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A Surprising Starter for the Twins to Target In Trade


Twins Daily Contributor

The Minnesota Twins will need to be buyers during this trade deadline season, and their chief concern comes on the mound. While there’s any number of names they could target, working with a contender may actually be an avenue as well. What if the San Diego Padres are willing to move Blake Snell?

 

San Diego acquired the former Cy Young Award winner from the Tampa Bay Rays in a 4-for-1 swap. Blake Snell has been with the Padres for two seasons now, but is a free agent after the 2023 campaign. While he wasn’t one of the 49 names previously discussed as a trade candidate, it’s becoming more evident that even a winner like San Diego may be open to moving him.

Dennis Lin covers the Padres for The Athletic and had this to say in his latest mailbag, “If the Padres trade a starting pitcher, they likely would prefer to move Blake Snell. He’s making $5 million more than Mike Clevinger, and unsurprisingly, the team has been frustrated with the left-hander’s lack of performance. It would be selling low on Snell, but the Padres want to clear payroll for other needs.”

After posting a 1.89 ERA with the Rays during his Cy Young season in 2018, he’s since failed to post an ERA below 3.00. With the Padres, Snell has made 36 starts and owns a 4.32 ERA. His ERA+ in that time sits at only 90. The good news is that Snell has continued to be a dominant strikeout arm, and he’s actually been better at limiting the longball. His 3.75 FIP also suggests that he’s also a bit better than the ERA picture paints.

San Diego has an embarrassment of riches on the mound right now, and that affords them the luxury of moving someone like Snell. While he’s not in a great place from a production standpoint, he’s still plenty capable of being a top-of-the-rotation arm. Mike Clevinger could be a name teams are interested in as well, but San Diego dumping Snell’s salary would be a benefit to a team dealing with Luxury Tax ramifications.

Looking at Snell’s advanced analytics and underlying numbers, much of what made him a Cy Young winner still remains. His hard hit rate hasn’t fluctuated, and he’s actually shaved roughly eight percent from his line drive rate. The velocity is as good as it’s ever been and his swing rates are also strong. By virtually all measurements, there’s no reason why Snell can’t contribute to a higher level than he has been.

Although San Diego would be selling low given the current performance, I’d imagine much of a return for Snell would be reflective of the money a team needs to take on. Under contract for $13.1 million this season, Snell is set to be paid $16.6 million next year. That’s a good amount of salary to take on in the middle of the season, and is also a motivating factor for him to be moved by the Padres. The more San Diego eats, the better their expected return should be. That works on the flip side too, however, in that an acquiring team like the Twins may need to give up considerably less if they take on the entirety of his bill.

The reality is that high-level starters are going to be highly-coveted on the trade market and there aren’t a ton of options to work with. Luis Castillo remains amazing for the Reds, but teammate Tyler Mahle is now on the injured list. Frankie Montas had a scare for Oakland, and his arm now has plenty of questions around it. Teams could dip down a level to the Pirates Jose Quintana, but the emergence of other options is beneficial.

The Twins dealt with San Diego prior to Opening Day this season when they acquired Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan for Taylor Rogers. Maybe the two front offices get together again and can work out another pact for a second starter.

What do you think? Would you be interested in the Twins adding Blake Snell? What level of a prospect are you comfortable giving up?

 


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"Baseball Trade Values"

Snell .70 value.

Duffey .60 value.

Salary dump for the Padres.  Inconsistent, but useful veteran bullpen arm sent and a happy reunion for Taylor Rogers with Duffey.

Twins get a SP with great stuff but inconsistent performance who auditions for next year's rotation as well.  

By picking up all of Snell's remaining salary Twins don't give up much.

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Could the Twins get by with an outfield prospect?  If we take on all of his salary maybe an outfield prospect 8 - 20 range and a pitching lottery ticket could get it done.  If we were really lucky they would take Jake Cave plus a better pitching prospect, but Contraous or maybe Wallner plus a little could get it done.  

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That’s a move to make if Snell could be the missing piece to a strong playoff run. But the team hasn’t shown they are poised to do that. BP is still a black hole. Also This would create a bottleneck in the rotation next year with Maeda, Ober, Ryan, Winder, Smeltzer, Sands, Paddock maybe and the minor leaguers they think are about ready. Also I don’t see them taking on $25 million in salary thru next year. Would definitely not include Waldner in any trade. 

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Snell is an interesting piece as his numbers have not been good since leaving Rays, but if his stuff is still the same it makes you wonder what is leading to it?  Is SD just that much worse on defense?  I mean the park is a pitcher park if I recall correctly.  I trust the FO if they think they can bring him back to his TB numbers, but he has not been great in SD.  He would very much be buy low guy, and could get really cheap if you want to take on all the money. 

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1 hour ago, Otaknam said:

That’s a move to make if Snell could be the missing piece to a strong playoff run. But the team hasn’t shown they are poised to do that. BP is still a black hole. Also This would create a bottleneck in the rotation next year with Maeda, Ober, Ryan, Winder, Smeltzer, Sands, Paddock maybe and the minor leaguers they think are about ready. Also I don’t see them taking on $25 million in salary thru next year. Would definitely not include Waldner in any trade. 

Paddack is out until at least June next year, and Sands should never pitch in an MLB game again, he's horrible.

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2 hours ago, RJA said:

I have not seen much of Snell during his time with the Padres.  If his velo is ok, and his stuff is on par with years past, I would sure take a close look.  In his recent games against the Giants and Dodgers, he looked great.

His stuff is still good. I don't really understand why his ERA is so high. Twins probably have a better defense than SD does. 

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1 hour ago, Otaknam said:

That’s a move to make if Snell could be the missing piece to a strong playoff run. But the team hasn’t shown they are poised to do that. BP is still a black hole. Also This would create a bottleneck in the rotation next year with Maeda, Ober, Ryan, Winder, Smeltzer, Sands, Paddock maybe and the minor leaguers they think are about ready. Also I don’t see them taking on $25 million in salary thru next year. Would definitely not include Waldner in any trade. 

I'd wager that Sands and Smeltzer won't be a factor in the 2023 rotation, at least to start the season. Sands has been bad the whole season and Smeltzer has really fallen off a cliff in recent starts

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Intersting thought... Pretty similar article written here a month ago ..  More of a deep dive on what a deal with the Padres could look like, using essentially the exact same logic and argument for acquiring Snell. 

I'll claim this this blog as well .. Unfortunately my previous account that went by the name of "Tim" wont login ;(

 

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2 hours ago, twinsfan02 said:

Paddack is out until at least June next year, and Sands should never pitch in an MLB game again, he's horrible.

I think Sands might be quite good in the bullpen if he gets that velocity boost the other starters-turned-relievers get.

I'm not sure what I think about Snell. I guess I'd take him if he replaces Bundy, but my preferred rotation once healthy includes Gray, Ryan, Ober and Winder. If he's bumping one of them instead of Bundy or Smeltzer, I'm not sure I'm interested. 

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2 hours ago, twinsfan02 said:

... Sands should never pitch in an MLB game again, he's horrible.

Never again huh?

Guess that means that the Twins REALLY got fleeced on some washed up reclamation project named... Nathan I think?  That guy was awful... ;) 

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3 hours ago, Otaknam said:

BP is still a black hole. Also This would create a bottleneck in the rotation next year with Maeda, Ober, Ryan, Winder, Smeltzer, Sands, Paddock maybe and the minor leaguers they think are about ready. 

Can never have to much starting pitching  , but yes the bullpen is the most obvious concern  ,,, we need quality  arms for bullpen ,,,

NO EXCEPTIONS  ...  

Have guts , be bold go for quality  FO ....

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45 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

I wonder what SD thinks of Cave. Would they be willing to take him in return for Snell or Clevinger? Cave and a low prospect? Lots of talk of them wanting to cut some salary midseason so I'd certainly call and see what they're looking for.

Beckham might be of value to a contender needing middle infield help. Cave/Beckham package for a good arm?

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I actually kinda like this idea. The 2023 payroll should be able to handle Snell without much difficulty. Take on the salary, give up nothing, might get a steal back. There is no losing on this one.

Just make sure to add a couple of RP as well. Can't get wrapped up in a potential steal and forget what needs done the most.

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44 minutes ago, MN_ExPat said:

Never again huh?

Guess that means that the Twins REALLY got fleeced on some washed up reclamation project named... Nathan I think?  That guy was awful... ;) 

I would pass on Snell, don't need another high pitch count lower innings type guy.

As for Nathan, when was he awful? His rookie year(Just two years into his pitching career) where is ERA was 4.18 in 90.1 innings (almost exactly the same innings,ERA and Age as Ober, I will give you Ober's secondary numbers were much better)? He wasn't good the next year (ERA - 5.21), and then didn't pitch in the majors again for two years, assuming he was terrible then? And age 28 he was good again and great for quite a while. Can we stop comparing possibly HOF players to Twins prospects, it isn't fair to either.

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Just now, TwinsDr2021 said:

I would pass on Snell, don't need another high pitch count lower innings type guy.

As for Nathan, when was he awful? His rookie year(Just two years into his pitching career) where is ERA was 4.18 in 90.1 innings (almost exactly the same innings,ERA and Age as Ober, I will give you Ober's secondary numbers were much better)? He wasn't good the next year (ERA - 5.21), and then didn't pitch in the majors again for two years, assuming he was terrible then? And age 28 he was good again and great for quite a while. Can we stop comparing possibly HOF players to Twins prospects, it isn't fair to either.

Pretty sure my comment was satire (at least I think it was, wait, where was I going with that.... OH! Look, a kitty!!)

image.png.d15c5cf865d4956f6c51b1f940b33dab.png

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I've never been impressed w/ Snell and have a bad taste from the last deal w/ SD. Let them find a different sucker. 

I'd be more interested w/ MIA. They are truly stacked w/ great pitching, but need help with their line up. I'm not sure if MIA has decided if they want to compete or not. Either way the Twins could figure out a trade, that could benifit both clubs.

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3 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

I've never been impressed w/ Snell and have a bad taste from the last deal w/ SD. Let them find a different sucker. 

I'd be more interested w/ MIA. They are truly stacked w/ great pitching, but need help with their line up. I'm not sure if MIA has decided if they want to compete or not. Either way the Twins could figure out a trade, that could benifit both clubs.

But... if the Twins could get Snell for a lottery pick and taking on the salary.  That's usually the type of chance you can take, especially for a former Cy Young winner.  Not saying the bullpen doesn't still need some reinforcing, but on the surface this might not be a bad deal for either team.

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Acquiring a starter can improve the bullpen when one of the starters becomes a long reliever. If they'd just plan on Archer or Bundy or Winder being a reliever that went once through a line up each time they were used as a reliever, that could be a HUGE boost to the bullpen! A starter used this way once every 3-4 days when you have a 6th or 7th starter? I don't know why teams aren't doing this with how our modern game is being managed...

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42 minutes ago, In My La Z boy said:

Beckham might be of value to a contender needing middle infield help. Cave/Beckham package for a good arm?

I don't think any team in baseball would pay anything more than cash considerations for AAAA players who are hitting well at AAA. Guys like that are a dime a dozen and are in the minors for good reasons.

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