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Your thoughts on the Nelson Cruz trade?


The Deal  

77 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you grade the Nelson Cruz trade?

    • A
      43
    • B
      24
    • C
      8
    • D
      1
    • F
      1
    • Nelson Cruz was traded?
      0


In a trade reportedly referred to as "an A+ return" from Keith Law (haven't had a chance to read Gleeman's article on. it yet), I'm not sure we could have expected much better than two good-not-great pitching prospects that are close to the majors.

What are your impressions of the deal after you've had a chance to sleep on it?

Twins get:
Joe Ryan
Drew Strotman

Rays get:
Nelson Cruz
Calvin Faucher
A Warm Fuzzy Feeling

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I agree with Keith Law.  Weird.  I must be catastrophically wrong in this instance.  I had better be quiet about this trade as it is clearly going to not end up well, and I don't want my positive words now to be used against me in 2023 and onward.

Thanks, Keith, for ruining this.  Please change your grade so I can keep envisioning you wearing a clown suit.

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After sleeping on it I still like it.  Getting two pitchers at that level gives added depth that we really need right now.  I think both have ceilings of number 3 starter and floors of elite reliever.  How much more could\should you get for a two month rental? 

Both of these guys are borderline top 100 prospects with pretty good reviews from all the critics.  There is a reason the Twins pulled the trigger early.  This was pretty much everything they were looking for.  They couldn't even seem to find teams willing to give up arms above AA in a Berrios deal to get two with Cruz kind of blows my mind.

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They are close to the majors but it is still reasonable to expect significant struggle as they become major league pitchers.

Are the Twins willing to commit innings to pitchers that may initially perform very poorly as they hit the majors? Will they be patient? Will they risk competing next year and allow those young pitchers to struggle?

I hope so. I hope they resist the temptation to bring in one year veterans to fill rotation.

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As far as filling a need, it’s an A. Who knows if these pitchers will take the next step outside of Tampa’s voodoo magic player development system. Until we gather more data, I grade it a C. Because Cruz is the greatest free agent signing for the Twins. 

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I don't know about an A+ but won't quibble too much.  On the surface trades looks very strong for the home team.  Gaining two almost-ready pitching prospects for Cruz was more than many of us expected.  Ryan should slot right up there with Balazovic as this organization's best chance to develop a true ace, assuming his minor league performance translates to the bigs.  If Strotman can corral his wildness, he could either be in competition with prospects like Ober, Jax, Barnes, and Winder for a # 4 or 5 spot in '22 or '23 rotation or for next year's bullpen.  I'm excited to see these two up in September.  At the very least, their additions ease the pressure on FO to prematurely promote guys like Winder and Duran before they're ready.  

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Gave it a B, though it certainly has a chance to turn into an A depending on how the prospects pan out. MLB ready pitching is the Twins greatest need, obviously, and they got 2 guys who are ready to contribute at that level now if needed, and certainly next year. Nothing to dislike about the deal in my opinion.

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Let's remember that many here thought that Cruz wouldn't get much in a trade, since he's a 41 year old DH. In that context, getting two quality pitching prospects, even if they end up as relievers, is an easy "A" on paper.

19 minutes ago, cHawk said:

but I need to see them develop the guys they got in return before I say A.

Well yeah, we should technically wait a good 3-5 years before we know how much value we got from the trade, but I'm assuming we're grading the trade on how it looks "on paper".

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9 minutes ago, Danchat said:

Let's remember that many here thought that Cruz wouldn't get much in a trade, since he's a 41 year old DH. In that context, getting two quality pitching prospects, even if they end up as relievers, is an easy "A" on paper.

Well yeah, we should technically wait a good 3-5 years before we know how much value we got from the trade, but I'm assuming we're grading the trade on how it looks "on paper".

The Twins gave up 2.5 months of a bat that they won't need.  Will these guys provide more than 2.5 months of average major league service?  Any positive value from either of these guys for half a season makes this trade a win.  If the Twins keep them in the lineup and they do nothing but fail, that's on the Twins.

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9 minutes ago, Danchat said:

Let's remember that many here thought that Cruz wouldn't get much in a trade, since he's a 41 year old DH. In that context, getting two quality pitching prospects, even if they end up as relievers, is an easy "A" on paper.

Well yeah, we should technically wait a good 3-5 years before we know how much value we got from the trade, but I'm assuming we're grading the trade on how it looks "on paper".

On paper, I’d say A-/B+

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5 minutes ago, Danchat said:

... but I'm assuming we're grading the trade on how it looks "on paper".

Don't tell me you only went with how the trade looks based on research and the return on paper without bothering to cross-check with a Magic 8 Ball for confirmation? At least I have you covered. I asked if it was a good return for Cruz and got the result "Without a doubt" 

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I like the deal.  Getting two near ready quality pitchers from an organization that is known for developing pitchers is a win in my book.  It obviously remains to be seen how they pan out, but for an organization in need of arms, I like the return.

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9 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

The Twins gave up 2.5 months of a bat that they won't need.  Will these guys provide more than 2.5 months of average major league service?  Any positive value from either of these guys for half a season makes this trade a win.  If the Twins keep them in the lineup and they do nothing but fail, that's on the Twins.

Yep. On paper, selling Rodney for Chalmers looked great. The end result was him sitting on the 40 man for a year then cutting him loose. I understand wanting to be optimistic about these pitchers, but we need to see how they look in the Twins’ system vs. Tampa. 

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2 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

Yep. On paper, selling Rodney for Chalmers looked great. The end result was him sitting on the 40 man for a year then cutting him loose. I understand wanting to be optimistic about these pitchers, but we need to see how they look in the Twins’ system vs. Tampa. 

That was a good trade. It just didn't work

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4 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

That was a good trade. It just didn't work

Good process, bad results. The Nelson Cruz trade is good process. I’m not ready to grade it an A without seeing results. Cruz is going to continue mashing for 2+ months and be the best DH in baseball. These 2 pitchers may not get more than a cup of coffee in the majors. 

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I hear the angst about Cruz mashing for 2 months while the return may never amount to much. I guess my question is how much value is there Nelson Cruz mashing for 2+ months on the 2021 Minnesota Twins team? I think the answer is very little. Maybe having Nelson Cruz changes a 70 win team into a 75 win team. Frankly, who cares? All that is really lost is the potential entertainment value watching games on TV or at the game of a more competitive team that still isn't going anywhere. I just don't think that has a lot of value. Conversely, the trade has two very good things. First, we need Pitching. Bad. This gives us two more potential candidates for the back half of the rotation or the bullpen in 2022, and may be more than 2023 and beyond. Second, it opens up the DH spot to give at bats to guys like Rooker, and opens up the possibility of calling up Miranda to play 3rd/DH in combination with Donaldson. Both good things.

This also does not change anything about what happens in the off-season. Cruz will be a free agent. We can re-sign him and this trade doesn't really change our chances or motivation. Normally I do worry about a guy getting comfortable in the new environment and preferring to stay there but he's going to Tampa Bay. They will never pay him enough to stay.

To me, at the end of the day we gave up very little to get two real assets and open up playing time for other potential assets. All that we lost was two months worth of somewhat better baseball from the Twins. That is a small price to pay for the possibility of an improved team in 2022. At least that's what I think.

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How much does the grading change if the Twins re-sign Cruz during the off season?  That's a distinct possibility.

That not happening is just as far fetched or probable as any other scenario.

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24 minutes ago, RickOShea said:

How much does the grading change if the Twins re-sign Cruz during the off season?  That's a distinct possibility.

That not happening is just as far fetched or probable as any other scenario.

While I won't say it can't or won't happen, I don't really see it happening.

The last FA I can think of signing with the team that traded him in the following offseason is Kenny Lofton and he was traded in the offseason before, not during the middle of the year.

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The logic of the trade is irrebuttable. The emotion is another matter and so as the Bangles song goes, I may see things In A Different Light. This in no way makes my observation 'right' and everyone elses wrong. Here's the perspective from a septuagenarian

   t. Part of the fun of watching and attending ballgames is to see your favorite players...not just the 'uniforms' (which is getting way too common anymore) When I watched the Expos, I looked forward to seeing Rusty (le grand orange); Mack Jones; later Carter, Dawson, Pedro Martinez, later Vlad Sr. The Orioles, it was Brooks, Frank, Cal, Eddie, Palmer..these are guys that kept my interest high.  There were really only 2 players I didn't want to see go...Cruz and Buxton. I don't care about the rest at all. Those 2 guys made watching the Twins enjoyable. Has nothing to do with the payroll, the future, the logic....just the fun of watching baseball...which diminishes a bit every year because of the 'business' of the game.

Trading Cruz (which I accept probably had to happen....but I wonder if the guys had played better in the 1st half, whether this would have even been necessary) ripped the heart and soul out of the team. You can laugh and say 'so what', but I guarantee most the guys really didn't want to play last night and it showed. When you lose your best hitter, no matter the age or the circumstances, you do lose something. If the 2 young arms we got make up 2/5 of a successful starting rotation in 2022, it will be a huge win for sure. The cautionary tale is....how realistic really is that? Pitching prospects come and go. A few make the grade and many more don't. Thats not a reason to not make trades of course, Just realism. For those who say 2 1/2 more months of Cruz in the lineup won't make a spec of difference this year...hard to argue from the standings perspective. But from a purely emotional, I love my favorite players viewpoint, the Twins will be less fun to watch and the final 10 weeks will surely be a total throwaway. This will be moreso if the young guys we want to make up the core in coming years are injured...as many of them are.

This trade may make the Twins better someday. Maybe not. No one really knows. Games and pennants aren't won on paper.

When you are young with lots of life ahead of you, you can afford to experiment, casting aside season after season in search of the holy grail. When you're older, you view the game differently. Again, no one is 'right' or 'wrong' in their viewpoints. I will miss Cruz. His teammates will miss him more. these are human beings being moved around and thats never easy. The fans will miss him, despite this miserable season...none of which was on his shoulders.

So my 'grade' is simply 'sad'. Sad, that it had to happen. And I wish the two young pitchers well. they have huge shoes to fill and much will be expected of them.

OK I've had my say. Like all unpleasant trades, I'll get over it....probably.

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You can never have enough pitching.  If this moves us from 6 - 7 possibilites to 8 - 9 so much the better.  Odds are maybe 20 - 25% or less work out.   Now I feel we may get 3 starters out of this group, maybe more, maybe less.  But this solves the problem since Pinella will probably get traded and we should see 3 - 4 of these youngsters this year (Winder, Balavick, Ryan, and others in the relief core).  It is no longer about wins and losses, this is seeing what you have for next year. 

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27 minutes ago, Nine of twelve said:

With apologies to those who have voted, attempting to evaluate any trade one day after it was made is totally ridiculous.

Evaluations don’t have to be considered permanent to exist. One can evaluate what something looks like now with full understanding our knowledge is incomplete. 

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I think evaluating a trade in the moment is good. The alternative is hindsight but that won’t need a grade. You will have performance.

I wonder if the prospect side if the trade is going to lose in hindsight more often. In prospects you bet on the upside as opposed to the floor of the remaining control. I am guessing the floor comes out in top more often in hindsight.

Trading for an Alex Meyer isn’t going to work out every time. Too much can happen on the way to the major leagues. It is those times you end up with an ace that the pay off is so big. In concept in the context of those Twin teams I do that type of trade again and again. 

So yes this is an appropriate time to grade the trade. Based on reports of others about the two pitchers this trade exceeded my expectations for Cruz and past comps. In that sense it deserves a good grade. 

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12 minutes ago, Irishman said:

They should have gotten Brendan McKay for Nelson Cruz.

Only if they held out for Wander Franco and Sugar Shane Baz also, as sweeteners.

 

Me, I'm happy with the trade as it went. Sounds like a mild bidding war occurred and they got two legitimate arms, and that's not bad for a rental of 2 months of even a great bat that doesn't contribute anything with the glove.

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6 hours ago, RedBull34 said:

While I won't say it can't or won't happen, I don't really see it happening.

The last FA I can think of signing with the team that traded him in the following offseason is Kenny Lofton and he was traded in the offseason before, not during the middle of the year.

Aroldis Chapman

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On 7/23/2021 at 12:37 PM, Vanimal46 said:

Good process, bad results. The Nelson Cruz trade is good process. I’m not ready to grade it an A without seeing results. Cruz is going to continue mashing for 2+ months and be the best DH in baseball. These 2 pitchers may not get more than a cup of coffee in the majors. 

Isn't that something we should just wait until the future to decide then when the point of the post is to discuss the current context of value?  Nelson Cruz might pull a hammy next week jogging out a double and your post will look silly too.  Hand-cuffing yourself to hindsight as the only means of evaluation doesn't seem like a fair way to judge things. No front office gets to do that, we can only judge good processes and hope evaluations are being carried out at a high level.  Those later judgments come....., well, later.  As they should.

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24 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

Isn't that something we should just wait until the future to decide then when the point of the post is to discuss the current context of value?  Nelson Cruz might pull a hammy next week jogging out a double and your post will look silly too.  Hand-cuffing yourself to hindsight as the only means of evaluation doesn't seem like a fair way to judge things. No front office gets to do that, we can only judge good processes and hope evaluations are being carried out at a high level.  Those later judgments come....., well, later.  As they should.

Judging a trade the very next day is silly too. How about this. I will bet Cruz provides more value in 2 months for the Rays than the 6-7 years these 2 pitchers will potentially be in the Twins organization. 

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