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Sano related moves.


Doc Munson

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We have talked about the scenario the Twins will be in once Sano and his rehab stint come to an end. Well that time has come.

There is clearly only one move. But before we go there, lets take a quick look at why it is the only clear choice.

MOVE SANO?: We could just DFA Sano. There is no way this happens his "potential" is still just too teasing.  We will also not trade Sano, as his trade value is absolutely rock bottom. No contending team will roll the dice on him if it means giving up anything from there system. no rebuilding team will take on the large team option for next year. So Sano is going nowhere.

lets look positionally...

1B:  Arraez is an All Star and a spark plug Where else is he going to get consistent AB? wont be SS (Correa) 2B (Polanco) or 3B (Urshela/Miranda). He is not going to the OF. so 1B it is. He is controlled for 3 more seasons and a potential batting champ. You also do not trade a player like this.  Kirilloff hid platoon mate is also now hitting well. Kirilloff has options, but with all of the up and downs of Kirilloff's young career you do nto throw him back down when he is finally starting to hit well.

 

NOTE>>> AS typing Kepler just came out of the game after a HBP on the foot... could this change everything??? well see, but lets continue as is...

DH: This is a platoon/rest position for the Twins.  Buxton just got PRP injection, and will have had nearly 2 weeks of rest (with an All Star appearance in teh middle) so maybe he comes back and will be able ot play more in the field down the stretch, but as of now he will be DH at least 1 out of every 3 games. Then there are AB's for Miranda,  and of course as mentioned above both Arraez and Kiriloff BOTH cant play 1B at the same time. SO where does Sano fit in here?

OF:  Outfield would be a natural area to move Kiriloff to free up some ABs, but who do you move? Kepler (assuming no foot/toe injury) is not going to get moved. Buxton??  to reference a borderline good movie that I still haven't figured out just how good it is or isnt... NOPE.  That leaves Gordon.  Gordon is out of options so you risk losing him by trying to send him down. Gordon has clearly played well enough to not risk losing. I see him as a piece of the future.  As far as starters go there is no room at the inn.

3B: the final position that could be ancilarily (is that a word?) impacted. and the only move that makes sense. Ursehla is the only one now mentioned who would be the most expendable. Yes he is still ARB eligible, but he is not a part of the core future Twins. He would not command a strong return, but maybe getting "just enough" back makes sense. Miranda can slide in at 3B. this now leaves Arraez, Kirilloff, Sano in a 3 way rotation between 1B/DH.

Of course all of this becomes moot, or at least delayed should say Kepler have a broken toe that requires a DL stint. then Kiriloff moves to OF opening the spot for Sano.

 

So how moveable is Urshela?

He would upgrade the Mets 3B (apologies to Escobar who I love).

Urshela = .261/.307/.408

Escobar = .219/.273/.388  

How about a Urshela for Thomas Szapucki deal straight up?

He could be a nice addition back in NY with the Yankees.

Donaldson = .229/.313/.395

Falefa (SS) = .271/.316/.322

If the Yankees want to be in on Soto, there is a good chance they would/could include Gleyber Torres, as well as other near MLB ready infield prospects. I am sure Yanks would love to have Urshela back. What would we get for him from Yanks? That would all depend on what the Yankees will give up for Soto (and they will get Soto)  I would say to basically just taking a flier on a young prospect with one standout tool. Or heck even a return swap of Rortvedt at C.

Baltimore is actually now in contention and Urshela could fit in well there.

 

Regardless of trade destination, this is the move.  Trade of Urshela is the right move all the way around.

 

 

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Trading Urshela also would allow Arraez to share 3B with Miranda. Though, is Sano better than Urshela for the stretch run this year? possibly, but not likely

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This is definitely the most interesting storyline at present.

I’m not as convinced as you that they are actually going to give Sano a shot. I’d be shocked if they just dfa him, but I’d bet they are shopping him hard for any feasible bullpen arm.

The Kepler injury cracks open a door that every healthy player has been really good at holding shut.

Trading Urshela really seems like a shrewd move to me from today’s vantage point. 

I am so curious to see how this shakes out. Trade season is usually the only part of the baseball season I don’t enjoy (unless you count the off-season), but this has really made things intriguing.

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I agree that Urshela is not part of the future, but has been needed this year.   If we can get a RP for him, then dump him.   The Kepler injury will make this decision easy if he is on the IL.   If not, then Garlick will be sent down as he has options left    IF Sano gets hot then a tough decision to make as he can carry a club - but would be then ripe to part with as he needs to go.

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Barring a surprising trade Sano is likely to become the RH PH that replaces Garlick, despite the recent poor numbers of Miguel against LH pitching. 

Urshela is solid depth right now and I would be surprised if he would return a good relief pitcher. The idea makes sense. Miranda is going to get a crash course in the post season at 3B. He can play there now but does need to get better. So perhaps Urshela does draw interest now and allows for a useful return. 

I think Sano stays but will not be surprised by any move. The Twins need pitching and that remains the focus for this week.

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I'm not totally against an Urshela trade since I'm not seeing him back next year (unless Miranda is involved in a Montas/Castillo/?-SP trade), but...

...the "obvious" move is to simply option Celestino to StP. He has options, has plateaued, and could play every day for the Saints. Kirilloff becomes the regular LF, Sano is 1B/DH, Arraez is 1B/DH/2B, Miranda is 3B/DH, Urshela is 3B. Byron actually rests most days when not in the field (last I heard batting caused more pain that fielding). Gordon comes off the bench. Catchers probably almost never DH.

Also, if (after mashing on rehab) Sano comes in swinging well, he easily has trade value. Lower than most points, but any contending team in need of a power bat would probably cough up a decent relief arm to get Sano. (Though frankly, if he's hitting, I think the Twins ride out the season with him, and I'd be okay with that even if I know he'll drive me nuts several times in the next few months.)

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I'm sure the Twins are shopping Sano right now, but I agree that the return for him is probably slim. We would almost certainly have to eat salary and/or the buyout amount for next year's team option, potentially. However, I could see a few teams being interested in him as a former highly touted prospect who does flash monster power. I don't think he would return us any sort of top tier bullpen arm, but we may be able to flip him for middling bullpen help. 

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Who gives us the best chance to win right now? In my book, Garlick, Gordon, Celestino, and Miranda are all ahead of Sano on the pecking order. I don't see any circumstance where the Twins pick up Sano's option, so what's the point of keeping him around? 

Unless Kepler goes on the DL (possible), or the Twins decide to go with 12 pitchers (extremely unlikely), I predict Sano will be DFAd.

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Sano could also have a breakout second half here and get his option picked up for next season.

Miranda would be a choice for demotion, to play everyday. Since he won't be getting time in a rotating DH spot. And just put in the time in St. Paul because if Sano is a bust, you will be back.

Of course, Urshela is a trade chip. I would also put Kepler in that potential category. Whioh would solve the roster problem if you are getting back a top flight bullpen arm (and prospect) for either, or if they ae part of a rotation trade. Then you just have to figureout who goes from the pitching staff.

If Kepler is healthy (and Buxton) I sadly see Celestino going down to the minors. I can also see Miranda going, as he will be the man NOT getting any at bats, which is sad, because he is hot and, in reality, would rather see him as the sub than Gordon at this point, who has cooled.

Once again, Sano creates issues. Soon he will begone! Unless he really starts to crush the ball. Then he becomes a roster problem again!

 

Urshela to Oakland in a package for Montas.

Kepler to San Diego for a young catcher and maybe the Twins take Blake Snell's salary?

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10 minutes ago, lukeduke1980 said:

A team like Pittsburgh should take a flyer on Sano, but likely wouldn't give up much knowing dfa is a possibility 

I don't see a fit. He's not going to help them make the playoffs this year and there's no way they pick up his option for next year. The Pirates have a reputation of being "frugal".

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Miranda is a much more likely trade chip than Urshela. Sellers don't want rentals. The Twins have some young players who could play every day on a developing team - Miranda and Celestino top the list.

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47 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

Miranda is a much more likely trade chip than Urshela. Sellers don't want rentals. The Twins have some young players who could play every day on a developing team - Miranda and Celestino top the list.

I think trading Miranda would be a huge mistake by the Twins.  Since his slow start he has been raking and a much needed cog in this lineup.  IMO he should be in the Twins long term plans.

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12 minutes ago, SwainZag said:

I think trading Miranda would be a huge mistake by the Twins.  Since his slow start he has been raking and a much needed cog in this lineup.  IMO he should be in the Twins long term plans.

Trading him for nothing would be a huge mistake. Trading him for a good, young pitcher like Joe Ryan would be a great idea. The player(s) they get in return determines whether or not it would be a mistake.

The Twins have too many infielders to have them all in their plans for the next 3 seasons. They can't keep all of Polanco, Arraez, Kirilloff, Lewis, Miranda, Urshela, Steer, Martin, Julien and Encarnacion-Strand. Teams that are selling in July aren't looking for veterans like Polanco and Urshela, they want young players with 5 seasons of control or more.

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I try to put this in perspective - Personally, and probably for many fans, the desire to resist trading him is because of another player that also had a lot of struggles early in their career:  David Ortiz.

Ortiz was released because he would have cost a paltry ~$2m a year, and got nothing in return.  We had roughly the same MLB sample size with Sano as we did with Oritz.  Sano's MLB story still needs to be written, but Ortiz's was rare in becoming one addition on a relatively short list of first-time ballot hall of fame inductees (I had to look it up - https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/First_Ballot_Hall_of_Famer)

My point is this - we may be gun shy, but the odds of making a trade or cutting Sano and having the results play out anywhere close to the way it did for Ortiz are minuscule*.  The team has proven they can win without him, and they shouldn't take away playing time for the current players to make room for him.

* of course, leave it to the Twins to let someone go and have them turnaround their career in to one that is worthy of the HoF.

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There is a 0% chance any team picks up Sano's option.

Sano has no realistic potential growth as he's way, way too old to be viewed as a prospect in any form. Even if Sano didn't lie about his age, and there's reason to speculate he's 31 not 29 at this point, Sano's potential has been reached, crested and he's now in the decline phase of his career.

Ortiz was 26 coming off a season where he hit really well, but had some injuries and was overall trending even to upwards. Sano is consistently injured, age 29-31 and has been largely trending downward for the past few seasons. If you want a comp to Ortiz, it's probably more Kennys Vargas than Miguel Sano.

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3 hours ago, LewFordLives said:

I don't see a fit. He's not going to help them make the playoffs this year and there's no way they pick up his option for next year. The Pirates have a reputation of being "frugal".

I agree but teams like that need to catch lightning in a bottle.  If Sano was traded and if he got hot it would be something to package as hope in the offseason.  Sano joins Kebryan Hayes and O'Neil Cruz.  Coming from someone once excited for the Butch Huskey acquisition.

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4 hours ago, LewFordLives said:

And I should add Urshela is a superior defender at 3B to anyone else on the roster. He's not going anywhere.

Unfortunately, Urshela is probably the best defender we have at 3B. He is not a very good defender though (ranked 27/40 in DWAR this year at .03 DWAR, which is barely better than replacement. The problem is that the rest of our defenders are not very good either at 3B, although Fangraphs has Miranda at +1 Outs Above Average (in 128 innings) while it has Urshela at -6 (in 682 innings). 

While Miranda is not a plus defender, I don't really see Urshela as an upgrade at all over him. I don't think that Urshela's defensive value will be the reason a trade does not happen.

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4 hours ago, DJL44 said:

The Twins have too many infielders to have them all in their plans for the next 3 seasons. They can't keep all of Polanco, Arraez, Kirilloff, Lewis, Miranda, Urshela, Steer, Martin, Julien and Encarnacion-Strand. Teams that are selling in July aren't looking for veterans like Polanco and Urshela, they want young players with 5 seasons of control or more.

I agree with this and choose to keep Polanco, Arraez, Kirilloff, Lewis, and Miranda. Let's find out what the others, some outfielders, and pitching prospects can real in this week. The Twins need at least two pitchers.

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As always, personnel decisions will likely revolve around who replaces Buxton in CF when he's not out there.  If they're comfortable with Gordon in that role, it's likely Celestino heading to StPaul.

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Time to bury the Sano/Ortiz connection forever. The Twins have stuck with Sano longer by two seasons now than they did with Ortiz, and Sano is NEVER going to be Ortiz. (In Sano's age 29 season, he has never had even 80 RBI in a season, in Ortiz's age 29 season, he was on his way to hitting 47 HR, and a career high 147 RBI, the third of 5 straight seasons over 100.)

And that's okay. All he needs to be is a healthy, engaged Miguel Sano to possibly provide a spark for an offense that gets shut out A LOT. If it doesn't work, move on.

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14 hours ago, PatPfund said:

Time to bury the Sano/Ortiz connection forever. The Twins have stuck with Sano longer by two seasons now than they did with Ortiz, and Sano is NEVER going to be Ortiz.

I think its because of this faux connection that Sano has lasted longer in a Twins uniform than Papi did. I would have done the same thing that the front office did in holding out hope that he would put it together because there is too much raw talent.  He's just never been able to consistently elevate his game to be that superstar that many hoped he could turn into.

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