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Manfred Announces Universal DH: Will That Result in Sano or Donaldson Being Traded to an NL Team


I contend the Twins should trade Sano or Donaldson to an NL team as soon as the current  lockout rules allow.  Frees up Arraez to be the Twins DH more, Miranda to be 3B (Donaldson is not as good as he used to be fielding due to age and injuries) and Kirilloff to be 1B (Sano is not a good fielding 1B).There are reasonable options for substitutes at each of these positions (Arraez, Garver and Rooker at DH, Arraez and Gordon at 3B, Rooker and Garver at 1B). Plus Lewis, Martin, Rortvedt and Larnach are  in the wings. 

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The Twins should only trade expensive players if they plan to spend that money elsewhere and there's no indication they plan to do that given how they acquired zero good starters before the lockout.

And if they're not going to pay for pitching, they should go ahead and keep their good hitters in hopes they can slug their way to some victories.

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9 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

Who is going to trade for Sano when they could just sign Nelson Cruz?

There's going to be 8-10 teams looking to acquire a DH, There will not be 8-10 hitters available better than Sano, cheaper than Sano ($/prospect cost). 8-10 teams can't sign Cruz (who just got really expensive). Suddenly Sano's buyout/option year got a whole lot cheaper relatively speaking.

It looks like the Twins have a glut of DHs and need to make room for Kiriloff at First, but we've seen this show before. I'd trade Sano only if they get a good return, not to offload him. I doubt they get a good return, probably just a flier, and I wouldn't advocate for that.

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41 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

Who is going to trade for Sano when they could just sign Nelson Cruz?

I'd rather have Miguel Sano by a long shot. Cruz was pretty terrible with Tampa Bay. And while Sano will likely never tap into his upside, there's still some upside there and he could easily have a career season.

I wouldn't pay much for Sano, but I'd rather have him for the price of an A ball lottery ticket than Nelson Cruz at this point.

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I'd keep Sano. He's affordable. Last year was an incredibly down year offensively around the league which sorta made his season look worse than it was. He had a pretty bad start to the season but was a legit slugger in the second half. He's not going to be the bat we dreamed about after his rookie year but he should still be a strong middle of the order bat to go with Kiriloff, Donaldson, Garver.

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14 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I wouldn't pay much for Sano, but I'd rather have him for the price of an A ball lottery ticket than Nelson Cruz at this point.

The Twins could get a better A-ball lottery ticket for him at the trade deadline after they've paid off half his salary. He could be a "Plan B" for a contender who needs to fill in for injured players. Sano's trade value is negative now but should rise as the season goes on and his contract gets smaller.

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57 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

I'm going to bet against that. Sano is a 1 WAR DH with a $12M salary.

Using Fangraphs standard leaderboard, Miguel Sano would have been the number 8 DH by wOBA. Yes the new entries to the pool will expand the market, but not that much. With 15 teams needing a DH (half to 2/3 acquiring from outside as a  guess), prices will go up

Name Team G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA xwOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR playerid
Shohei Ohtani LAA 158 639 46 103 100 26 15.00% 29.60% 0.335 0.303 0.257 0.372 0.592 0.393 0.408 152 2.5 43 -13.6 5.1 19755
Giancarlo Stanton NYY 139 579 35 64 97 0 10.90% 27.10% 0.243 0.324 0.273 0.354 0.516 0.37 0.358 137 -7 19 -12.4 2.6 4949
Yordan Alvarez HOU 144 598 33 92 104 1 8.40% 24.20% 0.253 0.32 0.277 0.346 0.531 0.369 0.389 138 0.5 28.6 -12.5 3.7 19556
J.D. Martinez BOS 148 634 28 92 99 0 8.70% 23.70% 0.232 0.34 0.286 0.349 0.518 0.364 0.374 128 -3.1 18.4 -11.4 2.9 6184
Josh Donaldson MIN 135 543 26 73 72 0 13.60% 21.00% 0.228 0.268 0.247 0.352 0.475 0.353 0.387 124 -4.3 12 -8.5 2.2 5038
Nelson Cruz - - - 140 584 32 79 86 3 8.70% 21.60% 0.232 0.286 0.265 0.334 0.497 0.346 0.358 122 -1.9 14 -14.3 2 2434
Ryan Mountcastle BAL 144 586 33 77 89 4 7.00% 27.50% 0.232 0.297 0.255 0.309 0.487 0.335 0.326 111 -1.2 6.6 -12.2 1.4 18373
Miguel Sano MIN 135 532 30 68 75 2 0.111 0.344 0.243 0.291 0.223 0.312 0.466 0.332 0.322 110 -2.2 4.4 -18.1 0.4 12164
Austin Meadows TBR 142 591 27 79 106 4 10.00% 20.60% 0.224 0.249 0.234 0.315 0.458 0.327 0.326 113 -1.7 7.5 -7.6 2 15672
Trey Mancini BAL 147 616 21 77 71 0 8.30% 23.20% 0.176 0.308 0.255 0.326 0.432 0.326 0.34 105 -5.3 -1.8 -12.7 0.6 15149
Jorge Soler - - - 149 602 27 74 70 0 11.10% 23.60% 0.209 0.25 0.223 0.316 0.432 0.323 0.354 101 -6.8 -6 -15.8 -0.2 14221
Jed Lowrie OAK 139 512 14 55 69 0 9.60% 21.10% 0.153 0.289 0.245 0.318 0.398 0.311 0.342 100 -1.6 -1.4 -7.5 0.9 4418
Miguel Cabrera DET 130 526 15 48 75 0 7.60% 22.40% 0.129 0.305 0.256 0.316 0.386 0.305 0.313 92 -6.3 -11.4 -13 -0.7 1744
Edited by Sconnie
counted the header in the graph
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Sano has been a disappointment compared to our expectations. He has had strong runs with some length. While it is true we have not seen an entire season of sustained strength, there is nothing to say that Miguel cannot put together a full season. I would not bet against Sano. Athletes have decent egos and Sano wants to be considered more relevant than he was last year. Time will tell, but the big man may be getting himself ready to bust out as a consistent force.

Why do people still underestimate Josh Donaldson? I was never a big fan of him when he played elsewhere, but it was obvious what a good player he is on a consistent basis. There are the legs to worry about, true. JD is a real tough out and just because he is less than his peak doesn't mean he will not still have an excellent 2022. 

Both Sano and Donaldson can be traded, just like any other player in the organization. The return needs to be significant in both cases. There is a scenario where these guys are traded for less and that includes some ouchy numbers. If the Twins are aiming to roster at $90-115 million for their player budget, well .... cuts and trades occur. 

For today, I'm still thinking optimistically about 2022: Budget near $120-135M, a few trades completed, a couple of decent signings, and Sano and Donaldson feeding off of each other in a strong lineup.

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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The Twins should only trade expensive players if they plan to spend that money elsewhere and there's no indication they plan to do that given how they acquired zero good starters before the lockout.

And if they're not going to pay for pitching, they should go ahead and keep their good hitters in hopes they can slug their way to some victories.

…. slug their way to some victories. 
 

Of course “some” is the key word here, not many just some. And probably none in the playoffs, if they managed to get that far, because most playoff teams actually have pitching. If the Twins don’t address the pitching issue(when have they ever) it’ll just be more of the same and fans will be saying we need more offense. 

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2 minutes ago, LVTwinsfan said:

…. slug their way to some victories. 
 

Of course “some” is the key word here, not many just some. And probably none in the playoffs, if they managed to get that far, because most playoff teams actually have pitching. If the Twins don’t address the pitching issue(when have they ever) it’ll just be more of the same and fans will be saying we need more offense. 

Well yeah. I'm no bigger fan of this lackluster offseason than anyone else. But I'm also not ready to trade away good hitters "just because".

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1 hour ago, tarheeltwinsfan said:

I contend the Twins should trade Sano or Donaldson to an NL team as soon as the current  lockout rules allow.  Frees up Arraez to be the Twins DH more, Miranda to be 3B (Donaldson is not as good as he used to be fielding due to age and injuries) and Kirilloff to be 1B (Sano is not a good fielding 1B).There are reasonable options for substitutes at each of these positions (Arraez, Garver and Rooker at DH, Arraez and Gordon at 3B, Rooker and Garver at 1B). Plus Lewis, Martin, Rortvedt and Larnach are  in the wings. 

I don't think you should trade guys to make your team worse, trading Donaldson for sure does that, Sano before the season is a real possibility.

I love me some Arraez, I hate, hate him as the everyday DH as plan A. No team should ever, ever trade away a well above average MLB player so you can get playing time for Rooker or Gordon.

IMO you don't need to trade away players because you are blocking prospects, if Miranda starts out in AAA like he did last year, you make the adjustments at the major league level to get him at bats (guys will get hurt or just not be good, or you could always trade Donaldson at that time), same with Larnach, Lewis, Martin.

If you start the season with Miranda at 3B, AK at 1B, and Larnach in LF, what is plan be if they get hurt or aren't good. Rooker, Gordon, or being forced to call up Martin or Lewis if they aren't ready? Sounds like a plan to fail. (On top of the Twins as of now are already planning on doing that with their pitchers)

If the twins want fans to show up this summer, they better be at least decent on the field to start.

 

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Just looking at available free agents Freeman, Bryant, Castellanos, Rizzo, Schwarber, Cruz and McCutchen all had better wOBA than Sano. Jorge Soler finished the season stronger with Atlanta than Sano did with the Twins. Mark Canha signed with an NL team for less than Sano already. Matt Olson is on the trade block.

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I don't think the Twins would hesitate to move Sano, but I think whomever they're going to move has already been decided and the trade probably already set up. Just waiting for the lockout to end before it can be announced.

I think the order of likelihood of trade from highest to lowest is Rooker, Sano, Donaldson

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2 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The Twins should only trade expensive players if they plan to spend that money elsewhere and there's no indication they plan to do that given how they acquired zero good starters before the lockout.

And if they're not going to pay for pitching, they should go ahead and keep their good hitters in hopes they can slug their way to some victories.

This. I'm still bitter. 

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Sano is ecstatic about the NL DH. He’s essentially on a one year prove it deal. This is a huge year for his future prospects - he is highly motivated. If he is ever going to have a big year, this is it. Don’t see the Twins moving him.

Re JD, the new rule definitely increases his trade value. We could get more in players and/or salary relief.  All things being equal, I’d prefer a longer term solution of Story and Miranda at SS and 3B than a “take your pick of the other options within the organization none of which look good” and Donaldson.

So, if the payroll is important this year, trade JD and sign Story - it will cost about the same. 

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46 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

Just looking at available free agents Freeman, Bryant, Castellanos, Rizzo, Schwarber, Cruz and McCutchen all had better wOBA than Sano. Jorge Soler finished the season stronger with Atlanta than Sano did with the Twins. Mark Canha signed with an NL team for less than Sano already. Matt Olson is on the trade block.

Teams aren't signing Freeman, Bryant, or Rizzo to DH. And you're not trading what it'll cost to get Olson to move him to DH. Those are all guys with defensive value, Olson being possibly the best defensive 1B in baseball. So not sure how they fit into the conversation about the DH beyond teams moving their current 1B, or other position players in Bryant's case, to DH. But then the question is whether Sano is a better hitter than the guys Freeman, Bryant, Rizzo, or Olson would displace. 

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33 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

Just looking at available free agents Freeman, Bryant, Castellanos, Rizzo, Schwarber, Cruz and McCutchen all had better wOBA than Sano. Jorge Soler finished the season stronger with Atlanta than Sano did with the Twins. Mark Canha signed with an NL team for less than Sano already. Matt Olson is on the trade block.

You've listed 5 maybe 6. Freeman, Castellanos, Rizzo, Scharber, McCutchen that would be better cheaper. Mark Canha is on a similar contract to Sano with similar wOBA, it's debatable that he'd be either better or cheaper.

Kris Bryant as DH is preposterous and he's WAY more expensive than Sano. Signing Bryant and moving a 3B somewhere else would have happened regardless of DH rule and isn't impacted by the change or the DH market.

Cruz was more expensive than Sano when there wasn't a newly universal DH. 

If 8-10 teams are looking to fil DH, that leaves 2-5 as potential places to trade Sano. There's potential value to be received.

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I doubt many NL teams will reach to trade and bring in a DH.  I can bet just about every team has a guy they are fine with taking out of defense for offense and someone else taking his place.  I have long argued DH is not as easy as one would think, but at least going into next year most NL teams will be fine with just going with who they have.  

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3 minutes ago, Sconnie said:

Mark Canha is on a similar contract to Sano with similar wOBA, it's debatable that he'd be either better or cheaper.

If a team acquires one of those other bats that gives them the ability to move a lesser defender on their roster to DH. Out of the 15 NL teams 4-5 of them (Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Nationals) aren't even looking to compete in 2022 so they won't be adding expensive veterans. Another 3-6 will fill the job internally from the farm system or their current roster. 4-8 spots remaining and there are at least 6 free agents left never mind other trade options as good as Sano.

I still think the Twins would get a better return for Sano in July than they would in March. Their current contract commitments are low. They probably won't even spend the money that is currently left in the 2022 budget.

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3 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

If a team acquires one of those other bats that gives them the ability to move a lesser defender on their roster to DH. Out of the 15 NL teams 4-5 of them (Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Nationals) aren't even looking to compete in 2022 so they won't be adding expensive veterans. Another 3-6 will fill the job internally from the farm system or their current roster. 4-8 spots remaining and there are at least 6 free agents left never mind other trade options as good as Sano.

I still think the Twins would get a better return for Sano in July than they would in March. Their current contract commitments are low. They probably won't even spend the money that is currently left in the 2022 budget.

I think the struggle with this whole situation is that it's not just NL teams who are open to signing the guys you listed, or any FA or trade target. The rumors are it's the Yankees who were in the hottest pursuit of Freeman, and were looking at bringing Rizzo back if they didn't get Freeman. So there's one of the guys you listed that isn't filling any hole on an NL team. So even with 4-5 teams not trying, and 3-6 choosing to go internal (not sure which teams you think those are or how you came up with that guess, but it seems fair enough), there are still more than 4-8 spots open in the league and, again, if Sano is a better hitter than the lesser defender that one of those guys displace then he's an option to fill that DH spot.

I do agree the Twins probably get a better, or at least not lower, return for Sano if he has a good first half and a contender has a hole to fill. Also agree they don't need to create more 2022 budget space as I don't see many, if any, realistic FA or trade targets that are going to fill the budget to the point it's been the last couple years anyways.

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50 minutes ago, Trov said:

I doubt many NL teams will reach to trade and bring in a DH.  I can bet just about every team has a guy they are fine with taking out of defense for offense and someone else taking his place.  I have long argued DH is not as easy as one would think, but at least going into next year most NL teams will be fine with just going with who they have.  

I agree that DHing isn't for everyone and takes a specific type of player to fill it, but I'm not sure why you think NL teams wouldn't be looking to improve their team. There's certainly teams who will go "DH by committee," and teams who have a guy they'd like to try there, but an internal DH move means you're taking a guy who couldn't crack your top 8 and putting him in as your DH. For the most part if a guy is one of your top 8 hitters you find a spot on the field for him even if he's terrible on defense (see Castellanos, Nick). So then it comes down to whether a guy like JD or Sano brings more value than whoever their #9 guy may have been. I'd argue JD would be better than the #9 guy on any NL team so then it's just a matter of which teams could fit him in at 3B by already having a hole there or being able to move other guys around. I think you're underselling what another lineup spot means to NL teams.

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The only problem I have with trading Sano if he has a hot start is, why would you trade him if he has a hot start? We've waited 6 years for him to have a hot start. He may be a better DH than any other position, but we're not getting rid of the DH rule and we'll need a good slugger in the middle which I think he will be.

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3 minutes ago, gman said:

The only problem I have with trading Sano if he has a hot start is, why would you trade him if he has a hot start?

Because the current rotation looks terrible and the team will not be a contender. They also have plenty of roster depth for bats that can DH.

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52 minutes ago, Trov said:

I doubt many NL teams will reach to trade and bring in a DH.  I can bet just about every team has a guy they are fine with taking out of defense for offense and someone else taking his place.  I have long argued DH is not as easy as one would think, but at least going into next year most NL teams will be fine with just going with who they have.  

Indeed. In reality MLB created Designated Fielder (pitcher) as much as DH...flip side of the same coin. If we want to really think out of the box, why not to expand on that, and allow for an additional DF/DH in each lineup. Do we really need to see A Simmons take another at-bat? But he still has value at SS. Why not allow an additional roster spot, and have managers designate a fielding specialist for each game, at position of choice, and with that add one more DH to each line up? Better quality defense and offense results.

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1 hour ago, DJL44 said:

Because the current rotation looks terrible and the team will not be a contender. They also have plenty of roster depth for bats that can DH.

If the depth you are talking about is Rortvedt (Catcher), Gordon (middle fielder and should never DH), Lewis (in the minors), Celestiono (4th OF as of now), Larnach (Not sure where he even starts) and Rooker (DH), I would argue that isn't really any depth, let alone plenty.

Do people realize Rooker is only a year and half younger and has less than 2200 MLB at bats than Sano. At this point I don't give two rips about the Twins payroll, for the reasons others have said.

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