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4 Starting Pitchers Available Before the Trade Deadline


Cody Christie
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Minnesota's starting pitching started the year strong, but some poor performances and injury concerns have raised questions about the rotation. Do the Twins need to look into available starting pitchers on the trade market?

Earlier this week, Peter Gammons checked in on starting pitchers from multiple non-contending teams, and these teams are open for business if the right offer is on the table. Some of these players will take quite the package to acquire, so let's analyze the players available for trade. 

RHP Luis Castillo
Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season

Minnesota traded for one of Cincinnati's starting pitchers this winter, but it would take more than one prospect to acquire Castillo. He is under team control through next season, but he has a small body of work in 2022. He didn't make his season debut until May 10 after dealing with shoulder soreness during spring training. Teams interested in trading for Castillo will want a good look at his medicals before dealing away multiple top prospects to acquire him. It seems more likely for him to be dealt at the deadline if he can prove he is healthy over the next three months. 

RHP Tyler Mahle
Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season

Mahle is another Reds pitcher with a chance to be dealt, but he is a name that hasn't been frequently mentioned in trade talks. Like Castillo, he is under team control through the end of next season. In 2022, Mahle has a 6.46 ERA with a 1.57 WHIP and 32 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. From 2020-21, he posted a 128 ERA+ while posting a 10.7 K/9. Some of his Statcast numbers point to him turning it around as his Chase Rate and Barrel% are in the 68th percentile or higher. Teams trading for Mahle are hoping to get the version of Mahle from the previous two seasons instead of the one so far in 2022. 

LHP David Price
Free Agent: Following the 2022 Season

Gammons mentioned the Dodgers are willing to trade Price so he can start for another club. He has been limited to one start and five appearances this season because he tested positive for COVID-19. Last season, Price made 39 appearances, but only 11 were in a starting role. Can a team still utilize him as a starter, or is the 36-year-old only a bullpen option? He is also making $32 million this season, but the Red Sox are on the hook for half of that total. Maybe he has something left in the tank that can help a contending team, but he hasn't made 30 starts or more since the 2018 season. 

RHP Frankie Montas
Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season

Where's Frankie? Well, he's still waiting for a team to rescue him from Oakland's pitching staff. Gammons heard the Athletics are waiting until closer to the deadline to deal Montas because they feel like it will result in a bidding war. Last season, he finished in the top-10 for the AL Cy Young, and he is off to a strong start so far in 2022. Minnesota had conversations with multiple teams this offseason about starting pitching, so the Twins and A's have likely discussed Montas. Out of the players on this list, he is performing well, which likely means it will take a decent trade package to acquire him. 

Do the Twins need to trade for one of these players? Which player stands out to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 


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While I understand the allure of wanting to trade for a SP with multiple years of team control, those pitchers are FAR more expensive than rentals. And with the way our pitching pipeline is starting to bear fruit, we aren't in a position right now where we need to divest significant prospect capital to get someone like Frankie or Castillo.

For the rest of this year, our starting staff includes Gray, Ryan, Ober, and Winder as the 4 guys we can "trust" with some inefficient Archer starts mixed in, Smeltzer spot starts, and hopefully as little of Bundy and his 88 MPH fastball as possible. Adding a 1-year rental like Price (who would almost certainly be affordable in terms of prospect capital) could really help bolster that group. 

We also have SWR, Canterino, Balazovic, Sands, and Varland knocking on the door ready to contribute. While they might not all be ready for 100 innings this year, I don't see any harm in calling up SWR or Balazovic in the next few months to see if they're capable of getting big league hitters out. Worst case scenario, they get lit up and we send them back down for some more "seasoning."

Also, it sounds like Maeda might be able to contribute in September, which would be huge in helping us watch the innings of some of these young arms. 

While Paddack is likely out for a large chunk of 2023 (if he needs Tommy John), our starting staff looks pretty full. Next year, our rotation already looks pretty full (Gray, Ryan, Maeda, Ober, Winder, SWR, and Balazovic for sure, with Canterino, Sands, and Henriquez working out of the bullpen). While no team can ever have too much starting pitching, it wouldn't be worth it to part with 2 of our top 10 prospects for 1.5 years of Frankie when our rotation already goes 7 deep notwithstanding any free agent additions or a Paddack return for 2023. 

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I am always willing to try a guy out if the price is right.  Not sure what any of these guys would cost the Twins prospects wise.  Montez I am worried about his home road splits.  He pitches much better in the pitcher park in Oakland than on the road.  That would worry me.  The other three have huge questions too.  I could see any of them not panning out.  

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I really like our rotation right now. In the beginning of the off season I wouldn't have signed Bundy and later I'd keep Rogers & not go  with Paddack. 

I wouldn't have gone through all that riga ma role of trading Garver/ Rortvedt and unload Donaldson for Urshela & Sanchez. I suggested a  Donaldson for Price (he's a great guy to have in the club house) trade instead

I'd like the other 3,  depending on the conditions of our rotation coming into the deadline, I'd be open to trade for one these guys. Montas would be my 1st choice because he'd be the easiest to extend, all of them would be expensive but I'd say Montas would be the cheapest. Depending on who they'd want in young players and prospects, we could afford it.

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No thank you on Price (hello Steve Carlton?) But I would be talking to Oakland daily as the price tag will only increase in the days to come. Plant Frankie in the mix with Ryan and Gray (and perhaps Ober) your chances of getting to October increase and that's not an embarrassing rollout of starters once you get there. I guess after the Houston debacle they have to be wondering if a window is truly open.

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Montas is the only one pitching well enough right now to push aside players we already have. And we have more coming. Coughing up prospects for mediocre pitchers doesn't make sense unless the Reds want Bundy, Thielbar, and Vallimont for Castillo. 

Depending on whether we can get healthy again, there still remain a lot more questions with the offense. (Will our catchers hit much? Can we keep a healthy hitting LF? Will Max sustain his recent revival? Can Byron stay healthy? What happens at first if Miranda doesn't start hitting? Can we clone Urshela's defense and graft it onto Arraez, or if Lewis keeps mashing, does he combine bat and glove at 3B? Do we play Sano in RF again?)

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23 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

I cannot get excited about any of these pitchers.  Promote, don't lose the prospects. 

I agree at this point. Let’s get close to the deadline and see where we stand. Maybe at that point a rental will become available at less prospect cost. Maybe Canterino or Balazovic are ready. Maybe they somehow stay healthy. Maybe either Archer or Bundy is pitching really well.

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6 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

I really like our rotation right now. In the beginning of the off season I wouldn't have signed Bundy and later I'd keep Rogers & not go  with Paddack. 

I wouldn't have gone through all that riga ma role of trading Garver/ Rortvedt and unload Donaldson for Urshela & Sanchez. I suggested a  Donaldson for Price (he's a great guy to have in the club house) trade instead

I'd like the other 3,  depending on the conditions of our rotation coming into the deadline, I'd be open to trade for one these guys. Montas would be my 1st choice because he'd be the easiest to extend, all of them would be expensive but I'd say Montas would be the cheapest. Depending on who they'd want in young players and prospects, we could afford it.

Suggesting Donaldson for Price only works if the Dodgers are interested in such.  Guessing they'd not have been.

 

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Why suggest trading a player we no longer have, I.e. Donaldson for Price. Montas would be the best SP on the Twins staff so that would make sense. But I’m encouraged by the pitching pipeline and would only make that trade if I the team looks like a serious candidate  to win it all. Without a real Verlander type ace and a reliable closer I don’t see that happening this year. 

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I'm not advocating for a trade but I think Mahle or Castillo would have better moral and pitch better on a winning team  , no price please , 

Frankie montas is keeping his stock high ..... 

There are not many aces , studs or bulldogs out there anymore that pitch alot of innings and face the lineup 3 times or more , that would be my choice if we are to contend in October 

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