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Twins Trade Graterol to Dodgers for Kenta Maeda in Blockbuster Deal


Seth Stohs
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Why the hell did the FO feel it was necessary interjecting themselves in this trade?? I mean, if we were planning on trading Graterol all along I’m certain there were better fits around the league than a damn #3 starter. And if not, what’s wrong with signing Walker and retaining a potential relief ace?? I mean, remember when we gave away Anderson for nothing, and don’t forget about the Pressly deal either!!!

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I didn't like this trade on gut reaction at losing Graterol, but I like it after thinking about it. Maeda isn't a top of the rotation guy, but he's solid, and under control through 2023. I think this move is about the future, not about this season. After this season, our only SPs are Berrios through 2023 and Pineda through 2021. Hopefully some of our prospects pan out, but it's really risky to rely on prospects for that many rotation spots. I like this because trade because Maeda helps solidify the rotation beyond this year, and at a low salary that doesn't limit us from making future moves. 

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This is a lets get a mid-level starter and keep beating up on the bad and mediocre teams only to likely get throttled in the post-season type move. Personally I'd prefer they would have used a guy like Graterol, if they had to trade him, to get someone that had some upside. Maeda is soon to be 32 and has a lot of miles on his arm. It does fill a need though. Could really come back to bite them though. 

 

You don't want Maeda starting game 1 or 2 right now for sure, but he fits nicely into game 3 or 4 when Pineda was the best bet for that previously. 

 

He also only cost 1 prospect so if they need an ace there is still capital to go them at the deadline.

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There is a follow up move resulting from this trade, Seth.  

 

With the addition of Maeda, the Twins now have six solid veteran starters...Berrios, Odorizzi, Pineda, Hill, Bailey and Maeda.  And although a longer shot, Chacin makes a potential seven.  And that doesn't include the three young guns who were promising last fall, Dobnak, Thorpe and Smeltzer.  

 

With ten potential starters, after Pineda and Hill return, the Twins will have an extra arm or two come July.  Have to believe they can flip a rental, say Bailey or a healthy Hill or a revitalized Chacin for a few promising prospects.  So I see the Twins getting four years of Maeda, plus another prospect or two along the lines of those they obtained in July, 2018.

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I would have hoped they might get a little more for Graterol but maybe Maeda is better than I perceive. I am concerned about the transition to the AL but ultimately the Twins needed to give up a top prospect for starting pitching and landed on this deal. I certainly advocated for making a deal. I can’t argue now that they should have done better. It is more likely that better never comes and no deal is ever made.

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Per Cot's Contracts, here is Kenta Maeda's contract:

  • Signed through 2023
  • $3M annually
  • Annual roster bonus: $150,000 for making Opening Day roster
  • Up to $6.5M annually in performance bonuses based on games started: $1M each 15, 20 GS. $1.5M each for 25, 30, 32 GS
  • Up to $3.5M annually in performance bonuses based on innings pitched: $250,000 each for 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190 IP. $750,000 200 IP

It's a great contract from a team perspective, because the team is only paying him bonuses if he's good enough to start a lot of games and pitch a lot of innings. And even then, the team isn't paying him much compared to the results he's getting. In 2019, he pitched 153 innings at a 4.04 ERA and was paid $8.4M, if my math is right. 

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I hate to break it to the Twinsdaily faithful. 

 

We just acquired a major league talent for the next 4 years for 3 million a year plus incentives. A contract like that isn't going to be cheap to acquire and a contract like that will not hamstring future payroll so we can increase the quality of future adds. It is Maeda plus because the contract allows for a plus. 

 

I'll let all those inclined slap some arbitrary number on him... Is he a #2 or #3 or #4. Doesn't matter... He is above average and we got him for 4 years on a contract that allows us to improve other spots on the roster. 

 

And... almost just as important... We just cut our starting pitching shopping list for next year by 20%. On paper... we only need to find 2 next year. 

 

 

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NOW can we agree that it didn’t make sense to call the offseason a failure in late December? Or mid January? 

 

We can agree or disagree on whether we like this move (I like it), but the point is it was too early to get our shorts in a wad and call the offseason over. And the reality is we still have six weeks until opening day, and there will still be moves happening. 

 

 

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Why the hell did the FO feel it was necessary interjecting themselves in this trade?? I mean, if we were planning on trading Graterol all along I’m certain there were better fits around the league than a damn #3 starter. And if not, what’s wrong with signing Walker and retaining a potential relief ace?? I mean, remember when we gave away Anderson for nothing, and don’t forget about the Pressly deal either!!!

Well, heck, if Chris on the TD forum is confident there were better options for Graterol, then it surely must be true

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Ya Graterol hurts more than most because we got to see him a little and get attached.  He seems very likeable, his love of Berrios, hes kinda goofy, big guy, passionate, and a unicorn type in the Twins history who never have guys that throw 100+.

 

He does have question marks as a prospect and its why he isn't a top tier ranking guy.  Big body with that velocity is a stamina concern, hasn't ever pitched many innings, already had TJ, slider shows promise but change has a way to go, they already tabbed him for the pen when they still had time to develop him.

 

The more I think about it the more I am ok with them selling him while his ceiling still includes starter even if he looks like he is going to be one hell of a reliever. 

 

It also filled the 1-3 starter spot that needed to be filled while only costing 1 prospect instead of 2 or 3.

 

I hear you, but I disagree about the concerns. They tabbed Graterol for the bullpen only for this year. He's 21 years old with two different 100 mph fastballs and a plus slider. The Red Sox have nothing like him in the pipeline.

 

I like the trade but I wouldn't sell Graterol short. The Twins got a very good pitcher for him at great value. Maeda will help the Twins this year and next. He has no potential to be great. Graterol has that possibility.

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I really like the 4 year part of this deal. We now have Kepler, Polanco, Garver, Sano, Donaldson, Arreaz, Maeda signed or controlled for 4 years. Starting to extend our window as it has opened. Do we still need the ace? Yup. Having Maeda locked in at a lower rate may help leave the financial flexibility when the right one becomes attainable. I think it is a fair trade.  Fits what both teams are trying to do.

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Per Cot's Contracts, here is Kenta Maeda's contract:

  • Signed through 2023
  • $3M annually
  • annual roster bonus: $150,000 for making Opening Day roster
  • $6.5M annually in performance bonuses based on games started: $1M each 15, 20 GS. $1.5M each for 25, 30, 32 GS
  • $3.5M annually in performance bonuses based on innings pitched: $250,000 each for 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190 IP. $750,000 200 IP

It's a great contract from a team perspective, because the team is only paying him bonuses if he's good enough to start a lot of games and pitch a lot of innings. And even then, the team isn't paying him much compared to the results he's getting. In 2019, he pitched 153 innings at a 4.04 ERA and was paid $8.4M, if my math is right. 

Based on his contract, there is no doubt why he wants to be a starter. I believe that the Dodgers may have pitched him in relief some to save them money paying for some of the incentives.

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I wouldn't say "other than emergencies" but yeah... Action's speak louder than words.

 

You can't turn around and hand them jobs out of spring training with a team that is favored for the playoffs after choosing Martin Perez over them last year with a team heading for the playoffs. 

 

The thing that needs to be watched now is:  How do they handle Bailey or Chacin should they not succeed?

 

Berrios, Odorizzi and Maeda will get rope... So will Pineda when he hits the scene. 

 

Hill is a long wait, so he really can't be calculated yet.  By the time Hill comes back, we will have information on everybody else. Health, Performance so Hill is basically our July trade acquisition done in advance. 

 

There will be injuries, dead arm, common colds to the members of the rotation so the key question is: How do they handle Bailey or Chacin if they don't succeed. 

It was nice knowing you don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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2019 stats:

 

            Maeda      /      Wheeler

WHIP   1.07     /             1.26

 

Avg      .202      /            .258

 

ERA      4.04     /            3.96 

 

2020

Salary  $3-10MM    /     $21.5MM

 

I like the trade and even more what it says about our front office balancing win now with sustainable roster. Seems like great value for the money over the next four years. 

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I love how there is always a chorus of posters demanding trades to bolster the club, and then when the Twins make a trade, complaining loudly about it (i.e., why didn't the Twins trade a few C prospects and get an ace!!).

 

Graterol has a ton of question marks. His actual strikeout rate as a minor league starter was rather pedestrian. He's never shown he can handle anything like an MLB starter workload. His change-up needs work. Guys who throw super hard have a higher injury risk, as do pitchers that have already had TJ. 

 

Giving him up is a risk, but it's certainly a calculated one. 

 

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MLB network was stating that Maeda has pitched well in the playoffs.

 

I find it interesting that people believe a prospect, very good prospect, was going to fetch a #2 or #1.  When has that happened for an unproven talent?

 

Could Graterol end up being great?  Sure.  But the odds are against him.

 

Seeing all the ridiculous trade ideas on this site, I feel that many are not based in reality.

 

Do I love the trade, no.  Do I like it?  Absolutely.  

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Why not package Graterol along with other prospects for a SP with higher upside? Even if there isn't one available right now, there will be during the season. They can still make that trade, but they have one less prospect to do it with.

 

I just don't see how Maeda significantly moves the needle. I already had faith we had enough of a rotation to win the division. I don't think we have the rotation to compete with the Yankees in the playoffs and we still don't. 

 

 

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Many on here seem to have an unreasonably low outlook on the chances of even top prospects having any significant future value.   They look at guys like Gonsalves, Meyer, Gordon, etc. as support for their outlook.   I look at guys like Kepler, Polanco, Berrios, Rogers, Garver, etc. along with Hicks, Hendriks and others as support for the idea that top prospects do often work out, given time.    Along those lines I have what might be an unreasonable low outlook on mid rotation guys from the National League.   Maeda is a tough one.   I wish he were a couple years younger, his playoff history is good along with a lot of peripherals but his ERA in inter league play is 4.63 in 19 games.   I would just feel better if his 3.87 career ERA was in the AL East.   Then I would view him more favorably with Odorizzi.  This deal also makes me like the Bailey and Chacin moves less.    I really thought Dobnak deserved  at least to hold the spot for Pineda.     I know some will say he is still competing for it but it never seems to work out that way when signing veteran pitchers.

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Per Cot's Contracts, here is Kenta Maeda's contract:

  • Signed through 2023
  • $3M annually
  • Annual roster bonus: $150,000 for making Opening Day roster
  • Up to $6.5M annually in performance bonuses based on games started: $1M each 15, 20 GS. $1.5M each for 25, 30, 32 GS
  • Up to $3.5M annually in performance bonuses based on innings pitched: $250,000 each for 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190 IP. $750,000 200 IP
It's a great contract from a team perspective, because the team is only paying him bonuses if he's good enough to start a lot of games and pitch a lot of innings. And even then, the team isn't paying him much compared to the results he's getting. In 2019, he pitched 153 innings at a 4.04 ERA and was paid $8.4M, if my math is right.
Do you know why he has an incentives based contract? Because, there were real concerns about his health after his physical.

 

The Dodgers are probably relieved. Why would they trade him for 1 year of Betts and a huge contract of another injury proned pitcher in David Price if Maeda was or is a great starter?

 

They were going to win the division anyways. Boston could have taken him at this cheap salary and flipped him during the season.

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