Just a couple days ago LaVelle Neal III reported that the Twins are going to be sellers at this years trade deadlines. This isn’t surprising news as the Twins are currently 12 games back of Cleveland in the division and realistically have no shot at a wild card when the AL has four teams in two divisions on pace for 100+ wins. Moreover they are on a 6-game losing streak and are sporting a 2-8 record in their last 10 after and FanGraphs has there playoff odds sitting at 0.4%.
As sellers, you have two questions you need to know the answer to:
- Who on your roster is available?
- What are your needs?
In this write up I intend to share my opinions on those two questions.
1. Who is available?
When looking at players who are available common practice is to start by looking at players on expiring contracts. That list includes the following players: Ervin Santana, Fernando Rodney, Bobby Wilson, Willians "Tortuga" Astudillo, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Jake Cave, Lance Lynn, Zach Duke, Matt Belisle, and Logan Morrison.
Next lets look at who would have value on the market (Note: it was very tempting to include "Tortuga" on this last but alas he just fell short). Ervin Santana, Fernando Rodney, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Lance Lynn, Zach Duke, and Logan Morrison are the players that I think hold some trade value. Of that list, the only player I would really like the Twins to hold onto is Escobar as his offense and versatility can help the team for years to come.
The only player I would consider who isn't on an expiring contract is Kyle Gibson. Addison Reed might be another name to float out there, but at 29 years old I think he can be a staple in our bullpen for years to come.
- Ervin Santana - about a month ago I wrote about how to make room for him and now I'm writing about moving him. Man baseball is fun. Anyway, despite not pitching yet this year I can see a potential playoff team taking a flier on him, especially if an injury arises. Maybe not by the non-waiver July 31st deadline but more likely by the waiver deadline of August 31st.
- Lance Lynn - Sans his last start he has looked real good since April.
- Kyle Gibson - he has continued his strong second half from 2017 and has overachieved from what I thought back on March. As Andrew Thares wrote about just a couple days ago "the time to trade Kyle Gibson is now".
- Fernando Rodney - he has been better than expected this year. Probably won't be a closer anymore if he gets moved, but he will be sought after.
- Zach Duke - same story as Lynn...tough March/April but has been one of our best relievers since. I wouldn't mind to see him in a Twins uni for another couple years, but I think he'll hold good value at the deadline.
- Joe Mauer - of course he needs to waive his no trade clause, and maybe he would do that for a shot at a world series ring. It would be weird to see him in a different uniform, but he deserves a shot at a title. Remember, this is just a rental so he could still re-sign next year.
- Brian Dozier - it's been fun to watch Dozier grow into the player he is, but he's already said he doesn't intend to re-sign with the Twins. Hopefully he can figure things out like he has the past two years to increase his value.
- Logan Morrison - he does have an option for next year and it's not a bad amount at $8 million, but according to FanGraphs WAR he is having the worst year of his career. He doesn't have a ton of value with those numbers, but there is something there as a power bat versus righties off the bench.
Honestly, Escobar probably holds the most value here (yes, ahead of Mauer) but I think he can be a contributing piece for us over the next few years.
2. What are your needs?
Pitching. There's an old saying..."you can never have enough pitching" and it is oh so true. I actually like what the Twins have waiting in the wings with the likes of Trevor May, Aaron Slegers, Fernando Romero, Adalberto Mejia, and/or Stephen Gonsalves so I wouldn't say it's an immediate need. BUT..."you can never have enough pitching". From a positional perspective, I think Nick Gordon has the best bet to successfully fill shoes in 2019 at second for Dozier and is a good bet to see sometime in the Majors yet this season. Other than that, we possibly will need someone to bridge the gap between Mauer and Rooker and this player could either stay at 1B or move to DH if we are thinking long term. Also I think we need find a back up plan for Miguel Sano and this player could be another potential 3B or DH thinking long term. In short, I think a corner infielder and a pitcher should be on our radar. Our current starting outfield is under team control for many years to come and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Even with Buxton's offensive struggles there is plenty of value in his defense.
What do you think? Who will the Twins deal? What are there needs? I look forward to reading your thoughts and continuing this discussion.