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An Unconventional Trade Target


Canton Clark

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Clearly the Twins focus with the deadline in less than 2 weeks is pitching. Starters, Bullpen, literally any form of pitching would help.

We’ve all mocked up lists that feature candidates we think would be the best fits. Trade packages that include X player for Y. I wanted to dig a little deeper and see if there were any players that haven’t been mentioned on any of these lists.

Andrew Nardi, a 6'3 left-handed, 23-year-old pitching prospect currently in the Miami Marlins organization was the name I found. Drafted in the 16rd of the 2019 draft out of Arizona, Nardi has never been a top prospect. Never been on any top 30 prospect lists at all.

Yes, I understand this is obviously not a conventional trade target for contending teams at the deadline ... 99.9% (maybe even 100%) of the time you’re trading for a late inning reliever, who has a proven track record, and you can plug in with confidence day 1.

Nardi has a resume that reads blank when you look at baseball reference on the major league level tab.

In fact he's not even on the 40 man roster. So yes, this could be a horrible idea to throw out there. But while everyone is zigging, lets zag and think like the Rays, who somehow finding pitching out of no where every year.

Anyways, ill try and frame up why it might be worth a shot.

 

 

Nardi pitches from a 3 quarter slot and works mainly between a Fastball that sits 95-96 and a Slider that ranges anywhere from 82-85. He also does mix in a Curveball.

He started at AA to begin the 2022 season and was promoted May 13th to AAA after posting a 1.40 ERA in 19 IP with 31 K's. 

His success after the promotion has continued at AAA and he's been pretty much just dominating all year....  

 

image.png.fed0f0c6d18bba7b85a100255f0e5c03.png

 

Opponents are hitting .092 ... Yes, 0.92. The Marlins, who are facing a ton of tough decisions regarding the rule 5 draft this winter, don't exactly have a great, or even good bullpen, so it's safe to say if he was on the 40 man roster, he'd have been called up by now.

Anyways, to sum up just how dominate Nardi has been, here are the players between AA and AAA, under the age of 23 that meet the following criteria:

  • Max BB/9 of 4.0
  • Min K/9 of 10
  • MIN SWST% of 19%

 

image.jpeg.d319a92a54733e453f3704e5519d1195.jpeg

 

It's a small sample size, but you cannot completely dismiss it.

Baseball America's midseason update has 4 of those pitching prospects in the top 25 overall rankings, all 5 are in the top 100.

 

  • Shane Baz - 2nd
  • Eury Perez - 9th
  • Daniel Espino - 15th
  • Bryan Bello - 24th
  • Logan Allen - 96th

 

Again, Its not exactly a perfect comparison. These prospects are all currently starters and project to be starters at the next level. The counterpoint to that as well though is none of those 5 prospects are a sure fire thing to end up being starters. 

With that said, it's absolutely noteworthy that the results Nardi is currently getting in the upper minors is on par with results Baseball America takes note of when ranking the elite of the elite in the next wave of young pitching. 

To sum it up, If fantasy world works out and you hit on this trade and Nardi turns out being the next Andrew Miller, you look like a genius. Nardi becomes a staple next to Duran for the next 6 years and your backend of the pen is top of the league.

Again, fantasy world. 

Obviously for all we know Andrew Nardi might not even be available in a trade. Nardi could just be on some insane stretch of pitching. But, for an organization with very few remaining options internally and a trade market that could feature more buyers than usual, its an interesting idea for a player that may cost very little.

Fun fact - he struck out Tim Anderson while he was on a rehab assignment earlier this year.

Thanks!

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Hmm interesting trade target. A few seasons ago we did a trade with them  Romo and Vallimont for Lewin Diaz. There's plenty of possible bull pen arms on their big league club that may help the Twins and add Nardi to. Miami could use bats and we certainly have a few of those we could part with to make something work. 

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Nice find, but the Twins need pen help now!  Guys like Bard, Robertson, or Bednar should be targeted first.  It is frustrating that this org. refuses to understand the benefits of a shutdown closer!  And its just as frustrating that our FO pitching whisperers have been unable to develop a closer in 5 years(not to dismiss Duran but they seem resistant to designating him in the closer role).  Get a closer, then worry about adding guys like Nardi.  Hopefully, these are not bmutually exclusive tasks for the Boy Wonders.

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Save it for Rule V.

Deadline trades need to be win-now moves, not wild cards.

There are dozens of bullpen upgrades available via midseason rentals and those can usually be acquired for fringe prospects (e.g. Romo, Fuentes, even the Dyson trade).

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Since MIA is on the bubble, they might consider to trade Nardi with maybe Bass for a bat. I like these type of prospect that could turn around if given an opportunity. Duran has proven himself his rookie year, maybe Nardi could make that jump into MLB as as a BP arm this year.

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26 minutes ago, Shaitan said:

Save it for Rule V.

Deadline trades need to be win-now moves, not wild cards.

There are dozens of bullpen upgrades available via midseason rentals and those can usually be acquired for fringe prospects (e.g. Romo, Fuentes, even the Dyson trade).

He will 120% be protected by then. 

The entire purpose of making a deal like this is to not get a rental and have a piece for now and the future.

Think Edouard Julien for Nardi.

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I like the out-of-the-box thinking. The Twins are not going to pay top price for the more notable relievers available. They're going to have to dig deep and find unloved AAAA type guys or mediocre starters who could have much more impact as relievers. Remember, Joe Nathan only had one full season as a middle innings guy before he was traded to the Twins, and Aguilera was bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen when he came over in the Viola trade.

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9 hours ago, Canton Clark said:

He will 120% be protected by then. 

The entire purpose of making a deal like this is to not get a rental and have a piece for now and the future.

Think Edouard Julien for Nardi.

I get your take and I love the effort this had to have taken.

But I also think that there's a reason he's in AA on a losing ballclub.

If he's ready to pitch leverage situations in MLB, why hasn't Miami rostered him? And what benefit do they gain in trading him?

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I think this is a great out of the box thinking idea that we need to do to get ahead.   We would probably not have to give too much in the completion of a trade.  The Nay sayers are the same type of thinkers that have caused us to be a middle of the road club that we have been for 3 decades.  NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED.

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We have to consider our roster crunch this coming winter. More of our motive to trade off our redundant players to make room for roster this winter. Like us having a lot of great prospect bats, MIA has weakness there. MIA has a ton of great arms and can't find a place for all of them and we can always use extra potential prospect arm.

PS- I don't think that MIA's BP is that bad, 

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While his AAA ERA of 2.19 looks pretty stellar, and his FIP of 2.88 is very encouraging, the xFIP of 3.63 suggests there's plenty of room for regression. Honestly, we're just looking at some pretty small sample sizes. Nardi's K% is outstanding and it feels like the scouting report on his pitches might be bearish. It's hard to get those kind of K rates in the upper minors on pure control, especially considering the K rates have continued with or without high BB rates.

Here's a fangraphs writeup on him from 6/29.
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/miami-marlins-top-35-prospects-2022/

29. Andrew Nardi, MIRP

Drafted: 16th Round, 2019 from Arizona (MIA)
Age 23.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 201 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 55/55 45/50 45/55 92-94 / 95

He isn’t going to be a dominant late-inning reliever or anything, but Nardi was a relatively innocuous Day Three draft pick who knifed through the low minors and has put himself in a position to claim a 40-man spot after this season. He sits 92-93 mph, will top out in the 95-96 range, and has an average low-80s slider and a playable mid-80s changeup that relies on location more than action. He also has experience working four-to-six outs at a time. He’s in position to work as an optionable long man next year. It’s imperative for Miami to keep guys like this coming as support for the aging/oft-injured group likely to comprise their bullpen for the next several years.

 

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On 7/25/2022 at 11:30 AM, bean5302 said:

While his AAA ERA of 2.19 looks pretty stellar, and his FIP of 2.88 is very encouraging, the xFIP of 3.63 suggests there's plenty of room for regression. Honestly, we're just looking at some pretty small sample sizes. Nardi's K% is outstanding and it feels like the scouting report on his pitches might be bearish. It's hard to get those kind of K rates in the upper minors on pure control, especially considering the K rates have continued with or without high BB rates.

Here's a fangraphs writeup on him from 6/29.
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/miami-marlins-top-35-prospects-2022/

29. Andrew Nardi, MIRP

Drafted: 16th Round, 2019 from Arizona (MIA)
Age 23.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 201 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 55/55 45/50 45/55 92-94 / 95

He isn’t going to be a dominant late-inning reliever or anything, but Nardi was a relatively innocuous Day Three draft pick who knifed through the low minors and has put himself in a position to claim a 40-man spot after this season. He sits 92-93 mph, will top out in the 95-96 range, and has an average low-80s slider and a playable mid-80s changeup that relies on location more than action. He also has experience working four-to-six outs at a time. He’s in position to work as an optionable long man next year. It’s imperative for Miami to keep guys like this coming as support for the aging/oft-injured group likely to comprise their bullpen for the next several years.

 

Uh ya man were getting pretty knit picky if were resorting to xFIP on a AAA flier arm. 

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9 hours ago, Canton Clark said:

Uh ya man were getting pretty knit picky if were resorting to xFIP on a AAA flier arm. 

I'll try to remember to reserve all concerns short of a pitcher's arm spontaneously falling off.

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Not glowing report from Marlins' writer, but fast risers are sometimes hard to gauge when unconventional. Luis Arraez was barely a prospect, but our front office loved him. Scouts then adjust to make it look like they knew all along. If Nardi continues to move up, the scouts will reference impeccable feel or deceptive delivery to explain why his success was inevitable. 

 

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