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Derek Falvey has suggested that the Minnesota Twins plan for 2022 isn’t to rebuild. This team wants to compete, and if that’s the case, they have areas needing to be fixed. They’ll spend, but maybe they need to trade pieces to bridge the gap.

Coming off a pandemic-shortened 2020, the Twins did a solid job holding serve regarding payroll. While it dropped, it didn’t fall off a cliff. I don’t know where I expect Minnesota to be in terms of dollars this season, but I think we’re in for an offseason that sees some major-league assets moved. If that’s going to be the case, who are the combinations that are defined by value and expendability?

Max Kepler
I’m torn on the idea of moving Kepler, given the Twins commitment to getting more out of him. He posted just a .719 OPS this season, and it was a down year. He remains one of the best outfield defenders in baseball, however, and that has significant value. For a guy that plays on the corners, you’d certainly like to see the power production of 2019 return. Given his name was dangled at the deadline, I can’t imagine Minnesota is against the idea of moving him, but it’d need to be a situation where someone is parting with assets based on what they believe Kepler can be rather than what he is currently. Alex Kirilloff can fill some of the gap here, and Trevor Larnach is also an option should the Twins move on.

Mitch Garver
After a down year in the shortened 2020 season, Garver has rebounded with a vengeance. Mitch is back to hunting fastballs, and despite some fluke injuries this season, he put up impressive numbers from the minute he got settled in. His final 51 games were played to the tune of a .991 OPS. I’m reluctant to hand the reigns over to Ryan Jeffers full-time, but Garver is the older of the two, and this is a position where Minnesota could exploit the strength and use it to secure pitching help. The Twins don’t have much for a backup option unless they want to go defense only with Ben Rortvedt behind the plate. That said, a veteran backup shouldn’t cost much on the open market, and there’s plenty of names they could chase after. Cody recently did a great breakdown of a partner for Garver.

Luis Arraez
Once again near the top of the league in batting average, Luis Arraez continues to be as predictable as they come. 2021 was his first season with an average south of .300, but that’s more related to a late-season slide than it is the body of work. He is always going to hit, there’s not much in terms of speed or pop, and his glove is just ok in the field. What Minnesota has to determine is where Jorge Polanco will play and what they want to do at shortstop. Arraez is either a rotational player with plenty of avenues for playing time, or he’s a luxury that they can parlay into something more necessary. A lot of Arraez’s functionality for this club directly correlates to the build-out of their infield.

Miguel Sano
In the final year of his three-year extension, Sano will cost Minnesota just over $9 million this season. He hasn’t lived up to the .923 OPS he posted in 2019, but he has plenty of functionality as a bottom-of-the-order hitter. He’s continued to post OPS+ numbers north of league average, and the power potential was once again evident in a season where he blasted 30 homers. I can’t imagine his value bringing back a whole lot for the Twins, but with the designated hitter expected to be league-wide, there may be more suitors interested in his services. I prefer the Twins don’t utilize a consistent batter as a designated hitter this season, but that’s definitely where Sano is at his best. Rocco Baldelli will also need to balance first base playing time with Alex Kirilloff returning to action.

Obviously, if the Twins decide against paying Byron Buxton, then he’d likely be on the move as well and bring the greatest return. I can’t see a scenario in which any arms are moved, most notably because of that being Minnesota’s greatest need. Who else could you see as potential interest for another organization?

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I don't trade Garver unless I'm punting next year, of someone gives me an insane deal. You win by having players be A LOT better than other team's players (position by position)....and Garver is one of the best hitting catchers/1B/DHs in the game. 

I'm ok with dealing any of the others you mention, because I believe in the next wave of corner fielders. (not counting Buxton, who you didn't really mention).

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I think it all depends on their decision on Buxton. Buxton clearly is not ready to sign anything other than a high contract. If the Twins decide to keep him for one more season, then I wouldn't expect any of our key players to be traded. If they deal Buxton in the off-season then I expect Kepler, Sano, Donaldson & perhaps even Polanco to be traded.  Miranda, Celestino and perhaps Austin Martin can be brought up to fill the gaps. :)

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Our surplus in the organization as it stands today is corner OF, 1B/DH types, and 2B. If the intention is to rebuild for 2023 and beyond, I would add Jorge Polanco to Ted’s list. His value is possibly at its peak right now. 

Josh Donaldson could be traded as well if we don’t have to eat a significant remainder of his contract. I think him and Sano are in the same situation, requiring us eating a good portion of the contract to move them. And would prefer trading Sano first. 

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If we aren't really rebuilding, we trade those who we can live w/o and is worth something.

We can live w/o Sano but we won't get anything for him. Kepler is hard to replace and is underrated.  I'd prefer Garver to stay but if a team which would offer a good deal on a premier pitcher I'd be willing. If Rogers and Duffy can be replaced and could be added to a trade, I'd say yes. But the one that makes the most sense is Arraez. He is easily replaced defensively and for a one dimensional player he's overrated.

I hope that the FO surprise me and inniate some needed tough trades, sign Buxton and avoid a devastating rebuilding.

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I don't want to trade Garver. Catcher is a position of strength right now. But would it remain one if your catchers are Jeffers/Rortvedt/new acquisition? I'm not convinced that Jeffers could just replace Garver right now. 

I hate to say this, because Luis Arraez has been my favorite player these last three years, but it might make sense to trade him. 2B/3B is really a strength of this team. Between Polanco, Donaldson (who you probably can't trade), Miranda and Arraez you already have four players for two spots. And while there are always some injuries, we already saw that little logjam this season when the lack of regular playing time was probably one of the reasons why Miranda wasn't called up.

Speaking of injuries, let's talk about Arráez'. He has already missed a lot of time because of his knees. Even when he has been on the field, the injuries have caused some extended slumps we haven't seen from him before. A Luis Arraez who hits .330 is a special hitter. If he hits only .280 with no power and bad defense? Not so much. 

That doesn't mean the Twins should just dump him. But right now he is still only one season removed from hitting .320. If another team is willing to bet on his health and offers them a good return, they should maybe pull the trigger instead of banking on better health in the future. If you wait longer and it goes poorly, his value might plummet rather quickly. 

Ugh, I really hated writing this...

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Trading Arraez or Polanco is at the top of my list.  I Have always believed in Polanco and would hate to see him go.  I would trade him if it's a really big haul.  If that kind of trade is not available, I would trade Arraez.

Really hate the idea of trading Garver.  So, same thought as Polanco.  It has to be a haul.  

Will the Universal DH give Sano reasonable trade value?  He does impact games.  I have never been a much a Sano supporter but I don't think they should move him for the sake of moving him.  He could bring value at the deadline.

Kepler is a sell low candidate too so why trade him now.

I would have Donaldson on this list.  We will likely be a better team with him  in 2022.  However, I think we are better in 2023 with Miranda in his 2nd year and the salary savings invest elsewhere.  Donaldson will be 37 yrs / 4 months at the start of the 2023 season.

Rodgers and/or Duffy should be available if the return is right but that opportunity will exist at the dead line too.

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Pretty much any arb eligible or beyond player is trade bait. There are so many players that are corner outfielder/1b/DH that a couple should be traded..  This is likely as Kerrigan, Celestine or Contreras could fill in.. 

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I don't trade Garver or Kepler at all this offseason. Catcher isn't the position of depth many people see it as. Garver is above average, and elite offensively. Rortvedt can't hit major league pitching, and Jeffers isn't ready to be the #1 guy. They don't have any catching behind those 3. I think Yan Gomes is the top FA catcher if I'm remembering correctly and that's not who I want to go into 2022 with either if I'm trying to get back into the division race.

Kepler had a down year. Doesn't make much sense to me to trade him at a low point. He's still elite in the field, and with a young pitching staff you're going to want his glove in RF instead of a corner OF combination of Rooker, Larnach, Garlick, Arraez type fielders or Gordon and Celestino type hitters. Kepler isn't a star, but he's definitely good enough to hit 7th and play RF on a championship team.

Arraez and Sano I'd be fine trading. I don't know why people think the Twins would have to eat a bunch of money for moving Sano. I don't think he's getting a top arm back, but his power is real and teams covet that. I think you can unload his 9M if you really want to. He's much like Kepler in that he isn't a star, but if he's hitting 6-8 in your order you can definitely compete.

Arraez is the expendable piece (even though he's my favorite hitter right now and don't want him to leave), but he's also not worth much as a no-power, bat-only player. Nobody is giving up a top arm for him either. 

I just don't think Twins have ML position player depth like others seem to think. They have a lot of players, but it's not like they're sitting all stars on their bench cuz they just can't get them in the lineup. They have a bunch of guys who are, or should be, solid MLB position players, but most of their positions are corner spots which are much easier to fill defensively and don't bring back the arms the Twins need. Nobody would claim Eddie last year, but we think people are going to give up top 3 rotation arms for these guys? I just don't see it. Development, FA $, and trading prospects are the tickets to improving the team (pitching staff) for 2022.

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Getting more than a wild card bid in 2022 is a long shot, even with trade and free agent acquisitions, mostly because the starters that would put us in the World Series aren't available at a price we can pay. Hopefully the young pitchers develop enough to make 2023 more realistic.

That says to me:

- *don't* trade Arraez, he's just 24. If this had been his rookie season performance at age 24, we'd be moving pieces all over to find a place for him to play. He can be a huge part of the next group if this group doesn't perform. Start him at 3B as often as you can. Donaldson will need the rest anyway.

- Sano and Kepler are tradeable as underperformers, and have candidates for their position (Kiriloff, Larnach) waiting to prove themselves

- don't trade for rentals

 

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Ted, good list but you left off Josh. He’s the number #1 person I’d move. 
 

I get that he actually had a pretty good year - particularly in the late 2nd half when the season was already lost.  He’s a good, actually very good, baseball player both at the plate and in the field if healthy (which has been fairly unreliable). He’s a veteran presence as well (but has that really translated in the dugout and the clubhouse though?). He very well may be worth his $20+MM. But not to us - not at this time.
 

Josh is a declining asset taking up valuable cash and real estate on a mid market team that has lost lots of money over the past couple of years and has a strong emerging player ready to take his spot.
 

Signing him was a great bet at the time. It made tremendous sense for a team willing to go all in. But that window has passed. Let me repeat that for all of us fans who think 2021 was just some sort of an aberration. That window has passed.  The Twins exiting 2021 are not in the same position as the Twins heading into 2019. 

Josh’s late season play will contribute to getting a better deal for him from a team looking for that key piece. Even more likely if the NL adopts the DH. If all the analytics guys on this site are correct, then there should be takers at full value for Josh’s WAR. 
 

Resigning Buxton, signing a SS, and adding pitching (targeting the BP and maybe Big Mike) are simply better uses of that cash at this point in time for the Twins. Give Miranda and Luis the 3B innings and turn over the veteran leadership to Buxton. 
 

BTW, I’d move Kepler as well……

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5 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

Our surplus in the organization as it stands today is corner OF, 1B/DH types, and 2B. If the intention is to rebuild for 2023 and beyond, I would add Jorge Polanco to Ted’s list. His value is possibly at its peak right now. 

Josh Donaldson could be traded as well if we don’t have to eat a significant remainder of his contract. I think him and Sano are in the same situation, requiring us eating a good portion of the contract to move them. And would prefer trading Sano first. 

Our surplus has the least value on the trade market.  Look at Cron - he outhits all those we list and yet has bounced around year after year.

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5 hours ago, ToddlerHarmon said:

Getting more than a wild card bid in 2022 is a long shot, even with trade and free agent acquisitions, mostly because the starters that would put us in the World Series aren't available at a price we can pay. Hopefully the young pitchers develop enough to make 2023 more realistic.

That says to me:

- *don't* trade Arraez, he's just 24. If this had been his rookie season performance at age 24, we'd be moving pieces all over to find a place for him to play. He can be a huge part of the next group if this group doesn't perform. Start him at 3B as often as you can. Donaldson will need the rest anyway.

- Sano and Kepler are tradeable as underperformers, and have candidates for their position (Kiriloff, Larnach) waiting to prove themselves

- don't trade for rentals

 

Larnach has shown he belongs in AAA, maybe for life; Arraez is a poor fielder and Twins need defense , not offense.

Trade away the defense and actually the offense, and it will be a long, long time before the Twins are more than an after though in baseball.

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1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

Our surplus has the least value on the trade market.  Look at Cron - he outhits all those we list and yet has bounced around year after year.

Cron was essentially a league average hitter who provided no defensive value in '19. Why would the Twins commit to him at 1B beyond that year? Kepler, Arraez, and Kirilloff are all better than that.  

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1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

Our surplus has the least value on the trade market.  Look at Cron - he outhits all those we list and yet has bounced around year after year.

I agree. But that’s where we stand today. We’ll need a reshuffle to balance out the roster. Polanco or Arraez could fetch a good return.

Your CJ Cron mention is a good example of needing to eat up some of Sano’s remaining salary to get a middling prospect back. Cron signed on a minor league deal, had a career year (better than any of Sano’s seasons by WAR) and he just got a 2/$14.5 million extension. Sano is on the hook for $9 million next year and a $2.5 m buy out or $14 million club option in 2023. 

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Huge ^5 to the posts above I liked! Very good takes, even if I don't agree 100%. 

I agree Donaldson should have been included in the OP. He can't be ignored as a trade piece due to depth and replacement options. His biggest problems as a trade option are obvious and we all know them; age, injury and salary. I am and have always been OK with moving him if the right deal, presents itself. But there is also the idea of how little he may bring back prospect wise and salary relief wise vs being a good ballplayer and veteran presence and "red ass" who could bring a little fire to the team. It's not just about finding room for Miranda and others to play. A lot of times these things just work out over a full season. We've seen this over and again. But having too much talent is NOT a bad thing! That's when your manager FINDS ways to get guys in the lineup. Which is easier without a fixture at DH,  which I believe will be the case in 2022. Please trade Donaldson IF IT MAKES SENSE for what you gain vs what you lose. 

So why do I start with Donaldson? Because keeping him or moving him affects the rest of the roster and the others proposed here in the OP.

A healthy Kepler is way better than what we saw in 2021. Unless someone blows us away, you are selling low. He is a premium RF defensively and a solid CF with power who just needs to sit more against LH pitching. Despite my belief in Kirilloff, Larnach and Celestino, all other OF options are solid journeyman or prospects a year away.

Garver is a good, not great, solid catcher who is one of the best offensive catchers in the game. He needs to catch 50-60% of the games and spend time at DH and maybe even a little 1B to keep his bat in the lineup. I think Jeffers has a bright future, but I'm not ready to give him the #1 spot right now and move Garver. As has been pointed out by others in various threads, you don't necessarily get better by trading someone who is amongst the best at his position.

Arraez may be the best pure hitter and clutch hitter and OB hitter on the team. And with a team of talented producers with BIG TIME power you'd want to trade the BEST pure hitter, contact hitter, and OB guy? He's only 24yo and has basically 2yrs at MLB. He's OK defensively at 3 positions and can also DH. Again, why does a DH have to be ONE GUY? He will only get better, I propose, defensively with experience. He fills a needed spot in the lineup as something different than a 3 outcome player.

The Sano debate has been ongoing for a few years now. You're either done with him, or, you recognize his career OPS and how dangerous he is as a streaky producer but would just love to see him as a lower fixture in the lineup as a 1B/DH and "emergency" 3B and want to hold on to him for at least one more year because he can carry a team at times.

Look, I am NOT opposed to making trades to re-tool the roster. Not at all! I just don't feel moving Kepler or Garver or Arraez at this time makes roster and production sense.  I think those moves potential hurt as much as they help. I'm OK with moving Donaldson and Sano if it makes sense.

I think the FO WILL make some FA moves. I think they WILL make some trades. But when you make trades, you have to give up something to get something! But I'm tired of the Twins traded Gil, or Yanoa, both low A prospects to get something they thought could help the team. Doesn't every team, even the best and smartest teams, still make deals of prospects in hope of augmenting their roster?

I just keep reflecting on the Odorizzi and Maeda trades. Can this FO do it a 3rd time? They need to find a quality veteran and spend the $ to lead this team and Stoman is the obvious choice. But isn't there enough milb depth to make a similar move without depleting the ML roster?

 

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We want 'big hauls' for the regulars we might trade. I just don't think those things exist anymore. First and second and everywhere else...get Buxton signed. He is the centerpiece of the team. Lose him and you are drifting aimlessly in the AL Central again. He is more valuable to the Twins than what he would yield in a trade. Some may disagree, but you can't trade your star and really expect to get better. It could happen, but I don't like the odds. Twins need to get real serious with Buck. then anything they do after that is fine with me.

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Trade Polanco if someone offers up a solid starter, what like a borderline #2-3 which would be good enough to be our #1 until Meada returns whenever.

Then I throw Arraez, and Martin/ Miranda/Lewis at 2B.

It all depends on what the offers are, so I suppose the entire roster is on the table except maybe Ober and Ryan.

I want to extend Buxton, but he might be the obvious choice here, if they prefer Polanco with his contract to a huge extension for Buxton. Buxton I think draws the most value in a trade, then Polanco. I don't think anyone else draws a pitcher who could anchor the rotation.

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2 hours ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Cron was essentially a league average hitter who provided no defensive value in '19. Why would the Twins commit to him at 1B beyond that year? Kepler, Arraez, and Kirilloff are all better than that.  

We hope

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4 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

If we want to have value in trades it is Lewis and Martin that will garner value outside pitching prospects.  The DH, 1B types are everywhere and do not bring a big return. 

I'd really want to hear your rational for trading a former no. 1 pick and top 20 prospect in all of baseball, who missed an entire year with a torn ACL, right now .. I mean you'd be selling at the absolute lowest value. As for Martin, they just traded their "ace pitcher" for him 3 months ago., they clearing see him as apart of their future plans.

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1 hour ago, USAFChief said:

I'd also deal Arraez if there is a market. Not sure he's worth as much as people think. 

Depends if teams value his ability to not strikeout and batting average. MLB as a whole finished at .244 for the season. .245 last year. Haven’t seen times like this since year of the pitcher in 1968. Contact first hitters could be the new market inefficiency! 

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9 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

I would have Donaldson on this list.  We will likely be a better team with him  in 2022.  However, I think we are better in 2023 with Miranda in his 2nd year and the salary savings invest elsewhere. 

This is an excellent point. I think Miranda deserves a chance to make that spot his own at the big league level. I even like Donaldson, but the biggest impact he was going to have here was in '20 or '21. Sadly, it just didn't come together.

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21 minutes ago, Tim said:

I'd really want to hear your rational for trading a former no. 1 pick and top 20 prospect in all of baseball, who missed an entire year with a torn ACL, right now .. I mean you'd be selling at the absolute lowest value. 

You didn’t ask me but I’ll chime in. You’re describing Lewis at his peak value as a prospect. That is no longer the case. He will not be ranked as a top 20 prospect coming up in 2022. And there is no guarantee he will be a top 20 ranked prospect again. 

They have a couple of options right now. Trade him while he is still a prospect. We missed his peak value as a #1 overall pick and top 20 ranked prospect to acquire MLB veterans. Or, we keep him under the control years determined by the new CBA. I am on team #TradeLewis bandwagon. 

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I'm not outwardly excited about trading anybody if I'm Falvine. The cost associated with everyone is very, very high, and my price tag for Buxton is just this side of certifiably crazy. But I'm definitely listening intently on just about everyone.

It's not overly likely that Polanco has another season like this last one, and I don't want to have to pay for past performance if I'm negotiating his next deal. But, at the same time, a guy who plays solid 2B and swats 25 homers while batting in the .280-.300 range is still awfully nice to have next year. If someone blows me away, I'm going to think really hard about it.

I'm not quite sure about Arraez after this past season. He could be that guy who comes into Spring Training healthy and serves as a .330+ hitting leadoff guy next year, but he could also be a good hitter with mediocre defense everywhere. I want to believe, so my price tag for him is higher than that of Polanco.

I like the swagger that Donaldson brings to the team, and I want my young guys to cut their teeth in the majors around a guy like him. I'm paying a lot for his services, but on the other hand he showed unexpectedly good durability and was a big part of the offense this year. I'd especially love for Jose Miranda and Royce Lewis to get plenty of exposure to him, but how do I manage that while still getting the kids into the lineup on a regular basis? In the end, I'm probably most likely to trade him this winter but not without several gut checks first.

Buxton is going to have to personally insult my mother to her face for me to even think about backing away from contract negotiations. Yeah he's hurt a lot, but on the other hand when he's healthy he's arguably the best player in the league. My asking price gets my rival GMs to hang up on me several times this winter.

I really don't want to move on from Kepler either, especially since his defense gives me a lot of roster flexibility for those times when Buxton is hurt. He's a guy that, if he begins sitting back on pitches more often, he might start beating the shift and put up video game numbers for a good long time. I don't want to be the FO that traded him away right before he does that. On the other hand, I think Trevor Larnach is an all-star right fielder before his contract is up, and I want to show ownership that I was right to pick him. My price for Kepler is almost as high as it is for Buxton.

I like Garver. He's among the better hitting players in the league when healthy, and he's elite at the plate compared to the rest of the league's catchers. But, on the other hand, he's also on the wrong side of thirty and his situational hitting was pretty poor last year. And while I really like Jeffers, too, I'm not sure I want to risk the offensive drop-off that will happen when he eventually takes over for Garver just yet. I know that I'm likely to get a ridiculous haul for Garver if I were to move him this winter, so I probably do mention his name more often than the rest but also set his price tag just this side of what I'm asking for Buxton and Kepler.

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