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Reacting to Twins Blockbuster Trade Speculation


The Athletic’s intrepid reporter Ken Rosenthal sent the imaginations of trade enthusiasts — myself a representative of the club — aflurry when he speculated in his Friday column that the Minnesota Twins may try to bring in a shortstop this offseason.This idea isn’t necessarily unique — other Twins reporters and bloggers have brought this up as well — and he ultimately concluded that former Oakland Athletic Marcus Semien or Twins killer Didi Gregorius probably make the most sense, but he also mentioned two very intriguing potential trade targets: Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story.

 

A reporter of Rosenthal’s caliber and track record likely wouldn’t acknowledge this smoke unless there was some amount of corresponding fire and, as I have written previously, the Twins’ farm system is deep enough to make a significant trade and not be kneecapped in the process. The biggest issue with both Lindor and Story is that they will be eligible for free agency following the 2021 season meaning they only have one full season of guaranteed team control remaining.

 

However, “Should the Twins be willing to trade for either player?” should not really even be a question. Lindor is the better of the two — he’s younger, is a four-time All-Star, and has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting three times compared to Story’s two and zero, respectively — but both shortstops possess legitimate team-altering talent. Any team in the Twins’ position — back-to-back division titles, playoff embarrassments, etc. — should be willing to depart with their top prospects to obtain an MVP-caliber talent, no matter how many years of control they have left.

 

The question, though, is how many prospects should the Twins be willing to depart with? It’s likely that Cleveland and Colorado’s asking price will begin with at least one of Royce Lewis, Alex Kiriloff, Trevor Larnach, Jhoan Duran, and/or Jordan Balazovic. Additionally, it wouldn’t be surprising if Luiz Arraez were included in the deal — as Rosenthal surmised — as bringing in a shortstop would likely mean shifting Jorge Polanco to second, a position his talents are likely better suited for. Other potential prospects included in a trade may include Blayne Enlow and Gilberto Celestino, or someone of commensurate talent.

 

A package of Arraez, Lewis, and Enlow in exchange for Lindor or Story would be a massive loss for the Twins, but would also place them in a position to perhaps be the best team in the American League, particularly if they retain the services of Nelson Cruz and Jake Odorizzi. Imagine the following lineup, if even for just a moment:

  • Max Kepler, RF
  • Francisco Lindor/Trevor Story, SS
  • Nelson Cruz, DH
  • Josh Donaldson, 3B
  • Miguel Sano, 1B
  • Jorge Polanco, 2B
  • Mitch Garver/Ryan Jeffers, C
  • Alex Kiriloff, LF
  • Byron Buxton, CF
Talk about a murder’s row!

 

Now for the cold shower of reality: It remains highly unlikely that either Lindor or Story will be in the Twins starting lineup on opening day. Cleveland probably won’t be too keen on trading Lindor within their division even if it sets them up nicely for the future and Colorado may try to convince themselves — however irrationally — that they could contend in the National League West as long as Story remains on their roster. Regardless of either team’s thought process, the market for both players will likely be extremely competitive and other teams may be willing to give up more than the Twins; additionally, both Cleveland and Colorado may wait until closer to the trade deadline in July before parting with their All-Star shortstop in an attempt to further drum up the market.

 

Trading for a Lindor or Story is not a move that just any team should make; only those with a legit chance to win the World Series with their acquisition should even consider it and the Twins fit that description to a T. The window to win a title is only open for a short amount of time for most teams and the Twins find themselves on the window sill pondering if they should jump. If the opportunity presents itself they should, even if it means mortgaging some of their future.

 

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That's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard!!!! SS may be a need however at the end of the day it's all about pitching! If you're gonna give up that kind of talent you need pitching with team control! I used to really like this site but the writers keep getting dumber by the day!!!!!

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A lot depends on Polanco's ankle. If that is a chronic concern and he's regressed to the hitter he was in the second half of 2019 and pretty much all of 2020, it's hard to see how switching him to second base improves the Twins much, even with Lindor in the line-up. In that case, I'd rather trade Polanco and keep Arraez. 

 

Rosenthal's comment about Lewis dazzling team officials at the alternate site in 2020 was interesting - I hadn't heard that level of praise. There also seems a lot of speculation that Lewis might eventually switch positions. However, if he truly was 'dazzling' and if shortstop is where he'll stay, it makes zero sense to trade the eventual solution at the position for a year of Lindor, even if he is the best player on the planet without a freshwater fish last name.

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Trading Arraez makes no sense. He's basically the only person who hits for contact in their lineup (other than power) and they need that contact hitter. It also doesn't make sense to trade Lewis if you think about the future Twins.

 

It just doesn't make sense.

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If they make a trade, I’d rather they sign one of the free agents and use their prospects to get a pitcher. Otherwise, it might be interesting to see what it would take to get both Lindor and Bieber from Cleveland. I would guess maybe something like Lewis, Duran/Balazovic, Arraez/Polanco/Kepler and a couple of mid tier prospects.

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That's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard!!!! SS may be a need however at the end of the day it's all about pitching! If you're gonna give up that kind of talent you need pitching with team control! I used to really like this site but the writers keep getting dumber by the day!!!!!

Perhaps find another website where you can consume free content the writer does not get paid to produce if this one makes you angry.

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That's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard!!!! SS may be a need however at the end of the day it's all about pitching! If you're gonna give up that kind of talent you need pitching with team control! I used to really like this site but the writers keep getting dumber by the day!!!!!

Anger management is a thing - check it out

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Ken was bored.... not happening. 

 

Have controllable high end talent in the system that allows the team to be contenders for the long haul. Don't see us getting Story or Lindor. More likely the names that we have mentioned here that are decent stop gaps at reasonable prices. 

 

This front office has been smart ..... don't see that changing draining the minor league quality depth for a short term player... 

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The speculation that the Rockies or Cleveland would wait until the trade deadline doesn't seem right.  Each team would get LESS for their player at the deadline.

I see Lindor being moved for sure.  He's the better player, but within the division it's not likely the Twins have a chance.

Plus with teams like the Dodgers and Yankees sniffing around Lindor it makes sense he would want free agency after the season.

I still maintain Story would be a tremendous upgrade at SS despite those who've disagreed that he can't hit away from Coors.

But the only way ANYBODY trades for either of these two guys is with some serious discussions of signing them to a 3-5 year contract once the trade is announced.

Teams just can't give up any kind of significant package for one year.

That's why the Semien or Didi steam seems a little more likely.  

It only costs the Twins $$ and there's certainty for however long you sign them.

And I agree with other comments that if I'm going to part with prospects, I'd just as soon do it for affordable and controllable starting pitching---Like Blake Snell or someone similar.  

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I don’t pay for the story, so here is my ignorant take on it.

 

Polanco has bad defensive metrics. It would not be anything other than due diligence to shop for a SS. There is nothing earth shaking there. Realmuto was the last star player that I can think of that was traded. Sanchez was a top ranked prospect, Alfaro is serviceable and a wild card. One year of Lindor or Story should not cost that kind of capital.  The good prospect you trade should be the one you do not think is going to reach that potential. The ifs of a Twins deep run in the playoffs was not answered last year. They should not mortgage the future for one year that far from contention. 

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I am not in on this rumor but it does allow me to think about Arraez.  If his injuries are not career threatening he is essential.  It is his bat skills, contact, on base that are what the HR/K/BB league are desperate for.  That is why LeMahieu is in such demand, it is why Brantley has so many suitors.  We have and need to keep this valuable asset. 

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That's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard!!!! SS may be a need however at the end of the day it's all about pitching! If you're gonna give up that kind of talent you need pitching with team control! I used to really like this site but the writers keep getting dumber by the day!!!!!

The Twins have scored nine runs in five playoff games the past two seasons. Pitching is certainly important, but you're not getting anywhere averaging less than two runs a game.

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Trade for Lindor, sign him to a 10-year, $300 million deal. Buck is a free agent after 2022, move Royce to center, Polo utility and Arraez at second. Hello:

 

1. Lindor SS

2. Donaldson 3B

3. Kepler RF

4. Cruz DH

5. Kirilloff LF

6. Lewis CF

7. Arraez 2B

8. Sano 1B

9. Jeffers/Garver C

I would like to subscribe to your pipe dream of somehow trading for Lindor without including Kirilloff, Lewis, Arraez, or anyone else that’s currently on the MLB team.

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Looks like Cincinnati is having a fire sale. Luis Castillo is rumored to be available, as well as Sonny Gray. The cost in prospects would be huge, but Castillo has three years of control remaining. Either one would be a good get, but Castillo is an ace. The opportunities to get guys like this don’t come around that often.

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Thank you Lucas for bringing up this topic. Since Ken Rosenthal mentioned it, it deserves the merit of discussion. This topic addresses our weakness up the middle & lack of back up. IMO we've got one of the poorest middle infield in MLB as far as defense goes & this is our biggest problem. This problem I'm sure the FO is trying their best to solve in the best way they can.

Rumors has it that they are interested in FA super utility Hernandez & he's interested. This will help w/o breaking the bank. Other FA that are SS upgrades are Siemen & Gregorius but their price tag would be considerably higher if they're interested.

On the trading side, our best pawns are a high corner OF, low corner OF, infielder or pitching prospects. On the active roster, our best pawns are those that are at their peak value these would be Maeda, Dobnak & Arraez. Maeda is very much needed, Dobnak is a possibility & Arraez, is IMO the best light bat in the game but defense leaves much to be desired & is not fast w/ questions about his knees. Also w/ talk about a upgrade at SS, that makes him expendable. . Like TB, MN won't trade Arraez unless they get a ridiculous offer. Trading Lewis which is our future & near future solution to this problem for a 1yr. rental makes no sense

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Lewis was a first overall draft pick. He’ll be 22 rears old for the bulk of the upcoming season which is the age at which most high-end players make their debuts (if not earlier).  And you trade him now for one year of a player that plays the same position he plays?  Makes sense in one scenario and one scenario only...you’ve concluded that Lewis isn’t going to be good.

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Lewis was a first overall draft pick. He’ll be 22 rears old for the bulk of the upcoming season which is the age at which most high-end players make their debuts (if not earlier). And you trade him now for one year of a player that plays the same position he plays? Makes sense in one scenario and one scenario only...you’ve concluded that Lewis isn’t going to be good.

Even in that scenario, that’s poor asset management. Lindor would need to be an MVP to have a chance at coming out ahead of that deal.

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Looks like Cincinnati is having a fire sale. Luis Castillo is rumored to be available, as well as Sonny Gray. The cost in prospects would be huge, but Castillo has three years of control remaining. Either one would be a good get, but Castillo is an ace. The opportunities to get guys like this don’t come around that often.

Castillo 3yrs./ $34.8M is a steal. We should jump on it

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