Levine it will not be the moribund "treading water" philosophy of the Terry Ryan regime.Falvey & Levine are probably determined to break that 18-game post-season winless streak.They know they aren't going to do it with the status quo.  

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#16 saviking


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 09:21 AM

I agree with Top Gunn's assessment and that he added Rosario to the mix. It's more about not being able to afford Rosario in the future so might as well work that out now. Sano and Rosario are very stubborn, undisciplined players. I get irritated every time they do something stupid, particularly plate discipline.


The signing of Donaldson has put a hamper on spending for quite a few years. he's beginning to look like damaged goods. I would trade him in a heartbeat but I doubt there would be any takers. 

#17 rdehring


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 09:52 AM

Yes, no, I don't know. I guess it depends on what they can get. As the Maeda deal showed us, they may be capable of getting a very good player back who fills another need for a championship team. It is also possible that the Twins and everyone else will overlook his performance from 2020 as so many players didn't perform well in this whacky season. 


Why do people keep referring to the bad Ortiz trade. If memory serves, he was cut loose by the Twins, not traded. After a winter of no one coming up with an offer, he finally got the call from Boston late in the offseason. Or was it after spring training had started? After not receiving a lot of attention, Ortiz took a big chip on his shoulder to Boston and proved all of baseball wrong, not just the Twins.


I have thought Kirilloff can be a very good first baseman since seeing him play there down in Cedar Rapids. 

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#18 adorduan


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:03 AM

Nothing wrong with shopping him.doesn't mean you have to sell....

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#19 terrydactyls1947


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:33 AM

Here is a hypothetical trade to consider.Would you trade Rosario and Sano as a package if you could get back Trevor Bauer, a good middle reliever, a good utility player, and two High-A or AA prospect (or international money)?


That's the same as trading Sano for the reliever and a prospect and Rosario for the utility player and a prospect.Trade partners may even be willing to part with more than I've mentioned, but my trades are based on presenting the minimum the Twins might get back.And then the Twins can use the salary relief (plus some additional - maybe another $10M) to sign Trevor Bauer.I think both trades would be very acceptable to other teams.Personally, with all the talent the Twins have who are about ready to break into the big leagues, it would be a good move.

#20 Twinsfan#2


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Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:52 AM

I love all the slight disagreement in the comments, this is a great question to pose. It’s going to come down to a few things (ranked in order of importance):

1. Payroll requirements from ownership
2. Choosing to let Cruz walk
3. Belief that prospects will pan out AND are ready now
4. Commitment to strong farm system (sustainable winner, anyone?)

Money rules and most teams are trying to save a buck. NL teams who need a DH bat look at Sano and see a mostly successful project on a team friendly deal. If I’m the Nationals, Cardinals, Phillies, Reds, or Padres, I’m at least calling the Twins to see what the price is. All those teams are in “win now” mode and a power bat to hit 4, 5, or 6 in their lineup could be the difference.

I also think Cruz won’t be back, even though I’d like to see him get a 2yr deal with a dual option for the second year, and a clause that if he retires mid year, he joins the FO as a special assistant. He has taken an interest in Sanó and they’re either both here or both gone next year.

It’s easy to look at our top prospects and picture Larnach in LF, Kirilloff at 1B, and Rooker at DH/5th OF. But the Twins love flexibility, and that’s putting most of their eggs in one basket. Sure, Celestino, Wallner, Baddoo, and more are coming, but none of those guys (maybe Celly) are ready in 2021.

All the reasons above come down to philosophy of ownership and gut feel of the FO. However, due to the Twins putting a competitive product on the field the past few years, their minor league system, while strong, is getting top-heavy. Now would be the time to infuse talent into the lower levels of their system, exactly the type of prospects other teams would be willing to deal for Sanó. Because of this reason, I think we see Sanó in a different jersey next year. I wish him the best and don’t want to see him leave. But to be a sustainable winner, the FO has to play moneyball every offseason (see: Rays 2020 offseason) and this year, this is the move.