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With a disappointing series against a bottom three team in baseball, and an 11-19 record 30 games into the year, it's hard to not ask the question of "who's still going to be here" come August 1st. In an attempt to figure out who has value and who doesn't, and what type of team may take a stab at some Twins, I created a blog post ranking the Twins pieces by value.

 

How would you rank the Twins MLB players by trade value, and who do you think will realistically be moved barring a drastic turnaround?

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Pineda and Happ from the starters

All of the Bullpen except Duffey and the players with less than 5 years service time

Sano

Simmions

Any other player on the roster that would make for a blockbuster trade. I don’t think any of the contending teams that would make that kind of trade have the prospects.  Would San Diego trade Justin Lange, Reggie Lawson and a couple high reward prospects for Berrios in a go for it move?

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I really wonder if they can turn it around this season. Time is short. This team seems to have the same momentum and same energy they had in 2019, except in reverse. They seem so cavalier about their losses. Making the same mistakes, over and over again, and expecting different results. It’s crazy.

 

That said, assuming they don’t turn it around, I still don’t think they can trade anyone who is still on contract after 2021. That means Cruz, Simmons, and Pineda if he stays healthy, those three are trade candidates. Cruz should fetch a lot (American League team obviously). Maybe Robles as you mention in your blog. Some of the starting pitching prospects received in the 2018 sell-off should get a chance later this summer.

 

And then I’d sign Cruz back again for 2022.

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I know Cruz might get a lot of trade attention, but he's the one guy that I don't want to get rid of. I think it would be nice to surround him with young prospects so he can mentor them/be a good example of how to be a successful batter. Have everybody else on the trade table, but keep Cruz as a foundation for the team. 

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I’ll get to it in a later blog post, but I personally don’t think Cruz value is insanely high. When you think about it, only 15 teams can use him, and at least 5 of those teams aren’t really trying to win (Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, seattle, Texas). Those are all no goes. The Yankees have Stanton and the Astros have Yordan. Boston has JDM. Cross them off the list and thats 8 teams that won’t do it. Oakland isn’t spending money on the DH. 9. White so. Likely aren’t interested unless yermin goes cold. And the angels are committed to othani. The most likely destination is Toronto, imo, but I wouldn’t expect a ton in return. There’s a reason Cruz was on the market for so long.

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18 minutes ago, Rick Blaine said:

The smartest moves right now would be to trade Cruz and Donaldson. You wouldn't get much for them or would you get much interest.  Their services really aren't needed on a rebuilding team-which we will be later this summer. 

I disagree that the Twins will be a rebuilding team in August. They might be ready to give up on 2021 and retool at the deadline, moving expiring contracts, but in no way, shape, or form should they "rebuild".

Also, I still give the Twins a 40% or so chance of competing for the division. This division simply isn't very good with a recently depleted White Sox team leading the way. 

The series starting tonight should be quite informative about this team's 2021 season.

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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I disagree that the Twins will be a rebuilding team in August. They might be ready to give up on 2021 and retool at the deadline, moving expiring contracts, but in no way, shape, or form should they "rebuild".

Also, I still give the Twins a 40% or so chance of competing for the division. This division simply isn't very good with a recently depleted White Sox team leading the way. 

The series starting tonight should be quite informative about this team's 2021 season.

You're right.  This isn't about "The Twins are 8 games behind."  It's about "What winning percentage will be enough to win this division?"  If you think a .525 winning percentage wins this division, it's simple to calculate how many games the Twins are actually behind.  (It's 5, if that's the estimate).  If you think the division champion will have a .545 finish, well, then the Twins are 5.5 games behind pace.  I think .545 is a reasonable if not worst case, and .525 is possible if not likely.  And heck, the difference between the two is just half a game at this point in the season.  The Twins can make this up for sure.  Will they make it up?  Not without a lot changes, in my opinion, but it's far from impossible.

Sure, maybe it's possible some people here think the White Sox will continue at a .594 pace or the Indians will continue at a .563 pace.  I have a stash of straight jackets somewhere we can use to solve this problem.  The only way these teams continue winning at this pace is if the Twins continue to crater and they pad their wins by beating on the Twins.

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3 hours ago, Rick Blaine said:

The smartest moves right now would be to trade Cruz and Donaldson. You wouldn't get much for them or would you get much interest.  Their services really aren't needed on a rebuilding team-which we will be later this summer. 

As I said in my blog, due to Donaldson's injury history and contract, I think he's pretty much unmoveable. I may be wrong on this, but I don't think so. The only way I can see JD being moved is if the Twins are willing to eat a significant portion of the contract, which a. I don't think they would be willing to do, and b. they shouldn't do, as even if this is a 'lost' year, they don't need to punt on next season. The Twins won't, nor should they, trade anyone prior to this 6 game stretch against the Sox. As unlikely as it is, a 5-1 or 6-0 gets you right back to where we thought we'd be in regards to being in the hunt. 

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1 hour ago, Mill1634 said:

As I said in my blog, due to Donaldson's injury history and contract, I think he's pretty much unmoveable. I may be wrong on this, but I don't think so. The only way I can see JD being moved is if the Twins are willing to eat a significant portion of the contract, which a. I don't think they would be willing to do, and b. they shouldn't do, as even if this is a 'lost' year, they don't need to punt on next season. The Twins won't, nor should they, trade anyone prior to this 6 game stretch against the Sox. As unlikely as it is, a 5-1 or 6-0 gets you right back to where we thought we'd be in regards to being in the hunt. 

Donaldson is a tough call. If the Twins can move him without paying tens of millions, they kinda have to do it. That contract was signed to get value out of the front half, not the back half. If they can move the back half reasonably, they should probably do it. 
 

With that said, they probably can’t move that contract unless Donaldson posts a six win season or something of that ilk. 

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21 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I disagree that the Twins will be a rebuilding team in August. They might be ready to give up on 2021 and retool at the deadline, moving expiring contracts, but in no way, shape, or form should they "rebuild".

Also, I still give the Twins a 40% or so chance of competing for the division. This division simply isn't very good with a recently depleted White Sox team leading the way. 

The series starting tonight should be quite informative about this team's 2021 season.

Don't check out fangraphs updated playoff odds.....

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18 hours ago, Mill1634 said:

As I said in my blog, due to Donaldson's injury history and contract, I think he's pretty much unmoveable. I may be wrong on this, but I don't think so. The only way I can see JD being moved is if the Twins are willing to eat a significant portion of the contract

I think you may be right.

Donaldson still has about $65 mil guaranteed due to him over the next 2.75 seasons including the buyout. (He also has a 5 team no-trade clause, would be interesting to see who's on that.)

Nothing against Donaldson, but a team shopping for help on that side of the infield would probably look to pure rentals like Bryant first, or even Story or Baez. And if they failed to get those guys by the deadline, they could still bid on them as free agents, as well as Seager, Correa, and others in a potentially deep market this winter.

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What about Polanco? I know he has time on his contract, but if he's a second baseman where will Arraez play? In terms of value to the Minnesota Twins, I think Arraez is more vital, but I don't think it suits him short-term or long-term to try to play multiple positions. 

Polanco could fetch quite a bit especially if he continues to hit. I have thought since the club headed north that the position player balance was messed up--too many left-handed hitting corner OFs and no true utility infielder for starters and two right handed hitting catchers who both seemed to need more playing time than they were getting.

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2 hours ago, stringer bell said:

What about Polanco? I know he has time on his contract, but if he's a second baseman where will Arraez play? In terms of value to the Minnesota Twins, I think Arraez is more vital, but I don't think it suits him short-term or long-term to try to play multiple positions. 

Polanco could fetch quite a bit especially if he continues to hit. I have thought since the club headed north that the position player balance was messed up--too many left-handed hitting corner OFs and no true utility infielder for starters and two right handed hitting catchers who both seemed to need more playing time than they were getting.

If polanco continues to hit as he gets farther away from ankle surgery, which I hope he does, I don’t think I’d trade him. You’ll get good value, yes, but you have to hope that this year is just a “wtf” type of year and next year we’re back to competing for the ALC and playoffs (which we should assuming playoffs expand). As much as the Simmons signing was to shore up the IF defense, I think it had more to do with Arraez being bas at 2nd than it did Polanco being below average at SS. If the twins hold onto Arraez, which again they should, I think he’s primarily the DH next year. 

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Disagree. Even with Arraez’ own leg miseries, he improved greatly on defense last year (positive numbers at BBRef). I know he’s not particularly fast, but he is a competent fielder at second base. His lead off bat with high OBP is one thing the club has in short supply. 
 

Polanco is a good offensive player and should become a competent defender at second. I don’t think he’ll have a full season to rival the first half of 2019. There isn’t room for both players at second base. I think one could go and I’d prefer to keep Arraez. 

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Per Dodecahedron..." If you think a .525 winning percentage wins this division, it's simple to calculate how many games the Twins are actually behind.  (It's 5, if that's the estimate).  If you think the division champion will have a .545 finish, well, then the Twins are 5.5 games behind pace.  I think .545 is a reasonable if not worst case, and .525 is possible if not likely.  And heck, the difference between the two is just half a game at this point in the season.  The Twins can make this up for sure.  Will they make it up?  Not without a lot changes, in my opinion, but it's far from impossible....."

To reach the possible but not likely .525 Twins would have to go about 72-56 over the remaining 128 games. Not no way not no how.
 

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18 minutes ago, Number3 said:

To reach the possible but not likely .525 Twins would have to go about 71-57 over the remaining 128 games. Not no way not no how.

More like 73-55 now, to reach .525 overall (85-77). But to the original poster's point, that's only 6 games ahead of simply going .525 over the remaining games. (In other words, we've been 6 games under a .525 pace so far, through 34 games.)

Of course, that gulf only widens until they actually play at a .525 pace over a stretch of games...

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I think you have to look at this as a series of tiers and see how offers play out over the next month. My tiers:

Definitely trade players ranked in order of value - Cruz, Happ, Simmons, Shoemaker, Colome.

Try to re-sign or trade if unable to re-sign - Pineda, Robles, Buxton (maybe trade in the off season).  

Trade only for a good offer or simply keep - Donaldson (possible), Kepler (unlikely), Garver (even less likely). 

Demote, DFA or trade if someone will give us something - Sano, Cave. 

Keep unless completely blown away - Polanco, Rogers, Duffy.

Keep even if blown away - Kirilloff, Larnach, Arraez, Berrios (pay the man!), Maeda,  Alcala, Jeffers/Rortvedt.

Hard to care one way or the other and no one will give us anything anyway- Garlick. Astudillo, Theilbar.

 

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Sano is worthless, but a gamble if a team would trade for him. If the Twins designated him for assignment, I do see someone taking a chance and absorbing his salary.

 

Donaldson is pretty much here to stay. He will be able to run out his Twins career, if not at third base, possibly first or as the designated hitter who can also play the field.

 

 

At some point, you have to look at 2021. Of course, ALL the potential free agents are available: Simmons, Pineda, Happ, Shoemaker.

 

The Twins have to be ready to take a call or make a call when another team gets an in jury and is loooking for a viable major league replacement. Kepler and Polanco may not fit into future plans.

 

A hard decision ahs to be made on Buxton and Berrios if they hold worth come the trading deadline. If both are healthy, they could bring solid returns because they both have a little bit on control left.

 

The bigger question: who do we need to see given an early opportunity and are the future for the Twins in 2022 and beyond. Lewis and the pitching duo are both disabled. I doubt the pitchers will see much service this year, although they should.

 

The Saints have a roster full of AAAA guys right now. Who plays first (Kirilloff). We have catchers for the future and Garver could still be a viable bench guy. Is Arraez our second baseman. Is Gordon in the mix after a one game shot in the majors. 

 

Larnach will be here to stay. But who else is on the cusp? Is Rooker a player, even for the shorterm?

 

How long will a rebuild happen? 

 

The Twins blew it, so far, in 2021 NOT getting a legitimate closer, going for power arms in the bullpen. The starters have been okay, but ALL of them just get to the five inning mark. 

 

The bench is a disaster. You can't have starters hitting .200 across the board (Cave, Kepler, Sano, and seems in some ways maybe Garver and soon Simmons). Working in rookies who would have more failings than positives overall can work if you are not in contention.

 

But, yes, the BIG QUESTION - do Twins players have ANY value! Will other teams be shopping at The Dollar Store, Target, or the high-end store that we all walk through to look at stuff, but never buy!

 

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I'm baffled people want to give up on Kepler......for one, he's a decent (not Buxton) CF......and for another, it is way too early to give up on him. Same with Polanco.

I can't imagine they deal Shoemaker, more likely he is DFA when they decide Thorpe / Dobnak / someone is ready....

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1 minute ago, Mike Sixel said:

I'm baffled people want to give up on Kepler......for one, he's a decent (not Buxton) CF......and for another, it is way too early to give up on him. Same with Polanco.

I can't imagine they deal Shoemaker, more likely he is DFA when they decide Thorpe / Dobnak / someone is ready....

I generally agree but given this atrocious bullpen, there's really no reason not to give Shoemaker a shot in the pen before cutting him loose.

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