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Trading for Price and Betts


Twinsrule1991
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Good Morning,

 

Per the MLBTR article linked, how would y'all feel about trying to swing a deal with the Red Sox for Mookie Betts and David Price? It appears the Sox are trying to package them together for a couple of high end prospects and it could be a nice opportunity for the Twins.

 

What does a deal look like in this case? Would the Pohlads ever eat this much money to go after a World Series championship?

 

My proposed deal would look something like this:

 

Twins Receive:

Mookie Betts (OF)

  • 2020 Salary - $27,000,000
  • Free Agent at end of 2020 Season

David Price (SP)

  • 2020-2022 Salary - $32,000,000
  • Free Agent at end of 2022 Season
  • Red Sox retain 20% of salary ($6,400,000 per year, $19,200,000 total)

Thaddeus Ward (RHP)

  • Red Sox #10 Prospect, 2018 5th Round Pick from UCF
  • Rule 5 Draft Eligible: December 2021
  • Projected to hit the Majors in Late 2021

 

Red Sox Receive:

 

Eddie Rosario (OF)

  • 2020 Salary - $7,750,000
  • Free Agent at end of 2021 Season

Fernando Romero (RHP)

  • Pre-Arb with 6 years of control remaining
  • Former top prospect

Royce Lewis (SS/CF)

  • Twins #1 Prospect (per TD)
  • Pre-arb with 6 years of control remaining
  • ETA of Late 2021/2022

Jordan Balazovic (RHP)

  • Twins #4 Prospect (per TD)
  • Pre-arb with 6 years of control remaining
  • ETA of Late 2021

Brent Rooker (1B/OF)

  • Twins #14 Prospect (per TD)
  • Pre-arb with 6 years of control remaining
  • ETA of Mid to Late 2020

Wander Javier (SS)

  • Twins #20 Prosper (per TD)
  • Pre-arb with 6 years of control remaining
  • ETA of Late 2022-2023

This deal offers the Red Sox some much needed prospect capital and salary relief, as well as a cheap replacement for Mookie Betts in Eddie Rosario. I feel JD Martinez could really help Eddie become a dynamite player in Boston. This deal also offers Romero a much needed change of scenery and an opportunity to get back on track. 

 

For the Twins, this takes their "wide open window" and shatters the frame around it. Betts is a former MVP in the prime of his career who can catapult this team to the best record in baseball. While we probably won't be able to re-sign him, one year of Betts is enough to make this team the definitive favorite to come out of the American League. Secondly, which is crazy, is the addition on a legitimate #2-3 starter in David Price. He provides much needed help at the top of the rotation and has postseason credibility that goes back over a decade.

 

It might take a one or two more low end prospects from the Twins to push the needle on this, but I think this could be a framework to getting a massive lineup upgrade and a very good starting pitcher.

 

Thanks for any comments or ideas you may have!

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While I believe the Twins should be closer to $160m in payroll, this would put them around $180m, which is probably unreasonable.

That's a good point. This is still a Pohlad-owned team.

My thoughts on that are with this being the probable last year of Nelson Cruz in a Twins uniform and with us not having any playoff success for over a decade, wouldn't this be the time to overspend and to push the chips in? 

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No way I’d be in favor of giving up Lewis in a trade for one year of Mookie Betts and three years of David Price’s contract. Highly doubt Betts resigns here and not sure I’d even want them to at the cost which will almost certainly be in the Rendon range or higher. Offense is not and will not be the problem here for several years. They should save their ammo for a better fit and longer term solution.

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that and I'm not sure how tradeable price is at his salary... I doubt Boston wants to combine them.... not sure the return (given their salaries) will be that high either... 

 

And what Brock said, I don't see payroll that high. 

The MLBTR article says the exact opposite.

 

"Olney’s report is most interesting for its indications of the sort of structure the Red Sox would be willing to consider. He writes that the Sox would look to package Betts (and his big upcoming arbitration salary) with veteran hurler David Price (including “most or all” of his remaining $96MM in guaranteed earnings). To acquire those quality but highly compensated veterans, a rival organization would have to part with “two high-end prospects to front the deal."

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No way I’d be in favor of giving up Lewis in a trade for one year of Mookie Betts and three years of David Price’s contract. Highly doubt Betts resigns here and not sure I’d even want them to at the cost which will almost certainly be in the Rendon range or higher. Offense is not and will not be the problem here for several years. They should save their ammo for a better fit and longer term solution.

I fully admit we won't be able to resign Betts, but the Twins have a deep enough farm system to survive the loss of Royce Lewis. I think this could be the type of deal that greatly increases our odds of winning now, without hemorrhaging the future in any long-lasting way. I think you are right on keeping the vision long-term, but at some point, you need to win championships and take risks. Otherwise, what's the point?

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I fully admit we won't be able to resign Betts, but the Twins have a deep enough farm system to survive the loss of Royce Lewis. I think this could be the type of deal that greatly increases our odds of winning now, without hemorrhaging the future in any long-lasting way. I think you are right on keeping the vision long-term, but at some point, you need to win championships and take risks. Otherwise, what's the point?

The point is to not end up like the Red Sox, Cubs or Tigers as recent examples. Yes the Cubs and Red Sox won WS titles but the lasting effect of emptying their farm systems and blowing wads of money on expensive aging free agents and trade acquisitions catches up eventually. A combination of a barren farm system and zero payroll flexibility is what leads to prolonged rebuilding periods which is no fun for anyone. I’d much rather see the Twins remain competitive, nimble enough to make a big move when it counts but always with an eye to the future. Much more along the lines of the Cardinals for example.

 

I could get behind a trade involving Lewis or any of the top prospects for a better fit/longer term solution. I just don’t think Betts and Price make sense for the Twins given the reported asking price and contract situations.

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I fully admit we won't be able to resign Betts, but the Twins have a deep enough farm system to survive the loss of Royce Lewis. I think this could be the type of deal that greatly increases our odds of winning now, without hemorrhaging the future in any long-lasting way. I think you are right on keeping the vision long-term, but at some point, you need to win championships and take risks. Otherwise, what's the point?

 

Without being able to re-sign Betts, you are giving up a whole heck of a lot for 2 more years of Price.  While Betts and Price being in the fold for 2020 would increase the Twins WS odds, it doesn't guarantee them anything.  I'd have to pass.  If you are going to trade away Lewis, IMO, it needs to be for a younger SP with at least 2 years or control.

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The MLBTR article says the exact opposite.

 

"Olney’s report is most interesting for its indications of the sort of structure the Red Sox would be willing to consider. He writes that the Sox would look to package Betts (and his big upcoming arbitration salary) with veteran hurler David Price (including “most or all” of his remaining $96MM in guaranteed earnings). To acquire those quality but highly compensated veterans, a rival organization would have to part with “two high-end prospects to front the deal."

the original piece didn't mention include most/all of that 96M (and I didn't read the article)... that certainly changes the dynamic a bit. I'm still not sure if that return is required. Price and Sale (who I'm guessing would the options) really haven't been that good lately and are on the wrong end of the aging curve.

 

That's a lot of risk for what end up being a league average starter. 

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So, three of their Top-10 prospects, massive salary relief, plus a sold major leaguer and two other prospects that aren't that far removed from being viewed as jewels of the system?

 

For one year of Mookie Betts, three ridiculously expensive seasons of an aging and oft-injured pitcher and a prospect that looks to be Balzovic light?

 

Hard, hard, hard pass. Betts helps, but I don't believe for a second that Price helps this team win now or in the future.

 

I'm not averse to moving any prospect or established player ... if it helps the team in either short- or long-term. I don't think this move would accomplish either.

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This would be a spectacularly bad deal by baseballtradevalues.com -- $97 mil vs $19 mil.

 

There's no way the Red Sox are getting anyone to take on that much salary and getting value like that back in return.

 

Right ... if we are going take on salary ... they aren't getting that many good prospects in return, especially not BOTH Lewis and Belazovic. Just, no way. For either of them. And if Boston really wants the salary relief, they'd better not be expecting a return like that.

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This would be a spectacularly bad deal by baseballtradevalues.com -- $97 mil vs $19 mil.

 

There's no way the Red Sox are getting anyone to take on that much salary and getting value like that back in return.

 

You are also getting a first round pick when Betts turns down your qualifying offer, but I appreciate the insight.

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The point is to not end up like the Red Sox, Cubs or Tigers as recent examples. Yes the Cubs and Red Sox won WS titles but the lasting effect of emptying their farm systems and blowing wads of money on expensive aging free agents and trade acquisitions catches up eventually. A combination of a barren farm system and zero payroll flexibility is what leads to prolonged rebuilding periods which is no fun for anyone. I’d much rather see the Twins remain competitive, nimble enough to make a big move when it counts but always with an eye to the future. Much more along the lines of the Cardinals for example.

I could get behind a trade involving Lewis or any of the top prospects for a better fit/longer term solution. I just don’t think Betts and Price make sense for the Twins given the reported asking price and contract situations.

Would we be though? I guess I view the farm different

You still have Graterol, Kiriloff, Duran amongst others.

I will fully admit I am more wary of Lewis than most. He was not good last year, but he still has a lot of talent. I just want to maximize the current window. I don't believe this hemorrhages the future, but that's just my thoughts.

 

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I'd rather they just look into what it would take to get Price. 

 

We don't need Betts. He's a great player, no doubt, but the Twins have lots of outfielders, that don't cost nearly as much. 

 

Have them eat half or so of Price's contract and we give them a prospect outside of our top 10 and I would be in. 

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You are also getting a first round pick when Betts turns down your qualifying offer, but I appreciate the insight.

It would be a comp pick *after* round 1, and according to this site the estimated value of such a pick would only be in the $9-10 mil range:

 

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/an-update-on-how-to-value-draft-picks/

 

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That's a good point. This is still a Pohlad-owned team.

My thoughts on that are with this being the probable last year of Nelson Cruz in a Twins uniform and with us not having any playoff success for over a decade, wouldn't this be the time to overspend and to push the chips in?

I definitely think it’s time to go for it, I’m only saying that pushing payroll from $130m to $180m in a single offseason is unlikely to happen and, with Price involved, might not even be a good idea.
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Switch out Lewis, Balazovic and Rooker for Gordon, Sands and Raley.  If the Twins are taking on that much salary and the Red Sox want younger cost controlled players, then that's about all they should get.

 

I just don't see the FO taking a mile, after being given an inch with the Donaldson deal though.

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Would the Pohlads ever eat this much money to go after a World Series championship?

I don't think the Twins are taking on this kind of salary (and I'm not sure if they should), but I also don't think this goes far enough toward a WS championship either. Betts is obviously very good, but Price is like a 2-3 WAR pitcher these days, if he's even healthy -- and he'd be taking up a massive amount of resources which you would probably need to get pitching elsewhere.

 

You might be better able to justify it if it was Sale instead of Price. Still probably too much money / prospects, and you'd still need to be confident in Sale's health, but as of 2019, he was still much closer to being a difference-making SP than Price.

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Now that I think about it more, this ask from the Sox is pretty laughable.

 

Is there a single team in baseball *able* to take on $50m+ in contracts right now, much less one that is *willing* to take on $50m+ in contracts?

 

Almost all the teams that can handle that kind of payroll addition have recently scaled their payrolls to the point where they can’t do it right now.

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The pain is you get one expensive year of Betts. You lose Rosario, so you still need to replace leftfield in 2021. You get price. Maybe one or two expensive seasons. You lose at least one very promising pitcher and Royce Lewis. 

 

The Twins need to make hard decisions on Buxton and Berrios before moving high-end prospect talent. 

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I just probably wouldn't even trade Lewis straight up for Betts. It'd be one thing if he was under control for another couple seasons, but one year of him isn't worth a ton IMO. Plus, it's likely he will be a greedy pig for his next contract and who is gonna want to pay him? Twins surely won't, nor should they. 

 

Red Sox are stuck with this. They are gonna have to either eat a large wad of money, or accept little to nothing for these guys if they want to move them. 

 

I doubt there's a team out there that would give up 2 high end prospects + in order to be able to fork over 120ish million dollars for one year of a great corner outfielder and a pitcher who may or may not even help this coming season, let alone the rest of his deal. 

 

My guess is that Betts is worth one guy in your top 10 plus another lottery pick. Price is worth no one unless they eat a decent chunk of his money. 

 

 

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The point is to not end up like the Red Sox, Cubs or Tigers as recent examples. Yes the Cubs and Red Sox won WS titles but the lasting effect of emptying their farm systems and blowing wads of money on expensive aging free agents and trade acquisitions catches up eventually.

I would argue that is exactly where the Twins want to be and that is a World Series champions. With that being said I don't think this is the deal that helps them get there. I much rather have Sale than Price.

As prospects the only two that matter to me are Balazovic and Lewis, and I would be willing to trade them but not for Price.

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Switch out Lewis, Balazovic and Rooker for Gordon, Sands and Raley.  If the Twins are taking on that much salary and the Red Sox want younger cost controlled players, then that's about all they should get.

 

I just don't see the FO taking a mile, after being given an inch with the Donaldson deal though.

that would be much better, but I still don't see it happening, So they Twins upgrade price over Homer, and one year of Betts, that is awful lot to give up and a ton to pay price.

I think if the FO could get Betts and Sales for some trade in between the original trade and yours, they probably would have done that instead of signing Donaldson. But after signing Donaldson I don't see the Twins taking on any real payroll.

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