Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:46 PM
Although Pinto struggled a bit when first introduced to Class A levels, after crushing it in Rookie league, he went on to really rake the ball in the last 2 seasons at all levels from High A to the majors (at age 23-24). He doesn't look to me like someone who needs to be sold off before he turns into a pumpkin. The Steamer projection at Fangraphs has him for .257/.319/.404, 100 wRC+, 2.0 WAR next year. At age 25, now is the time to let Pinto play and see what they have in him. If he meets that Steamer projection, they should certainly be happy with him.
Saltalamacchia, on the other hand, is coming off a career year at age 28. If he keeps it up for a few more years, he'd be worth $10M/yr. But if it turns out to be a fluke year and he reverts to prior performance levels, the Twins would be paying $10M/yr. for a catcher who's probably no better than Pinto would be at around 5% the price. And Saltalamacchia is four years older, too.
If they're trading Pinto for really good pitching, and signing Saltalamacchia to replace him, that's one thing. I'd still worry that the Twins were buying high on Saltalamacchia, but could live with it if I liked the pitching Ryan brought in with the Pinto deal. But if they're shopping for a new starting catcher just because they don't trust Pinto to play 110+ games next year, so they plan to have him share the job or even begin the season at AAA, that's just stupid. A stupid waste of financial resources, and a stupid waste of Pinto.