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Assessing the Twins Petty-for-Gray Trade


Twins Daily Contributor

After yesterday’s swap acquired a shortstop, the Minnesota Twins continued dealing and today nabbed their Opening Day starter. Sonny Gray comes from the Reds and immediately slots in as Minnesota’s best pitcher. It was again a two-for-one deal, and this one builds on the big league rotation.

There’s been no denying that the Twins needed significant help in the starting rotation. Dylan Bundy, Joe Ryan, and Bailey Ober are the only current locks, and two of those three have less than an entire season of Major League experience under their belt. Pitching will always come at a substantial cost, and we saw that here in Minnesota needing to part with the 2021 26th overall pick, Chase Petty.

Gray has become less of an extreme ground-ball-inducing pitcher than he was early in his career, but he continues to hover right around 50%. He gives up hard contact less than 30% of the time, and his whiff rates are workable. Gray now operates with an average fastball around 93 mph while mixing a slider and curveball.
 
After leaving the Yankees, Gray signed a four-year deal for $38 million with Cincinnati. He’s on the books for 2022 at $10.166 million and has a $12 million team option for 2023. The option is almost certain to be picked up, and he’d pair with Kenta Maeda to form a solid one-two punch once the former staff ace returns from injury.

Minnesota also grabbed Francis Peguero in the deal. He’s a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher outside of the Reds top 30 prospects. Peguero had been in their system since he was a teenager and made his stateside debut in 2018 at the age of 20. Last season, Peguero pitched at High-A Dayton and owned a 4.96 ERA. He’s worked 74 games for 103 innings and operated solely as a reliever. Looking at his track record, Peguero has some things Minnesota can work with. A high K/9 is paired with low home run and walk rates. Giving up contact too often has been troublesome, and he presents a project for the Twins development staff.
 
Chase Petty, last season’s 1st round pick for Minnesota, is going to the Reds. He’s a hard thrower and had arguably the best velocity of anyone in the 2021 draft. Debuting in the Florida Complex League, Petty got in just five innings following his prep season. Soon-to-be 19-years-old, Petty has a ton of development ahead of him. Refinement of pitches and continued command adjustments will always be part of the process when selecting a prep arm.

For Cincinnati, Petty’s path is not unlike one they may soon be cashing in on. Hunter Greene, taken in the same draft as Royce Lewis, had similar attributes when selected. Greene was praised for his triple-digit fastball, as was Petty, and there may be parallels in how their new prospect is brought along.
 
Knowing how barren the starting pitching market had gotten in free agency, it seemed inevitable Minnesota would acquire an arm via trade. Depth was a need in the rotation, but so too was a top-tier arm. Cautious in what to expect or maybe more, what needed to be given up, this seems like a significant win for Derek Falvey. Petty has a high ceiling, but there’s nothing more volatile than a prep arm. Getting a starter of Gray’s caliber for what likely amounts to two seasons and not dipping into other areas of the farm system is great negotiating.
 
The front office still has work to do, and there’s money to be spent, but this move should be seen as a significant come-up.

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I agree with this analysis. Petty is a fine prospect with a high ceiling, but has a fair amount of risk, and zero chance of debuting with the team before 2024 and more likely 2025. Gray is a good pitcher on a good contract who can come in immediately and be a strong rotation pitcher and the option for 2023 is a reasonable one for a quality starter. Adding the relief prospect is a nice bonus.

I think the Reds might have done better for Gray and are taking a big gamble on Petty. It's easier to make that gamble as a late first round draft pick; in this case they've given up a known quantity with significant value for a really big swing. From the Twins side, I like the fact that we gave up an A-ball pitcher with higher risk for a quality MLB pitcher instead of having to give up 1 (or 2) of our better pitching prospects that are closer to the majors (Winder, Canterino, Sands, Woods-Richardson, Duran, or Balazovic)

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I've always stated that this FO doesn't know how to a inniate a big smart trade. I now stand corrected. This is a fantastic trade that has really helped our hurting rotation, w/o giving up very much. Great job FO ! With this trade you have instilled in me, convidence in you. Keep going & keep up the good work. 

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Personally I like what Reds did in this deal  In Green and now Petty they are adding high velocity arms with solid secondary's that could be ace level pitcher's in the future.  I am a little surprised that they had to even throw in a no name relief pitcher to even this deal out but if I had to guess this is likely the best offer the Red's were going to get for Gray so if they needed a throw in they likely were happy to do so.  Gray looks like he could be in decline and this is likely the best time to trade him especially if Cincinnati is unlikely to compete the next few years.  If the Red's could've gotten a better deal they would have.

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I like the trade for both teams as each have different goals.  For the Reds they are looking to cut the budget and build for the future.  If Petty develops well, they will have he and Hunter Greene to anchor the rotation.  For the Twins, they receive a quality starter without giving up any of the top prospects close to breaking into the bigs.  Now I would like it more if they had signed Ray and then added Gray, but at least they are working to improve.  I find it interesting that the Twins received two young Dominican players as additions to these trades.  As the Twins really work the Dominican hard, I suspect they have been on these guys for awhile and saw something in each that they liked.  

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Nice Job again Front office.. my confidence continues to rise that we will be pretty good this year... still need one more solid pitcher... Calling Oakland.. What might you need for Manaea.... :) Could use a lefty in that rotation... or even Better Montas as an ace... but way more expensive... 

 

 

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I like Gray and adding him absolutely makes the team immediately better. And while it stinks to move someone as tantalizing and with such a high ceiling as Petty, history is pretty harsh on HS arms, even 1st rounders. On the surface, this is a good move.

My only issue is:

1] There were a handful of arms at least comparable in FA to be had for money only...albeit at a higher yearly than Gray...and no prospects had to be traded.

2] I wish they had done #1 and still made this trade. 

I'm sure they aren't done yet. The question is another trade or a FA? If they weren't going to drop $18-20M on anyone, I sure wish they had moved fast and hard on Kikuchi right after the lockout's end. Not yet 30yo, good velocity and stuff to work with, I think he might be a steal in 2022.

Looks like Pineda is the best remaining FA. Still seems like a natural fit. Another trade would cost more, but would probably provide a higher return as well.

I like the Gray trade and think it was smart. I just think it could have been part of something bigger. Much like signing a SS and either keeping Garver or using him as part of a different deal for pitching. Fine moves. It's just the amateur GM in me feels an opportunity for BIGGER may have slipped by.

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93ish. On the slide down. Definitely on the decline. And people are happy he is now our best pitcher. Normalized mediocrity and being touted as the anchor of the rotation. And it makes some fans happy. Mediocre starter and mediocre new shortstop. 

Another place holder. Pineda would be too, and still out of shape. Whoopee.

A fanbase totally programmed to accept less. 

Apparently, if high velocity is your calling card, it is a grate(rol) way to be traded by this FO. 

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Doc Bauer, I agree !  I think some GOOD opportunities were missed early but this trade for sonny Gray is excellent.  I'm sorry to see Petty go, but he's 4-5 years away and just look at the list of pitching prospects we have!  We can afford to package Arraez or Larnach with a young pitching prospect and maybe someone like Cavaco to make a big splash in a trade or just sign Big Mike and go to lunch.  I hope they aim high and skip lunch.  

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Nice deal. Our AA and AAA prospects were untouched, adding a solid starter plus another depth arm for the minors in exchange for a barely out of high school arm with a long ways to go. I like!

Now let's see a package put together for Montas or one of the Miami hurlers to complete the starting staff, and consider signing big Mike for the bullpen or a rotation safety net.

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Disagree with most of you. First they trade away what is arguably the best hitting catcher in the majors then acquire a pitcher who is in the decline of his career for a promising top draft pick. Both of these moves could have been avoided if they wouldn't value cash more than talent and sign top level Free Agents in the first place. You get better long-term and for longevity by hanging on to your top prospects, not trading them for 1 or 2 year fill-in fixes because you have mis-managed your major league roster and left your rotation bare. 

Should have kept Garver and brought up Martin to play SS. Kiner-Falefa will be marginally better than Simmons was and Martin will be left in AAA to rot for another season. Why are the Twins prospects so bad that they have to look elsewhere to fill the holes on the roster? If the up and coming pitchers in the minors are that bad they should have signed 2 good starters out of Free Agency and kept Petty for the future. 

 

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The biggest thing people are not thinking about is exactly how many top prospects never make it to the majors and if they do success is not guaranteed. 

Getting back a proven starter with a team friendly contract is the thing that all teams desire.

 

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22 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

Dude.  Did you just call Garver the best hitting catcher in the majors?  Lay off the crack pipe.

 

He said arguably....

 
AgwLYgPM_normal.jpg
 
Top MLB catchers in wOBA since 2019 (min 500 PA):
1. Will Smith
2. Mitch Garver
3. Yasmani Grandal
 
Garver isn't just a "good hitter," he's one of the biggest difference-making bats in the league."
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Reds lose this trade because 1) Petty is probably nothing, and 2) they won't use the money save well.

If the Reds do win the trade, then they win it BIG time, probably.  But assessing it in the now, as all trades need to be assessed (and assessing risk properly), it's a Twins win.

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Petty has enormous upside if he develops command and can avoid all arm problems. The best way to sustain excellence in baseball is to develop players, especially pitching. However, it is imperative that there are experienced pitchers on the staff to lead/help the prospects learn the skills needed for MLB. The Dodgers do this well. Cleveland also mixes in a few guys each year. The idea of just throwing the prospects out without any veterans to steady the course doesn't work. In the past five years the Twins have not developed any pitchers to move up the ladder. Berrios took his lumps earlier but was then traded. No use to complain about past problems but there are a ton of pitchers ready to be mixed in with vets. However, the Twins need two or three guys at the top. Gray is one and the cost was substantial. Now, the team needs at least one more, hopefully two. No, Pineda and Happ do not count as staff leaders. The team needs to shoot higher. There are bodies to trade. This is the way to set a path for Ober, Ryan, Balazovic, Winder, and others to succeed. 

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15 hours ago, h2oface said:

He said arguably....

Top MLB catchers in wOBA since 2019 (min 500 PA):
1. Will Smith
2. Mitch Garver
3. Yasmani Grandal
 
Garver isn't just a "good hitter," he's one of the biggest difference-making bats in the league.

ONE stat.  Arguably, if there were more you'd have presented them. P.s.  Make an argument that you'd rather have Garver than Smith or Grandal.

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2 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

ONE stat.  Arguably, if there were more you'd have presented them. P.s.  Make an argument that you'd rather have Garver than Smith or Grandal.

It was only worth one stat, and Nick Nelson had recently posted it, and was quick to add. Bad assumption. It still isn't worth it to me for you. We already had Garver. Argue with someone else if that is your thing. I just had rv78's back in defense of your incompletish quote and disparaging crack pipe comment.

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