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2022 Offseason Blueprint: Trades for Flaherty, Manaea


Cory Engelhardt

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I wanted to create a blueprint that would be interesting. I hope you enjoy it! My goal was to have a flexible team (in terms of roster/lineup) and add a good amount of high end pitching via trade and free agency. Let me know what you think.

1) Extend Byron Buxton. He is your cornerstone, and I don't see a way we trade him and are better for it, short or long term. 7/110 with incentives. I'll put him at 15 million for 2022

2) Sign Chris Taylor, 4/60. Opening day ss, but can play anywhere and has turned into a good power threat. Great teammate. IF Royce can show he can be the guy, then Taylor is a HIGH END utility option later in 2022 or some point in 2023.

3) Trade Luis Arraez to St. Louis for Jack Flaherty. Baseball Trade Values says this is a pretty major overpay on our part (Arraez 33.3 to Flaherty's 14.3) but I thought it would be good to take a chance on Flaherty's upside. He has 2 years team control remaining, and missed time last year with a fairly major oblique injury. IF he is healthy he has ace upside. I'd prefer the Twins to take a shot at someone with a ceiling like him, someone who ended the year in the Cardinals bullpen. Arraez would certainly help the Cardinals offense (anyone's really) and I don't know that I see a future defensive home here in MN. 4 years team control for Arraez looks good for St. Louis too.

4) Trade Matt Canterino, Matt Wallner and Blayne Enlow to Oakland for Sean Manaea. Manaea has 1 year remaining, and Oakland is looking at a rebuild. They get 3 VERY quality prospects for a pitcher who will be a free agent after the 2022 season. Manaea should slot into the top of our rotation day 1.

5) Trade Miguel Sano to Miami for a player to be named later. Include 4 million in the deal to get a better prospect. IF the universal DH is here to stay, then I can see someone wanting to take a chance on Miguel. The stretches he has where he is Babe Ruth are exciting, but the stretches where he he is hitting .150 and striking out 60% of the time isn't something that is overall as beneficial to our club. I slide Kirilloff into the full time 1B slot, and have the DH open for primarily Donaldson in 2022, as well as Garver.

6) Sign Jon Gray, formerly of Colorado, 3/42. This might be low on the AAV, but I love his fastball/slider that he brings, which means that the Twins should too. Another healthy arm to pencil into the rotation day 1.

7) Sign Corey Knebel, formerly of the Dodgers, to a 2/16 deal. 

 

Here is the layout from twinspayroll.com, but payroll comes in at JUST shy of 130.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12VX-aXpedY7YM2IwDcna724jnMFUMwTE0jBMP1DH_2A/edit?usp=sharing

 

Couple of thoughts...

1) I have Jax initially as my long reliever. I think he is a good option for a 2 inning guy, sometimes 3 innings, and he would just focus on his fastball/slider.

2) I have Miranda making the team, as the starting 3B. Donaldson would play over there a lot too (and probably start opening day) but having Miranda be 3b, 2b, 1b and some left field is a good thing. I listed Larnach as the starter in left field, but if he needs time at AAA to start the year, maybe Rooker/Refsnyder make that combo for a time?

3) When/if Austin Martin and Royce Lewis and Gilberto Celestino show they are ready, there are moves to be made to make room.

4) When our pitching prospects are ready, there are moves to be made to get them up too. But, if they are NOT ready, I think the depth is solid. COULD we look at another relief pitcher signing? Sure. I think they'll do lots of minor league signings again (which is smart.) I also think Colome is back, which I am ok with.

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I like the willingness to trade for a few starters and to sign a few players as well. This is a practical roster. The Cardinals may value Flaherty too highly to trade him, Sano might be tough to trade, and the Dodgers may still love Taylor. I like the idea that change is possible. Having thought about ways to look at a roster for 2022, I appreciate the exercise you have completed and it looks solid.

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Overall, I like what you did with the rotation, giving Miranda a big role, Gordon and the lineup moves.

The only thing that I think a lot of Twins fans may be overlooking, admittedly arguably, is that they will be repeating the same mistake with the OF as they did last season. Kepler is a .211 hitter. I’ve never seen a corner outfielder who hit .211 who was a plus, SABR statistics notwithstanding.

And Larnach hit in the .220s.

In my workup I signed Mark Canha as the left fielder and moved Kirilloff to RF. I honestly think Kirilloff can blow away what Kepler is contributing. He’s really talented. Now we have a strong OF. 

We did the same thing with the rotation but with different names. Yours is a little more creative.

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Thanks! It's fun thinking through scenarios on this isn't it?

I see Kirilloff as the primary 1B to be honest, but he certainly can play the outfield too. I admittedly like Kepler's defense a lot, so even though his batting average isn't great, I think he does other things well. He is still young, and I think getting back to 75% of what he did in 2019 is doable. Otherwise, statistics show he isn't a terrible player by any means, and I have a hard time JUST using batting average to compare how a player is doing.

Larnach will have a higher than .220 average in a full season. Coming off a missed season and playing full time again would be tough for any rookie to struggle through. I imagine last season was a learning curve for him and many other younger players.

 

I don't know if my names will be the ones they acquire at all, it's just a guess. BUT, I do think the trade route is what they will do over the free agent route. It's what they have done before getting playoff level starters (Odorizzi and Maeda.) 

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12 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

Um, Arraez for Jack Flaherty... Yes, please! 

Canterino, Wallner and Enlow for one year of Manaea? No, thanks! 

I have a hard time judging what would be fair for someone like Manaea or what the A’s are looking for. I’m guessing prospects. This offer was close on baseballtradevalues, but that is really more of a guide.

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I would clarify that I think Larnach is going to eventually be close to all star caliber, if not all-star caliber. I just felt that he probably needed to start in AAA, dominate and then come up again.

I wish Kepler could reclaim that 75%! I’ve just watched him pull the ball to the 2B/OF way too many times. He seems incapable of or unwilling to adjusting and using the whole field. If he could do that, I’d never think about demoting him. He could easily bunt to the left side, take a tip from Rod Carew and raise his average and help the team a lot and get the other team out of that shift that has been his Waterloo.

I hope Falvey and Levine read Twins Daily because I think several of us are showing the aggressiveness necessary to build a contender, next year!

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Larnach sure could be an all star type hitter. He looked GREAT the first month he was up, and I think he can be great again.

Kepler is exceptional defensively, has power and takes some walks. He hasn't been anything like 2019 in almost any other year, but he is fine enough, especially with the defense he provides. But, really, he could certainly be a trade option too.

I do believe they will be creative. The offseason will be fascinating.

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Hey Cory - excellent, thoughtful, creative and realistic effort. Thank you for sharing. How many trade scenarios did you run through? I think the Twins and Marlins line up well for both clubs, I could see a trade for SP#2/3 with Miami rather than the Manea trade. And where do you think your team finishes 2022 based upon these moves? Thanks again - enjoyed your blueprint. 
 

Sean

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I like the Marlins too, no doubt. For me with the Marlins, a lot of the deals I really like are for their extremely young pitching (like Max Meyer or Eduard Cabrera.) I'd be all about acquiring them, but my goal (at least for this mock offseason) was to get guys who have already been at or near the top of a major league rotation. I also don't see Miami trading Rogers or Lopez or Alcantara without getting extremely blown away. I could be wrong for sure. 

My thought is, if the offense can stay top 5-10 in mlb, and the pitching can go from 29th (where they were in 2021) even just to middle of the pack (not top 5-10 like they were 2018, 2019 and 2020) then they are in that 86-90 win area. From that point, if you can get into a wild card spot, all bets are off in the playoffs. 

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I like how your prices all seemed very cognizant of being fair and not homerish.  I'd have liked to see you lay out the roster after all your moves along with the salary bottom line.

My biggest plus there was the Arraez trade idea (does STL need a 2B?), but I'm worried about Chris Taylor as an every day SS.

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On 10/29/2021 at 8:38 AM, Cory Engelhardt said:

Larnach sure could be an all star type hitter. He looked GREAT the first month he was up, and I think he can be great again.

Kepler is exceptional defensively, has power and takes some walks. He hasn't been anything like 2019 in almost any other year, but he is fine enough, especially with the defense he provides. But, really, he could certainly be a trade option too.

I do believe they will be creative. The offseason will be fascinating.

Love your blueprint, Cory. Love you going out and getting quality pitching via trade, I believe that's the ticket. Love that you saw all the holes and filled them. BTV is a good tool to get a general idea of trade value but teams have a little different view of player values. Arraez/ Flaherty is an overpay but STL really loves Flaherty so it going to take an overpay. There are other options with MIA and OAK that also could be pursued.  

The way that you approached this, is spot on. As you say it's flexible, you can substitute the players with other comparable names and it still works and you balanced the budget. If I was the owner of the Twins, I'd hire you to be my FO. I don't trust this FO to be as creative as you.

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On 10/29/2021 at 2:54 PM, Cory Engelhardt said:

I like the Marlins too, no doubt. For me with the Marlins, a lot of the deals I really like are for their extremely young pitching (like Max Meyer or Eduard Cabrera.) I'd be all about acquiring them, but my goal (at least for this mock offseason) was to get guys who have already been at or near the top of a major league rotation. I also don't see Miami trading Rogers or Lopez or Alcantara without getting extremely blown away. I could be wrong for sure. 

My thought is, if the offense can stay top 5-10 in mlb, and the pitching can go from 29th (where they were in 2021) even just to middle of the pack (not top 5-10 like they were 2018, 2019 and 2020) then they are in that 86-90 win area. From that point, if you can get into a wild card spot, all bets are off in the playoffs. 

My feeling is that MIA would prefer trading away some one from their established rotation to make room for their upcoming talent. MIA could be a little desperate to cover some of their holes (like catching) where they'd accept a reasonable package. A package better suits us because we can help clean up our 40 man roster mess. But I'd be happy with any stud from their stable. If we can get U of M star Meyers I'd be over joyed

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That would be ok with me too. I'd certainly prefer a young arm the Twins believe in with years of control instead of paying 20 million per year (an example) to a free agent who's ceiling is a #3. 

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On 10/31/2021 at 10:08 AM, TheLeviathan said:

I like how your prices all seemed very cognizant of being fair and not homerish.  I'd have liked to see you lay out the roster after all your moves along with the salary bottom line.

My biggest plus there was the Arraez trade idea (does STL need a 2B?), but I'm worried about Chris Taylor as an every day SS.

I brought Taylor in not planning for him to be the starting SS for the next 3 years, but he can certainly play ss, and allow time for one of Martin or Lewis or someone else to become the SS. After that, he is a GREAT utility option who can play SS or CF. Our other current utility options (I'll lump Arraez and Miranda in there for now) are more 1b/2b/3b types. 

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I'm not sure how BTV calculates those values, but as a Cardinal fan, I can say there is no way they'd trade Flaherty for Arraez.  Flaherty produced 5.5 bWAR as a 23 year old and Arraez has 5.9 bWAR in ~2.5 years.  The Cardinals won't give him up, he's seen as their young ace.  Yes, he was injured, but he came back and pitched at the end of the season so he should be good to go for 2022.

Now, if Arraez was a slick fielding SS.......

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1 hour ago, snap4birds said:

as a Cardinal fan, I can say there is no way they'd trade Flaherty for Arraez.

The Twins and Cardinals don't seem to match up. It seems like the goal was to use BTV to find a good starting pitcher, thus the LA for JF swap idea. As such I think the trade idea was sound. BTV has very limited usefulness. It is worth a look for comparison sake. I'm a Twins fan and there is no way that the Cardinals accept that trade, although it sure would be sweet for the Twins.

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One year of Sean? Three guys who all faced injuries last season? Not sure if can, or would want to sign Sean longterm.

 

Could Sano play better in Fenway or Yankee Stadium?

 

I would trade Garver to Florida if you can get a rotation arm...plus a prospect or two.

 

Donaldson then becomes the primary DH who can also play in the field. But does DOnaldson NOT want to play in the field. Of course, you can rotate with Kirilloff and Miranda. I do expect Miranda will struggle some. I would like to see him placed fulltime in a position and go from there.

 

Rooker or someone in left until we get Larnach back. Of course, the Twins could deal Buxton and/or Kepler, too. What a mes in the outfield. The Twins have decent guys in the minors like Kerrigan, Contreras, Boyd, WHiefield (and Wallner), but none are the long-term solution to any of the outfield positions right now. Martin and Lewis WILL BE in the hunt at some point. Celestino could play everyday if you are rebuilding rather than being competitive. Buxton is the true key to the outfield and you go from there. I would gamble 3 years at $60 and hope you get 350 games out of him in the field. I don't know if I would gamble 7 years with the potential for 500 games, as well as him shifting to one of the corners in 4-5 years max.

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Trading three top prospects for one year of Manea only makes sense if the Twins believe they are a World Series contender. They aren’t! Silly idea!

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25 minutes ago, Otaknam said:

Trading three top prospects for one year of Manea only makes sense if the Twins believe they are a World Series contender. They aren’t! Silly idea!

I'm not sure if the idea is silly. Wallner crushes the ball but projects as a DH mostly with decent possibilities in RF. Canterino and Enlow are solid prospects but appear to be behind a slew of other prospects and the Twins may make trades to bring in others as well. I wouldn't make this trade because i would use these players plus others to shoot higher, Frankie Montas. That may be silly too. In any event the Twins need some pitchers and all ideas need to be considered. 

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I stand by my previous assessment of this trade. Manea is a solid number 3 starter but is only under contract for one  year. If he would agree to adding two more years then make the trade.  Otherwise it makes no sense to do this trade.

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5 hours ago, Otaknam said:

If he would agree to adding two more years then make the trade.

This would be rare. I wonder if a team would allow the Twins to negotiate with a player with only one year left and attempt to gain additional years before completing a trade. It does happen from time to time and that may be one avenue to pursue. It can't hurt to ask. Oakland doesn't seem interested in extending their expensive players, so this may be a rational route.

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