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Twins Trade Mitch Garver to Rangers for Shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa


My immediate impression is YES!!!!  We've got a solid fielding SS who is an OK hitter, and he will be able to fill the whole until the system can provide an upgrade.  Its too bad about Garver, but we saw last year that he is replaceable.

Please, let this be just the first of a flock of trades.  :)

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They traded Mitch Garver for a guy who's average defensively at SS and below average offensively. Rortvedt struggled mightily last year, and Jeffers wasn't great with the bat, even by catching standards. I wasn't sure there was a worse option than Simmons returning but this has me rethinking that stance...

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Looking at the pitching prospect they got was less than encouraging given he is 5'10".  However, the right up on him actually looks pretty decent.  I am a big Garv fan but if this works out to be a solid bridge to Lewis and they get a decent starting pitcher, sign me up.  They need sold D at SS more than they need Garver's bat.

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7 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

Looking at the pitching prospect they got was less than encouraging given he is 5'10".  However, the right up on him actually looks pretty decent...

Just read the Fangraphs writeup on Henriquez (which maybe is what you're referring to) and yeah, it's encouraging. They rank him between Canterino and SWR and say he could be a candidate for the rotation at some point in 2023.

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Hey,  we all loved the Garver story.  But we traded from a position of semi/strength to a position of dire need.  Garver has had his share of injuries and is not getting any younger so I think from a risk standpoint we come out ahead.  Also, since we have IKF for two years,  that should be plenty of time to see if our ss of the future is in the system.  If not, there is the possibility of extending him at his 29 year old season.  My opinion is that this was a well thought out option.  But I guess, only the future will tell if it was a good trade or not.

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This is a good trade for both teams.  The Twins get a SS who is excellent defensively and also has position flexibility as he is a Gold Glove third baseman and emergency catcher.  He has two years of control so the middle of the defense will be set with Jeffers, Polanco, KIner-Falefa, and Buxton.  As for adding a pitcher, I am inclined to think they are not done.  Also, there is some risk with Garver (I love the guy, and will miss him so not dumping on him) based on injuries, and the Twins need to give Jeffers the full time job as splitting it hindered his development.  Plus, the Twins get a decent prospect.  For the Rangers, they instantly improve their catching situation and add a bat to go with their recent additions.  They have enough shortstops for gosh sakes, and I am not sure Kiner-Falefa has enough bat to be a full time third baseman, so they are trading from an area of strength.  I would have made this trade if I was in the Twins FO, but as with all trades, it will take a couple of years to see if anyone "won" the trade.

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I'm very happy that they did something to cover that need at SS. IKF is one of the best options out there right now. I hate to see Garver go, would rather see them trade Jeffers instead, but our greater need is at SS. 

I'd rather have Rortvedt spend more time in AAA to better hone his hitting (I see him as the Twins near future premier catcher) hope they can bring in a Castro type to fill in this year.

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I am not sure what’s out there for SS besides Simmons, which didn’t pan out, but the bottom line is almost anything that keeps Polanco from SS is good. He had a nice year at second, I could see no upside in moving him back to SS. Maybe the real problem lies in the Twins long term inability to draft a legitimate SS. Almost all Twins SS draftee announcements come with the "but most scouts see him as a third baseman or CF" caveat. Add to this the logjam at first base and the fact that Sano has virtually no current trade value. You want to see pain and angst, wait till they start trying to trade for a SP!

 

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1 hour ago, darwin22 said:

...... As much as I liked (and still do) Garver, you can't ignore that FACT that he only played in 184 of 384 games (47.9%) over the last 3 seasons.  Knowing the propensity of Baldelli not to overwork his catchers, I see the FO bringing in a veteran free agent ( Stephen Vogt or Kurt Suzuki) to platoon with Jeffers as I don't believe Rortvedt's bat has proven he can regular ABs.

????

So we know management will only play the #1 catcher 60% of the time anyway. That would be a max of 230 games of the 384. He played in 184. So he missed 46 net, or only 20% of the games he would have been allowed to play in. I can't ignore that fact, either.

Jeffers had a Danny (Santana and Valencia) first partial year, and has bombed otherwise at the plate. And in AAA when demoted again last year. Rortvedt, in years, has not found an acceptable presense at the plate. Remember the preceived trading from strength of the centerfielders Span and Revere, and how that worked out? Fans and FO and even TD prospect predictions have always dissed Garver. And all he does is get better, and if injured, get healed and get back.

Behind the plate and at bat, Garver is the Rodney Dangerfield of Twins' catchers. He never gets the respect he deserves. There is a reason no one wanted Jeffers...... 

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At that Winter Meltdown, I challenged Garv to a game of darts. I fancy myself as a pretty good thrower of darts.

It was the fastest game of darts I've ever been a part of. He cleared the cricket board in like 5 rounds and as I stood there with my mouth open, he turns and says, "I hit spots for a living."

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I am with the ones who like the trade for many of reasons stated.  Good baseball trade for both teams.  Really like Kiner-Falefa's glove and speed.  Bonus, he can be the emergency 3rd catcher too.  Goodbye Turtle for sure.  I'm pretty confident that Jeffers and Rortvedt will be fine too.  I am thinking too that adding an excellent fielding SS won't hurt in trying to sign free agent pitchers.  Especially with SS being a black hole for coming season without trade.  Lastly, with coming rule change in 2023 limiting shifts middle infield defense with range becomes more important.

 

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It is always sad when we lose a player we are fond of.  Just read the post about the three wives, I guess they are gonna have to find a new third for their club.

Is this a good deal, time will tell.  But if they want to keep Polanco at second, as most here desire, they needed a shortstop.  Sounds like this guy has the glove and speed to be better than ok.  And catcher was a position of strength with Rortvedt being a great defensive guy who went thru his baptism at the big league level last summer and should be ready.  Will Jeffers hit well enough to be the main guy, don't know.

I guess the biggest question about this deal is, 1) what do we have for catching depth in the minors when one of the guys gets injured? and 2) will the pitcher develop into anything other than a prospect?  Look for them to sign some veteran free agent as either the back-up and keep Rortvedt at St. Paul, or for St. Paul as an injury replacement.

Most important, I am happy to see them do something.  Now on to tomorrow and that pitcher we all are waiting for.

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One of the worst trades I've ever seen. Isiah Kiner Falefa wasn't a starting shortstop in the Rangers' eyes. They doubled down on that by signing two shortstops to replace him. You're talking about trading Mitch Garver for a AAAA shortstop or a utility player and little better than a PTBNL pitching prospect. This makes Ramos for Capps look like an A+ trade

MLB has slotted Henriquez in as the 20th prospect in the Twins' system. Like WTF?

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38 minutes ago, Platoon said:

I am not sure what’s out there for SS besides Simmons, which didn’t pan out, but the bottom line is almost anything that keeps Polanco from SS is good. He had a nice year at second, I could see no upside in moving him back to SS. Maybe the real problem lies in the Twins long term inability to draft a legitimate SS. Almost all Twins SS draftee announcements come with the "but most scouts see him as a third baseman or CF" caveat. Add to this the logjam at first base and the fact that Sano has virtually no current trade value. You want to see pain and angst, wait till they start trying to trade for a SP!

 

Maybe stop taking bat first corner players in the early rounds? Or, trade some of those?

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I'm going to add my two cents.  Like a lot of you, I hate to lose Garver as well.  But this trade helps in several areas.  First, you've upgraded at SS from last year.  Second, you maintain a very high level at 2B (as opposed to running Arraez out there every day).  Third, you add speed, which this team has sorely lacked.  Fourth, you just got a lot younger.  Yes, the final tally on this trade will hinge in large part on how Jeffers and Rortvedt fair, but I've been beating the drum this offseason that 2022 should be a "Let's see what we have" season.  Let's give up the pipe dream that they will compete this year, but I'm ok with that.  Let's see 10-12 starts from guys like Duran, Winder, Balezovic, maybe even Canterino and Sands.  Lets see Jose Miranda for 300+ ABs.  It's not the same as a pennant chase, but 2022 can still be exciting at Target Field, watching these young guys break in. I agree with getting younger, faster and looking to 2023 as your next window to compete.  

 

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1 hour ago, wsnydes said:

They must be pretty confident that Jeffers will take off with regular playing time.

This seems like more of a "future" move rather than a "now" move, IMO.

I've mentioned this somewhere before but Jeffers did post an .800 OPS in June and July when given primary catching duties due to Garver's injury.  I'm not saying I really expect him to come that close to replacing Garver's bat, but I do think a lot of people have been overly down on his bat when he's been really hampered by being forced into a platoon disadvantage so much.

The main question really is whether they get enough value back for parting with Garver's bat.  I doubt Kiner Falefa will quite get there.  He does make pretty consistent contact, so maybe there is a chance that there is a tweak that allows him to get to some power and maybe 15-20 HR in a year.  His build doesn't suggest much more power, but he is still pretty young.  Most likely they will have to hope to get something out of Henriquez as well.

Of course Garver has a few question marks too.  He was probably going to be catching less with the Twins going forward, and is not guaranteed to be able to keep catching full time with some significant injury history now and the fact that he's already well past 30.  He'll be much more replaceable if he does end up at 1B/DH as much as at catcher in the future, and they still have plenty of guys vying for some time in those roles.

I don't love the trade, but I think it's defensible, and certainly there's a chance it works out great on the Twins side, maybe a better chance than it turning out really poorly actually.  We'll see.

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