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Would you sign a big-time SS if that meant having to trade Royce Lewis?


I was reading Matthew Lenz's article "Twins Options at Shortstop in 2022", in which he discusses what short-term options the Twins might look at in the next offseason while they wait for Royce Lewis to recover from the ACL surgery.

Later in that article, Lenz examines the free agent options, and he mentions Trevor Story, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, and Javier Báez. Those guys will definitely be looking for long-term deals. Which got me thinking: if you're the Twins, would you be willing to give up on Royce Lewis in order to pursue one of those big shot free agents? If so, which of those guys is your preferred target? Mine is definitely Story. 

Not long ago, they dealt Brusdar Graterol, who most of us thought was a cornerstone of the team's future. So, if they sign a guy like Seager long-term, you just have to assume they'll soon be trading away Lewis, right?

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15 minutes ago, Thiéres Rabelo said:

I was reading Matthents? If so, which of those guys is your preferred target? Mine is definitely Story. 

Not long ago, they dealt Brusdar Graterol, who most of us thought was a cornerstone of the team's future. So, if they sign a guy like Seager long-term, you just have to assume they'll soon be trading away Lewis, right?

Given Lewis's flexibility I don't see why they would need to trade him.  He literally can play all outfield positions and infield position's so he is not limited to short and some analysts feel his best position might be center field.  If his bat does come around he would be cheap to use and if he looked like he was better at any of the infield or outfield positions then why not keep him?  He would have elite speed so good to great defense and  a threat to steal bases so not a guy you want to get rid of IMO. 

If the bat doesn't work out then no one will want him including the Twins.  He needs to develop his hit tool and then he can play wherever they need him to play.

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If it's a hypothetical question of giving up Lewis for 1 of the top free agents then, yes, I'd "trade" Lewis for the guys on that list.

I don't, however, see a reason to give up Lewis as a separate transaction simply because SS is claimed at the ML level. As Dman and Otto point out, Lewis' versatility makes him very useful (assuming he hits) to have on the roster. Even if we keep Buxton as well. We know there's a solid chance we'll need a CF replacement throughout any season, so having another guy with elite speed to fill that hole would be nice. And if Buxton leaves then I think Lewis is starting in CF opening day 2023.

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Trade whom? Answer to first part of question is yes (sign big time short stop) don't see a connection with the second part. Still don't understand the #1 overall pick still floundering (not languishing) in the minor leagues. The injury is no excuse; just adds to the fact that it was a waste of a chance to add the best player in the draft.

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34 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

Trading Royce Lewis now would be a sell-low move.  

No thanks, he's still going to be in this organization's top 5 with serious upside to prove his pedigree.  Selling him now is taking pennies on the dollar because of a phantom problem of "too many shortstops" or some other bizarre notion.

It’s a fine line with prospects between selling high and low. If he’s still a top 100 ranked prospect across multiple publications that’s selling high IMO.

We’ve seen time and time again former top 100 prospects that were kept and ended up not meeting expectations as a top 100 prospect. If Lewis has another lackluster season at the plate, we could be looking back thinking we should have traded him before. 

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13 minutes ago, Number3 said:

...don't see a connection with the second part.

The assumption is that Kirilloff and Larnach continue to develop and take over the corner outfield spots long-term. Kepler is supposed to be around for a while, and if they can find a way to re-sign Buxton, then Lewis' versatility might not play such a big role (especially if they get Buxton to stay).

About the IF, Jose Miranda looks like the future at 3B. Then you have Arráez and Polanco sharing playing time at second. If you bring one of the aforementioned free-agent SS's long-term, Lewis' spot becomes even harder to figure out. So, signing Seager or Story to long deals might mean that Lewis' future with the Twins actually is uncertain.

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If some GM still thought Lewis had the potential to live up to his early hype and thus, willing to trade a young major league pitcher with top-of-the-rotation potential for Lewis(and supporting cast), sure I would do that.  Unfortunately, chances of finding such a GM are slim indeed.  Just too many unknowns on Lewis, incl. injury history, apparent inability to be a plus defender at SS, erratic offense in the lower minors, etc.  This is why his prospect rating has plummeted and why the Twins have no long term solution at SS.

The separate question should be: does the FO go all in for one of the top FA SSs?  If money were no object, then again, sure, why not.  But this is the Twins we're talking about so if they spent big bucks on a SS, this means there would greatly minimize the chance of signing both a top starter and closer, both of which are far bigger needs than the SS position, where the Twins do have internal options, like Polanco, resigning Simmons or another plus FA fielder.

And, of course, hubris would prevent Falvine from admitting their #1 draft choice was a mistake.  So this scenario has less than a 1% chance of happening.

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12 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

It’s a fine line with prospects between selling high and low. If he’s still a top 100 ranked prospect across multiple publications that’s selling high IMO.

We’ve seen time and time again former top 100 prospects that were kept and ended up not meeting expectations as a top 100 prospect. If Lewis has another lackluster season at the plate, we could be looking back thinking we should have traded him before. 

I don't disagree that being Top 100 has value.  But this guy has been Top 20 and has that kind of pedigree.  Selling him off after consecutive injury plagued seasons and an adjustment year simply can't be a sell-high point.  

We're better off seeing if he's that first overall talent.  If it flops?  So be it, I'd rather shoot high than sell low.

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8 minutes ago, Thiéres Rabelo said:

The assumption is that Kirilloff and Larnach continue to develop and take over the corner outfield spots long-term. Kepler is supposed to be around for a while, and if they can find a way to re-sign Buxton, then Lewis' versatility might not play such a big role (especially if they get Buxton to stay).

 

Yeah but Lewis is a better defender than Kirilloff, Larnach and Kepler and Kirilloff seems like a stretch in the outfield right now as the Twins have him playing 1st base and he appears to be a plus defender there.  Still even if your assumptions hold true with Lewis the better defender and if his bat is equal or even slightly under the other three why not trade one of those guys and keep Lewis?  He would be cheaper and give you better defense as well as a threat to turn walks and singles into doubles by stealing 2nd base. On top of all that he is great  Buxton insurance.  Unless you don't believe in his bat I think you are selling him short.

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3 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

I don't disagree that being Top 100 has value.  But this guy has been Top 20 and has that kind of pedigree.  Selling him off after consecutive injury plagued seasons and an adjustment year simply can't be a sell-high point.  

We're better off seeing if he's that first overall talent.  If it flops?  So be it, I'd rather shoot high than sell low.

It’s probably going to be the case he remains in the organization. Hope he figures it out at the plate, otherwise seeing his name on the top 100 list at all will be a distant memory. 

Personally I’d trade him now before more data is gathered on him and it’s proven he either can’t play SS or can’t hit. 

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The premise of this article is weird. Lewis is almost certainly not in Minnesota next year. So you can slowly bring him up in 2023. At that point, you might need a CF, LF, RF, 3B, 2B.....

I would 100% sign a great SS.... If Lewis is also one, you have options. If he's not, you have a SS. 

I'd trade Lewis for a great pitcher right now. Maybe even a very good pitcher. 

Frankly, if he hits, I'd rather he be in the OF than anyone not named Buxton....

 

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28 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

It’s probably going to be the case he remains in the organization. Hope he figures it out at the plate, otherwise seeing his name on the top 100 list at all will be a distant memory. 

Personally I’d trade him now before more data is gathered on him and it’s proven he either can’t play SS or can’t hit. 

I guess my question with this line of thinking is why would other teams value him if the Twins shouldn't? That's why I'd consider this a sell low point. Every other org has the same data the Twins do on his struggles at the plate in 2019, followed by a huge AZ league showing, no 2020 season, and missing 2021 with the blown out knee. If that makes you think he isn't worth much now, why would a major league org look at him as the centerpiece of a deal to bring back legit pitching to the Twins?

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35 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

It’s probably going to be the case he remains in the organization. Hope he figures it out at the plate, otherwise seeing his name on the top 100 list at all will be a distant memory. 

Personally I’d trade him now before more data is gathered on him and it’s proven he either can’t play SS or can’t hit. 

I understand the concerns about where he'll play and if he'll hit.  But so do other teams and there is no positive track record to give him anything other than a "gamble" trade value.  If you could tell me you could get Jose Berrios 2.0 with 3 years left of team control?  Sure.  What I think you're more likely to get is James Shields.  And, yes, that analogy is on purpose though admittedly a bit much.

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3 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

I guess my question with this line of thinking is why would other teams value him if the Twins shouldn't? That's why I'd consider this a sell low point. Every other org has the same data the Twins do on his struggles at the plate in 2019, followed by a huge AZ league showing, no 2020 season, and missing 2021 with the blown out knee. If that makes you think he isn't worth much now, why would a major league org look at him as the centerpiece of a deal to bring back legit pitching to the Twins?

I think he's saying that if others still think he's going to be great.... He disagrees, and would sell high. 

I have no idea if he's going to hit.... But I'd happily trade him in a package for a legit pitcher..... But those guys are never traded with three years of control.... Which is why the idea you can just draft hitters and trade them for pitchers is ridiculous. 

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1 minute ago, TheLeviathan said:

I understand the concerns about where he'll play and if he'll hit.  But so do other teams and there is no positive track record to give him anything other than a "gamble" trade value.  If you could tell me you could get Jose Berrios 2.0 with 3 years left of team control?  Sure.  What I think you're more likely to get is James Shields.  And, yes, that analogy is on purpose though admittedly a bit much.

See my post .... Are pitchers like that even traded?

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I'll bite.

I think if we sign a star SS, then we likely wouldn"t be resigning Buxton and would have a hole in CF.  Austin Martin would have first crack at that spot but you want to keep Lewis around to compete for it or be available in case of injury.  He could become the best 4th OF of all time for us with some IF to keep him in the line up. If Miranda doesn't end up at third, could Lewis handle 3B?  Lewis has the talent to be a difference maker.  If his opportunity here gets diminished, it would make sense to see what we could get in a trade.  I wouldn't be opposed to trading him in certain situations for a good return. But I don't believe it will come to that.

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14 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

I understand the concerns about where he'll play and if he'll hit.  But so do other teams and there is no positive track record to give him anything other than a "gamble" trade value.  If you could tell me you could get Jose Berrios 2.0 with 3 years left of team control?  Sure.  What I think you're more likely to get is James Shields.  And, yes, that analogy is on purpose though admittedly a bit much.

Other teams may have a dire SS pipeline and willing to take the chance. Or a different valuation of him and convinced he will stick at the position. He hasn’t played enough in recent years to prove one way or the other, so he can still be sold high based off his ceiling. 

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34 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

But I'd happily trade him in a package for a legit pitcher..... But those guys are never traded with three years of control...

Blake Snell got moved despite having 3 years of control. Yu Darvish also got moved with 3 years left, though his contract was considerably more pricier than Snell's.

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1 hour ago, mike8791 said:

If some GM still thought Lewis had the potential to live up to his early hype and thus, willing to trade a young major league pitcher with top-of-the-rotation potential for Lewis(and supporting cast), sure I would do that.  Unfortunately, chances of finding such a GM are slim indeed.  Just too many unknowns on Lewis, incl. injury history, apparent inability to be a plus defender at SS, erratic offense in the lower minors, etc.  This is why his prospect rating has plummeted and why the Twins have no long term solution at SS.

....

And, of course, hubris would prevent Falvine from admitting their #1 draft choice was a mistake.  So this scenario has less than a 1% chance of happening.

I may be mistaken, but Lewis is still ranked inside the Top 15 (#11) on MLB's Top 100 Prospect list.  Tell me again how he is plummeting?

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I forgot to clarify that I don't think the Twins should seek a trade for Lewis. I think that if they bring in a top SS long-term, then trading him would make sense. In other words, I don't think they should pursue guys like Story, Seager, and Correa to a long contract. If it were me, I'd prefer to wait around on Lewis and have Polanco move back to SS, with Gordon as his backup.

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2 hours ago, Thiéres Rabelo said:

The assumption is that Kirilloff and Larnach continue to develop and take over the corner outfield spots long-term. Kepler is supposed to be around for a while, and if they can find a way to re-sign Buxton, then Lewis' versatility might not play such a big role (especially if they get Buxton to stay).

About the IF, Jose Miranda looks like the future at 3B. Then you have Arráez and Polanco sharing playing time at second. If you bring one of the aforementioned free-agent SS's long-term, Lewis' spot becomes even harder to figure out. So, signing Seager or Story to long deals might mean that Lewis' future with the Twins actually is uncertain.

So in this scenario they keep Miranda, who can maybe play one position, rather than Lewis, who can play at least three? 

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2 minutes ago, Thiéres Rabelo said:

I forgot to clarify that I don't think the Twins should seek a trade for Lewis. I think that if they bring in a top SS long-term, then trading him would make sense. In other words, I don't think they should pursue guys like Story, Seager, and Correa to a long contract. If it were me, I'd prefer to wait around on Lewis and have Polanco move back to SS, with Gordon as his backup.

I wondered the same exact thing but I think they likely fill that spot short term again.  The tough thing about Lewis is he is at least two years away and given what we currently know we can't bank on him being able to play short well and we have no idea what kind of hitter he will be since he has been so up and down.  It makes me nervous when guys I thought I could bank on like Kirilloff and Larnach are struggling at the MLB level.  If guys with good to great hit tools have trouble adjusting what is it going to be like for Lewis? 

He is a wild card and if I were the Twins I would play the future as if he wasn't even there, wasn't even a part of it.  So yes if they feel they have the money to sign one of those proven guys long term they should do it.  If they can't get that done then plan B find a veteran to plug in there for a year or two and then plan C you can see where Lewis fits on this team if he ever even proves he belongs at the MLB level.  There are no sure things.

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9 minutes ago, Thiéres Rabelo said:

I forgot to clarify that I don't think the Twins should seek a trade for Lewis. I think that if they bring in a top SS long-term, then trading him would make sense. In other words, I don't think they should pursue guys like Story, Seager, and Correa to a long contract. If it were me, I'd prefer to wait around on Lewis and have Polanco move back to SS, with Gordon as his backup.

Polanco is not a good SS. What if Lewis isn't one? What do you do in 2023 and beyond? The Twins literally refuse to play Gordon at SS, that is not an option at this point.

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