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Nellie or Nick?

Posted by mike8791 , 23 January 2021 · 1,381 views

Recently, Twins have been reported to have sweetened the price to Nellie, though still sticking to a one year deal. Very hard to argue with FO's desire to bring back a guy who has been the Twins' offensive leader for the past two years, nor is sticking to a one year deal with a 41 year old debatable.

The only FA DH the Twins have been linked to is Ozuna, whose offensive prowess is a close match to Cruz's over past couple years. His signing, however, would most likely result in a big, multiyear contract which this FO appears loathe to pursue. Can't argue with that philosophy, especially with Donaldson's big contract and the need for payroll flexibility with Berrios and Buxton approaching FA.

While Nick Castellanos does not have the offensive stats of the above, he is a very consistent hitter over the years. Even in a subpar 2020 year, where his OBP fell below .300, he still managed 14HRs and 34 rbis, and a .784 OPS. He was an absolute stud for the Cubs in 2019 when his OPS exceeded 1.0. Castellanos has age going for him(29), positional flexibility, mainly as corner OF, and a 3 year guaranteed contract of about $15MM annually.

Now Nick might not match Crus/Ozuna's production in 2021, but he has one big attribute the others do not. His inclusion in a trade with the Reds could likely diminish the price on Sonny Gray. Yes, the Twins would have to give up some prospects, but probably not any of the top 3. They are in need of a SS so Polanco could be enticing along with one of the Twins top 10 and one top 20 prospect. No way of knowing exact players needed but suffice it to say that the Twins have a strong enough minor league system to satisfy the Reds, particularly if Nick's salary is removed from the books. Arguably, with Gray shoring up the Twins rotation and Castellanos filling the DH role more than adequately, that is a needle-moving transaction that should get our blood boiling.

What do you think?

Stick with Rooker, Kiriloff, Larnach - the big name does not always translate to better production. 

But the question is: are the Twins in a "go-for-it" mode in 2021.If they are, relying on 2-3 rookies for significant contributions towards this goal is a crap shoot.OK, to give up Rosario for one of 2-3 rookie replacement fillers is acceptable.Replacing a second offensive position with another unproven player is a dangerous gamble, unbefitting of a team with championship aspirations.Remember, the Twins offense declined considerably in 2020.Do we gamble on Garver, Kepling, et. al. rebounding to 2019 form.I hope not!!

A trade I had done on baseballtradevalues with the reds looked like this"


Reds Get: Dobnak, Gordon , Urbina and Blankenhorn---23.10

Twins Get:Sonny Gray, Castellanos, Lorenzen and Garrett---23.2


In this deal the Twins get a pitcher to finish off their Starting Rotation

They get a solid bat in Castellanos who can play corner OF, and maybe some 1B or 3B.(I know he was a poor 3B-man in Detroit, could he play there a game here or there)??

And they get a LH in Garret and a RH in Lorenzen to finish off the BP. 

That may be the only move the Twins would need to make the rest of this off-season.


Possibly trading Polanco in a deal for Story.It's tough to say and that would depend on where the organization is on Royce Lewis.Is he coming up later this year? 

Couple comments Top Gun.First, I might be a little late in embracing these new stat sites like baseball trade values, but I highly doubt that the Reds would be interested in anywhere near as little as that package, even only for Castellanos/Gray.I think it would take a Balozivic, Duran or Enlow(?) plus Polanco and another top 20 prospect to get them interested.Blankenhorn and Gordon are merely fillers, Urbina is a very high risk prospect and Dobnak would seem to have a ceiling as a #5 rotation piece.


And while trading for Story is a needle-moving event, he would be a one year addition.No way the Twins offer him a multi-year extension(same argument I gave for passing on Ozuna).This would be an abrupt departure for this FO which so far has given signs they are going all out in 2021.



Nick Nelson
Jan 25 2021 12:37 PM

They could just sign me and get both a Nick and a Nelson B)