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To Trade Or Not To Trade (Pitcher's Edition)




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My next blog will talk about what pitchers the Twins should consider trading. The Twins won the last game in Seattle on June 16 and swept a 3 game series against the Rangers June 18-20, they also won the first game at home against the Reds in Walk-off fashion thanks to Miguel Sano’s 2 run home run, but lost the 2nd which was the last game against the Reds. The Twins enter June 26th 12 games back of Chicago White Sox and last place in the Central and 12.5 games back of a Wild Card Spot. I think it’s safe to say that the Twins season is done. This post I will name 3 pitchers the Twins should consider trading at the deadline. 

The first pitcher I will talk about is right handed starting pitcher Michael Pineda. Pineda was put on the Injured List on June 14 with Right Elbow Inflammation this is the 2nd time Pineda was put on the Injured List. The first time Pineda was put on the injured list was put on the Injured List in May 14th with an Abscess injury. If Pineda is back from this injury and pitching well I think the Twins should trade Pineda. The reason I’d trade Pineda is because he’s a free agent at season’s end, it would be smart for the Twins to get something back for him, however the Twins will not get back a team’s top prospect in return. So far in 2021 Pineda has started 11 games for the Twins, in those 11 games Pineda has a 3.70 ERA, 56.0 Innings pitched, a 1.14 WHIP, with 51 strikeouts. These are some pretty decent stats, Pineda would be good be a good starting pitcher for any team that is looking for a starter at the deadline. The Twins could even trade Pineda and sign him in the offseason if the Twins would want to. 

The next pitcher I will talk about is starting pitcher Jose Berrios. Trading Berrios would probably signal a rebuild and no contending or retooling for the next few years. If I were the Twins I would give him an extension starting with 5 years and $100M, but wouldn’t go much past $120M. Some other contract extensions that have happened around the league are: the Yankees extending Luis Severino in 2019 with a 4yr/$40M. Severino has not been able to stay healthy since he signed the contract. The Phillies signed Aaron Nola to a 4yr/$45M in the 2019 offseason, this contract Nola signed looks like a good deal for the Phillies. Lastly the Astros signed Lance McCullers Jr to a 5yr/$85M in the 2021 offseason. I believe that Jose is better than McCullers Jr and Severino and just as good as Aaron Nola, the contract Jose will be looking for will probably start at 5 years and at least $20M per year. The reason I would think about extending Jose is because the Twins pitching prospects are either hurt and probably won’t be in the big leagues this year, or they are not performing well enough to get the call to the big leagues. If the Twins were to trade Jose the Twins should probably be able to get a pretty good package of major league ready prospects, but again I want the Twins to keep him and extend him instead of trading him. The last few offseasons the Twins have came with extensions with Jose but haven’t been able to meet eye to eye. Maybe could the Twins make him happy by signing his brother-in-law Javier Baez in the offseason to keep Jose in Minnesota for the long haul. Only time will tell. Jose is pitching pretty good, in 15 games started Jose is 7-2 with a 3.41 ERA, 89.2 Innings pitched, 96 strikeouts, with a 1.08 WHIP. 

The last pitcher I will talk about is relief pitcher Taylor Rogers. Rogers didn’t pitch very good in the small sample size of 60 games in 2020, and some people around the Twins thought he might not be tendered a contract for 2021, thankfully we did because Taylor is pitching like an All-Star this season. Taylor has pitched in 31 games, has a 2-3 record, has a 2.53 ERA, 32 Innings Pitched, has 42 strikeouts in those innings pitched, and has a 1.09 WHIP. In 2016 the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for Gleyber Torres. Chapman was a free agent at the end of 2016 and helped win a World Series for the Cubs, the Cubs had to give up Gleyber Torres who has been the Yankees shortstop or second basemen since the trade. If I am the Twins GM instead of trading Rogers I am trying to sign him to an extension. For one he is one of the better relief pitchers in the league. Another reason I don’t trade Rogers is because it’s very hard to develop relief pitchers and it would just be hard to find the next Rogers to develop from the minor leagues. If the Twins trade Rogers I’m looking for a package of MLB ready or soon to be ready MLB prospects who can help the team in 2021 and beyond. 

Thanks for reading my first 2 blogs. Hopefully you all enjoy. Let me know your comments and if you agree or disagree with my takes.




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Trading Pineda and Nelson Cruz with the possibility of signing them back next year as free agents - sure thing!

Trading Rogers or Berrios would be the death Nelly of the 2022 season.

Maybe offer extensions? Maybe wait and see how the off season plays out and sign pitching help for 2022 is the only choice to take advantage of the LAST opportunity of this teams playoff and World Series window. Then if they have great success in 2022 - let the chips fall where they may.

Spending money extending those two now would hurt their ability to improve the team for 2022.

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Try to extend first if they do not want a reasonable extension, you have to trade them now.  We don't know what the offseason will bring or even if a new CBA will be signed before a work stoppage in 2022.  If you can not get it done, max value is now, because even small market teams can afford the contract for this year and next. 

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Rogers pitched pretty well in 2020 if you look at his more advanced metrics, he just ran into a healthy dose of bad luck and small sample sizes can blow that kind of thing out of proportion. He wasn’t as dominant as previous seasons but there was solid evidence he’d rebound nicely, just as he’s done this season. 

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