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Twins Go for Arms in Dealing Cruz

Ted Schwerzler



Nelson Cruz is the newest member of the Tampa Bay Rays. This offseason Tampa was among the final suitors in contention to land his services.

Minnesota ended up bring back the 40-year-old and he’s picked up right where he left off. Unfortunately for the Twins, their season has gone as anything but expected, and they find themselves as a clear seller. The best designated hitter in the American League stays in that role and gives Tampa another thumper in the middle of their lineup.

Given Cruz’s advanced age and contract status, it was hard to fathom much of a return. Minnesota instead included Calvin Faucher as a throw in prospect and landed Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman, Tampa’s 10th and 17th best prospects per MLB pipeline. Both may be relievers, and are already past their 24th birthdays, but they have high velocity stuff and already are at Triple-A.

For an organization needing arm talent as both starters and in the bullpen, this is a real solid get for a guy that wasn’t going to be around in a couple of months. Ryan will need to be added to the 40 man this winter, with Strotman already holding down a spot. Cruz leaves as a fan favorite, one of the most productive players in history, and having done so as a leading member of a record setting homer club.

Here’s some instant analysis from industry experts:

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

Edited by Ted Schwerzler


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I cannot be convinced that trading Cruz was worthwhile, but I am a hopeless Twins fan and am willing to be wrong. The only move that the Twins completed  last winter which I supported was re-signing Nelson Cruz and now he is gone.

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I feel your pain tony&rodney.  I'll be pulling for the Rays to get back to the World Series now, and I'll be hoping (after Sano stinks the rest of this season) that the Twins find a way to bring Nellie back.  I just doubt it will happen.  I do think Ryan was a good get in the trade.  Possibly as a starter.  Possibly as a Joe Nathan type of RP.

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Maybe I am misguided, but lots of Twins arms do not pan out here and go on to have more success somewhere else.  Even stopovers like Lynn.  I thought for years it was poor scouting, but development in the minors and even pitching coaches at the big club seem to not improve anyone they bring in.  Maybe time for some changes.

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I hope the two righties the Twins got in the Nelson Cruz trade are "nearly ready."  They must BE ready for the '22 season (everyone, including the Twins front office, has written off '21).  The Twins NEED coaching.  None of their coaches does a good job!  The Twins haven't groomed their own pitchers.  Same with the hitting coaches.  Cruz did his best to "fix" Sanó and it wasn't even his job!  Sanó is just one example of an incredibly gifted player who hasn't gotten good coaching in the Twins organization.  Poor coaching is the ONLY possible reason for Sanó's inability to reach his potential.  There is really no excuse for it.

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1 hour ago, Nancy Murphy said:

Poor coaching is the ONLY possible reason for Sanó's inability to reach his potential. 

"The fault, dear Miggy, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." -- Cassius, baseball analyst

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