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WARNE: Four Trades the Minnesota Twins Should Consider Making

Brandon Warne



Twins Video

We’re now past the All-Star Game and headed full steam toward the trade deadline on July 31. For the Minnesota Twins, a lot of things can happen between now and then, with games against Houston, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers coming up which may help tip the scales one way or the other toward whether the team will buy, sell or do something in the middle.


Part of the fun of this time of year is reading columns from Jon Heyman or Jim Bowden about which trades make sense. So I’ve cooked up four trades I’d make if I were in charge of the Twins.


I’ve chatted with fans of the teams involved in the trades below -- all people whose intellect I trust -- and they’ve advised me I was at least on the right track in terms of asking prices on each of these trades. Keep this in mind -- and if you tweet me to the contrary, I will hunt you down -- I am making each of these trades in isolation. You could argue that all four trades could be made, you could make any two of them, or any combination of them. I’m just taking them one-by-one, and it’s for this reason: the odds of even one of these trades happening is virtually zero.


Why compound that by saying any combination of these trades would happen?


So don’t come at me on Twitter saying it doesn’t make sense to trade Ervin Santana while moving a bunch of prospects to get another starter. I get where you’re coming from. I wouldn’t rule out that it still could happen, but I’m not definitely saying it will or even should happen. This is just a fun exercise as we head into the dog days of summer.


RHP Fernando Romero, OF Alex Kirilloff, IF Nick Gordon and IF Travis Blankenhorn to the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Marcus Stroman and LHP Francisco Liriano (or RHP Marco Estrada)


Why the Twins do the trade: Stroman is basically Jose Berrios plus grounders, has almost 500 solid big-league innings under his belt and is under team control through 2020. With this trade, you can fling open your contention window next year, while still spending a bit of money in the offseason while Stroman, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and friends are still cheap. Stroman has the heart of a lion, and is on the upswing. He also just turned 26 in May. Bringing back one of Toronto’s overpriced starters who has free agency impending works two-fold, as it can help lessen the prospect burden if the Twins don’t have quite as much as Toronto wants, and it can also help Minnesota fill the back of its rotation for the rest of the year. Don’t tell me Liriano out of the bullpen wouldn’t intrigue you, either. It’s a lot to trade, but if you want to start the contention clock next year, this is a good way to do it. Keep in mind -- these are all Terry Ryan prospects. Maybe Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have favorites, but it still isn’t guys that they’re as attached to as this last draft class, for instance.


Why the Blue Jays do the trade: They’re in a weird spot with young pitching and old hitters. A retool for the Blue Jays makes sense in that they will probably move guys like Josh Donaldson (for a ton), Jose Bautista (for a so-so return) and Troy Tulowitzki (for whatever they can get). That’s a good start to a retool, but moving cost-controlled pitching in this day and age will jump start any sort of rebirth in an organization. By getting the Twins’ Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 7 prospects according to MLB.com, they’re doing just that. The Twins can’t really offer any more -- and you can swap out Stephen Gonsalves for Romero if you’re the Jays and you wish -- but they also get something they don’t really have in their system: a pitcher who can be a bona fide ace. I don’t necessarily think the Jays will move Aaron Sanchez or Stroman, but it might be the right time to consider it. With how close Romero and Gordon are to the big leagues, it wouldn’t be a huge step back in the medium term for Mark Shapiro.


To see the other three trades, click through to ZoneCoverage.com here:



Recommended Comments

1. Absolutely Not! Way too much to give up


2. Probably a no as well, if we are gonna trade Santana, we don't need another SS, I would much rather trade for a Catching prospect or pitching. I know you need to accumulate talent but we have to start thinking about our future roster, especially if you're getting guys close to the majors


3. Maybe, I don't really know what weakening our BP situation for a guy who is only 19 does for us, especially considering our potential BP disaster post Kinzler. I like Kinzler and I think if we become sellers he would be on the short list to net a good return but I'm not sure I'm on board with the proposed trade.


4. Yes, I do that trade tomorrow. Goodrum is most likely not part of our future and I don't see him contributing much beyond a bench utility guy and Neshek would help with our BP problems that have plagued us all year. He might not be part of the future plans but it wouldn't cost too much either

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Kintzler trade:  Couldn't / shouldn't the Twins get more than a single, 19 yr. old lefty with only 1 year and 13.2 innings pitched?  


Like the idea of adding Stroman.  Not sure you'd be able to convince Liriano to work outta the bullpen.  


Bird may be out of the trade discussion for Santana.  From the Post:  "on June 20, received a cortisone shot in the right ankle that had been bothering the first baseman since the last week of spring training."  Like the idea of adding Mateo.


Niko Goodrum to the Philadelphia Phillies for RHP Pat Neshek:  YES, about 100 times.  Shore up the bullpen for this year and next.

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Nice work writing it up. Sadly the only trade that would benefit the Twins is the Neshek deal and Philadelphia wil get way more than that for him with relief pitchers always being a premium at the deadline.


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I like them all. Let's do this now. The more we are content sitting on our hands waiting for prospects to hit their peak the more our window turns to early to mid 2020's I think. We must remember how long it takes for a prospect to get acclimated to the majors. Rarely do they come in and dominate right away. Berries was kin of an advanced pitcher for his age and he took a whole season almost to hit his stride. Gonsalves and Romero become regulars next year. Maybe?!?! All of a sudden we're looking at 2019 now barring any injuries or developmental setbacks. We've got our core now. Let's add in some pitching and start going for it next year!

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I like the idea of getting Stroman, but that's a hefty price to pay (not unrealistic I might add, just noting that it's expensive and one I'd have a tough time stomaching)...  Not sure I like the pieces in the Yankees trade, though by sending Gordon away, getting a similar piece back would be nice.  I would be going hard after a guy like Justus Sheffield. Effectively, you're trading Santana, Kirriloff, Romero, and Blankenhorn for Stroman (replacing Gordon in the Yankees trade).


I like the Kintzler and Neshek trades. Ultimately, I'm not sure the team is better in 2017 though. They did get younger in swapping Santana for Stroman, but they still have a rotation of Stroman, Berrios, and Mejia with not much else.

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Liriano as a bullpen arm is something to consider. But at what salary price. But at this point I would rather trust that the four prospects in the trade will be major contributors to the Twins in 2019/2020.


Of course would trade Niko Goodrum in a second for Neshek. Niko is one of those fringe guys that won't be protected. But his worth to the Phillies would only be if they could play him, otherwise he walks himself after the season. Pat, I think, might feel he has one more solid multi-year contract in him. But being with the wrong team for the rest of the summer could hurt him rather than help him, not that he has a choice of trading partners.


Can the Twins live without Santana? Sure. They free up money. But the logjam the Yankees trade would present the Twins...well, it wouldn't be a logjam if they just leave some of the logs to rot on the bank. You wouldn't need Vargas or Park anymore, not that anyone is knocking down the door to get them. It solves the Mauer problem in a year, maybe, but what ARE the Twins going to do with Joe? Would we really be mad if the Twins traded him (and ate some of his salary). Not that we have anyone in the wings that we are dying to see at first base (bring back Morneau!


All I can say regarding Kintzler is to listen and listen and take the best that you can get. Don't see the Twins giving him longterm money. Not sure if he would even close for any of a number of teams that would trade for him. And if you traded him, you could always come back at him on the free agent market if you saw fit (and considering that you really don't have a closer anyways). But you aren't going to give him a qualifying offer. And you aren't going to pay him closer money. Let him go elsewhere and revisit in the off-season. You can play musical chairs the rest of the season (Pressly, Hildenberger, hey Jake Reed). And you know that Perkins wants to give you at least one GREAT appearance before 2017 ends.


I'm not really sure if the Twins can ADD to their roster with the prospects that they might have available, and if it truly is worth it Ihis there an offense player who will put butts in the seats. Is there a pitcher not named Colon of Gee that will excite us every four days? 


I worry that Santana won't continue. That pitches (especially the bullpen) will start to wear and the Twins won't be playing musical 40-man chairs correctly. Pretty much all the young promising arms will have met their innings goal come the years end, so we will see the mops ups looking for a contract in the coming year.


I just wish ANY of these free agents/minor league free agents were notable enough to trade for a possible non-protected prospect to give the Twins some depth. But don't even see that.


Santana and Kintzler are wanted. Escobar could be had. Maybe someone wants Giminez. I don't see a market for any return better than anyone might've given you in the off-season for Dozier, so you better start thinking "long-term contract." 


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Mateo and Bird are both high risk. For Mateo, attitude, position and K rate, and health for Bird. It would be good to get at least one prospect who is more likely to make it in exchange for Santana. Perhaps Chance Adams?

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