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The Case for Trading Eddie Rosario this Winter

Brandon Warne



This is an excerpt from an article that appears at Zone Coverage in full here. Please click through to read it in full.


No matter what direction the 2019 season takes the Minnesota Twins, their offseason is going to be filled with intrigue.


Three of the team’s five starting pitchers — Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda — are eligible for free agency, leaving Jose Berrios and Martin Perez, who has a team option, as potentially the sole holdovers heading into 2020. And while the Twins certainly can hope internally that some combination of Brusdar Graterol, Fernando Romero, Jordan Balazovic, Lewis Thorpe, Jhoan Duran and Jorge Alcala can take a step forward and help fill out the rotation, relying on three of them to fill out the rotation of a contender is a losing proposition.


So maybe the Twins resign Gibson, since they’re very familiar with him and his track record of health and what he does on the mound. Maybe they buy into Odorizzi’s step forward this season. Maybe they like the direction Pineda, the youngest of the trio, is trending and try to lock him down.


The Twins could definitely look to the free-agent market for help as well. The current front office group hasn’t yet spent a significant amount of money on a free-agent starter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t, either. If they go down that road, Gerrit Cole is the obvious target, but Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Wheeler could be in play. A little further down the list — but still viable — might be guys like Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Cole Hamels, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, Tanner Roark, Alex Wood or Michael Wacha. Even Corey Kluber, if his $13.5 million club option is bought out, could be an option.


But maybe the team also gets…..creative.


What about trading left fielder Eddie Rosario? Certainly he could bring back a pretty good starting pitcher with two more years of control left after this season, right?


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I guess it depends on what you think of Cave and eventually Rooker/Weil/Kirilloff/Larnach. That might be a decision better made in a year, but if someone had some decent pitching help that they would trade for Rosie, I wouldn't think too hard about it...


Problem is that MLB doesn't really value corner OF types. Rosario's bat could make up for his gove at CF I suppose. 

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I think the Twins would have to consider trading him if a youngish starting pitcher with team control was made available. Rosie brings a lot to the team but the Twins have a ton of corner OF prospects in AA and AAA that will be looking to make the MLB roster next season.

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My gut reaction, sign him the same way Kepler and Polanco were signed. Could a similar contract be undervalue at some point? Absolutely. But just like Kepler and Polanco, the player is also gaining security. Rosario will only get more expensive going forward IMO.


At some point, and it could be this off-season, the Twins will need to move 4-5 top 30 prospects...while keeping their top 3...to add a controllable SP. The system can handle that. OR, they will have to make a move as you suggest, and hold on to Larnach and Rooker...along with Kiriloff...and make due in OF for a season. Said trade also keeps a couple top SP "prospects" in the system for the next few years and hoping they continue to progress, hopefully quickly.


I'm not sure I have the right answer. My gut says to keep Rosario and make the big trade. I'd guess Rosario and his agent would have a lot to say about it; security vs betting on the future.

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Odorizzi, Gibson and Pineda haven't given the Twins consistent innings. How much would you pay? Would you take Pineda for less that what he is getting paid this season for one or two years, thinking he will improve a year out of surgery?


Odorizzi and Gibson, replaced by better pitchers at the same price as contract extensions.


The Twins got an extra year on Buxton alst season. Both Sano and Buxton shouldn't break the bank in arbitration, but the Twins should figure out what it would ake to keep Sano and make an offer. If he refuses, trading block sometime next season or next off-season. Same with Buxton.


Rosario, too. Like Delmon Young who had a decent season, take a chance that Eddie will fliunder and actually go down in value? That is assuming you can't sign him to your terms longterm.


The Twins have lots of outfield possibilities. 


I'm more curious to see how the Twins justify keeping Stewart, Thorpe, Poppen, Stashak, Gonsalves, Dobnak, Smeltzer, Romero, Diplan all on the 40-man. Any of these guys cut will surely be grabbed by someone else. No one seems to be dominant. What do you think. That's nearly 1/4th of a 40-man roster for a team that is NOT rebuilding...yet.

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Maybe packaging a couple of the 10 above with Rosario, would land a decent starting pitcher from a rebuilding ballclub, or even one that is light on prospects and values money.  I have said that sending Rosario is the best starting block for a conversation on a starting pitcher.  You need to fill 2 - 3 spots this winter, will not be easy without a trade.


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I do wish we had gotten a chance to see Rooker or Raley hit major league pitching. Those two, along with Gordon being on the IL at Rochester, have setback their progress towards the Twins, hurt any trade value, and we may see them passed in the rankings early next season. Sad.

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Unless the Twins are willing to break the mold and pony up for a closer to front line starter, they will have to trade for one.  You either have to deal with a team like Detroit, whose goals are at least 2 - 3 years down the road and the starters they have will not be in Detroit for more than the very early range of the window, or a club like the Mets, who have excess pitching, but want big returns for it. 

Would rather see the Twins just pay the money, but many of the pitchers are on the wrong side of 30 and still want 4 - 5 year contracts.  And some of them will have QO's attached which is even worse. 

Expect the Twins might well QO both Pineda and Oderizzi if they cannot work something out for them.  Otherwise will expect that either Rosario or maybe Buxton will be gone this winter to bring back a front line starter.  Do not see Twins starters from the minors be ready to fill more than one spot next year. 

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I don't see the Angels, Oakland or St. Louis as viable trade partners.  The Angels need pitching, not outfielders. Oakland and St. Louis just aren't going to value someone like Rosario.  

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Absolutely I'm listening on Rosario for a starting pitcher. But after spending some time looking around at young controllable starters, I don't see any beneficial practical deals out there for the Twins, so the reality is that it won't happen. Free agents? Sign Pineda. 


Gerrit Cole, Hyun Jim Ryu, Kluber-we will be outbid.


Sure, for a 1-2-3 year deal: Madbum, Zack Wheeler, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley, Tanner Roark



Keuchel, Porcello, Hamels, Wacha, Wood


Actually Keuchel or Wood on a one year deal would be okay but I don't think they'll be looking for a one year deal. 

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Rosario is a proven commodity. I would still prefer sending prospects for pitching, even if it includes Lewis and one of our top young pitchers. Yes, we desperately need pitching and we have to pray that Graterol, Balazovich, Romero, etc. will live up to expectations, but we don't have much track record on our pitching prospects doing that. Way too many "can't miss" prospects that missed. Not holding my breath any more on Gonsalves, Romero, etc. We need pitching for this year and next and can't afford to think our hitting will be this good by the time these prospects are ready. With Berrios' fastball down to the low 90's, even he has become very hittable.


We have to ask the question, "Are we just trying to make the playoffs, or win the playoffs?" If we are trying to win, we have to be able to match up against Verlander, Cole, Kershaw, not to mention the great arms Cleveland throws at us. If it takes sending Rosario to get great pitching, so be it; however, no prospect should be untradeable to get the starting pitching we need.

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