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Roundtable: How Do You Feel about the Twins Deadline Day Deals?


Seth Stohs
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I'm really very pleased with the team's moves at the deadline. I like prospects as much as anyone, and I love it when guys matriculate through the system to MLB (it's a personal preference that i enjoy getting to know a player as a player and see them and follow them as one of "our guys" for longer periods of time as opposed to churn and burn, especially at the MLB level). But we made what look like a lot of smart choices to fill immediate needs that also support the club's ambitions going forward as well, as if you're going to move prospects I'd much prefer they not be spent too much on pure rentals.

Regarding the guys being brought in, in order of least to most impact (IMHO):

Leon. as a backup catcher I don't see this as being a significant impact move and if Jeffers is ready to come back in a month he probably goes away, but as insurance against Jeffers not being ready to return, he's fine. We gave up little.

Fulmer. Haven't been impressed with him lately, but he's a reasonable set-up option who wasn't too expensive and we've had a lot of...volatility in the bullpen. If he can take Duffey's role, then it's a solid move, and again it didn't cost much

Lopez. I think this is going to pay off very well. He's a power arm that fills a major need and is under team control through 2024. Pairing him with Duran should help shorten up the end of games, and there's real reason to believe that his success this season is real and not fluky. (I expect some regression, because he's been so elite, but even then he's terrific) We gave up some talent to get him, but it doesn't feel like an overpay to me, especially considering all the variance with low minors pitching.

Mahle. A great acquisition that fits the rotation immediately and looks great for 2023 as well. We gave up significant assets for him, but he's a really significant asset all by himself, and I feel a lot better about a rotation that is headed by Gray, Mahle, & Ryan than trying to count on Bundy/Archer/Smeltzer/Sands/Winder to fill a 3rd slot, especially with Ober not returning soon. The 2023 rotation is already much stronger: Gray, Mahle, Ryan, Maeda and Sands/Smeltzer/Winder et al fighting for the 5th slot? Better.

Who we gave up: I like Hajjar & Povich as pitching prospects, but a lot of things can go wrong for guys between A-ball and MLB (hi, Jordan Balazovic). they've had good results so far, but if Big Ten pitchers can't come in and kick some butt against A-ball guys out the gate, then they're in real trouble from the jump. That's seniors vs sophomores stuff.

Cano is 28 and is so wild he couldn't consistently crack the twins bullpen this season, and his AAA results this year are likely SSS. The other two kids we gave up are lottery tickets.

We gave up surer things in Steer & CES, but we dealt from areas of depth there. Steer has faded a bit since coming up to AAA, and while I think he'll be a MLB contributor, it's more likely that he's going to be a useful utility bat then a quality starter, and was unlikely to find much opportunity in MN. He may have been our #6 prospect here, but I kind of feel like we sold high on him. CES is the one that hurts the most, because I think he might be a special hitter, but again: you have to give to get, and we got a known quality MLB starter in that package. CES is a pretty bad defender and seems destined for 1B, and while I think his bat will play there, it's also one of the easier positions to fill and you really need to hit there to be a success. I love his bat and the twins did a great job developing him, but we needed the pitching. Beyond that, we just added Brooks Lee as a guy who will likely jump in quickly, so again: we're dealing from strength here.

It's exciting that we addressed so many needs without eating up many of our top ten prospects. I feel like these deals show the depth of our system and how there might not have been a lot of difference between #6 and #16. We also showed that we can develop players who aren't first-round picks and turn them into quality prospects; that ability will be critical to maintaining a talent pipeline, but shows this regime is doing some good work in drafting. It is really odd how we stripped the 2021 draft for MLB players in trades, but also shows that maybe we drafted really well that year.

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48 minutes ago, MGM4706 said:

Truth is Twins got out manuvered by Seattle for the real prize (Castillo) who they got for very little.

Twins did not have the prospect capital Seattle had to complete that deal, They gave up multiple top 100 prospects+. They gave up a lot for him, It definitely was not being "out maneuvered"

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21 minutes ago, Jack Griffin said:

Twins did not have the prospect capital Seattle had to complete that deal, They gave up multiple top 100 prospects+. They gave up a lot for him, It definitely was not being "out maneuvered"

I agree.  The Twins definitely DID NOT get outmaneuvered by Seattle for Castillo.  Seattle gave up A LOT to get him.

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Can't wait to see Mahle pitch, but even if he's average, it's a great trade day. Solidifying the bullpen gives the Twins a chance to do a KC-like run, which featured a great pen backing up some average starters, plus a pretty good hitting lineup. Twins now have that strategy in place, which to me means they win the division and maybe even win a playoff series!

On the other hand, if Mahle turns into gold..!

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I really like what they did.  I love that it was not just one-year rentals (except Fulmer) but players we have controlled at least into next year.  Yeah, we paid more for them but the alternative for one-year rentals is to have to replace them in the off season and we have not been big players in the FA market.

I hope that they work to extend all three pitchers if they perform during the second half of the season.

I like the catcher move as we needed something to fill the gap for the short-term, although they do need to look harder at that position long-term.

This deadline was refreshing and kudos to the FO.  They really did the best that they could with what they had.  Now, let's go win the division.

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Good analysis, good comments: thanks. I agree that Baldelli isn't the best at handling his pitching staff, especially now that he no longer has a premier pitching coach for collaboration. Last night it made no sense to remove Ryan after five innings with his pitch count unless there's something wrong with Ryan, though maybe Baldelli  wanted to try out the new tools in his toolbox. The Guardians are only a game behind, and the Sox are still very much in the mix, so we'll see how it plays when the Twins play those two teams; so far, aren't they, like, 2-10? I expect the bullpen now to have a much better save percentage; without all the blown saves, the Twins would be running away with the division. As for the lost prospects, one never knows down the line how they'll perform for sure until they reach the bigs. The Twins have an opportunity now to get into the playoffs and win a series, however dim their chances to get past the Yanks or Astros, and the 40 man roster can only protect so many players when so many young prospects are now with the Twins and proving they belong.  So yeah, plaudits to the FO. They did what they had to do and what almost every Twins fan thought they had to do.

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1 hour ago, farmerguychris said:

Why do you wish the starters to go 6-7 innings when there is statistical data which shows that nearly every pitcher in the history of the game have worse stats when facing hitters for the third time in a day.  When our BP was awful, it made sense to consider pushing the starters longer, hoping they can be the exception to the 3rd time thru the order historical data.  However with an upgraded BP, we should be more confident playing the numbers and having them go thru twice and then turn it over.  Numbers don't lie.

To expect to use 4 relievers per game is foolish. That's how a bullpen gets burned out. A 1 or 2 slot pitcher should average around 6IP per start. There has to be games to let some guys have consecutive days off. The way Rocco manages they are averaging less than 5IP per start. The only way this is sustainable is to have a couple of good 2 inning relievers, which as things sit now I don't see.

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I'm changing my grade to A.

The Padres have traded 66 prospects in the last few years, and are projected to be the best NL team the rest of the year. That might not happen, of course, but they've put themselves in that position.

The twins didn't go that far, they still have nearly all their top prospects. But, they shored up their biggest weaknesses for this year and next, while giving up good, but not elite, prospects. It's hard to understand anyone not liking the base of players on this roster for this year and next. 

My impression of the FO definitely improved this week.

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2 minutes ago, Karbo said:

To expect to use 4 relievers per game is foolish. That's how a bullpen gets burned out. A 1 or 2 slot pitcher should average around 6IP per start. There has to be games to let some guys have consecutive days off. The way Rocco manages they are averaging less than 5IP per start. The only way this is sustainable is to have a couple of good 2 inning relievers, which as things sit now I don't see.

It would be cool if one thread on this site could not be about the manager and how he manages the pitchers. Just one thread. 

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1 hour ago, MGM4706 said:

Truth is Twins got out manuvered by Seattle for the real prize (Castillo) who they got for very little. But they at least salvaged something with the pen addition. Starter is another middle of the road guy. Until Twins change their thinking that an ACE is not needed they won't be able to compete with the Big Boys! No team has gone deep in the Playoffs without an Ace in 50 years. Let's start there! You have to Pay to Play! Twins won't so they are what they are .500++ And a One and done team if they make the playoffs. Just reality 

I don't know. Noelvi Marte was probably the highest rated prospect that got moved (can argue Hassell, but Gore and Abrams have graduated), and Edwin Arroyo is a top 100 guy too.

The similar deal from the Twins would have been Royce Lewis and Spencer Steer, and then SWR/Povich/Hajjar/etc... and another high-upside pitcher. Is that the deal you wanted to make, or is what they actually did way better than that? I'm the latter by a longshot.

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2 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

And yet, this thread isn't about that. Not even a little. 

Oh, I don't know.  We got 3 pitchers and a back up catcher on deadline day.  Basically, we are improved by the 3 pitchers, not the back up catcher, so it is natural to speculate how someone like Rocco, who is becoming notorious for his management of pitchers, will handle the new ones, and the only way one can do that is to review how he has handled others.  You could argue that is a part of this thread, at least a little, as anything else; not that I ever argue, mind you.  :)  

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2 hours ago, MGM4706 said:

Truth is Twins got out manuvered by Seattle for the real prize (Castillo) who they got for very little. But they at least salvaged something with the pen addition. Starter is another middle of the road guy. Until Twins change their thinking that an ACE is not needed they won't be able to compete with the Big Boys! No team has gone deep in the Playoffs without an Ace in 50 years. Let's start there! You have to Pay to Play! Twins won't so they are what they are .500++ And a One and done team if they make the playoffs. Just reality 

Got for very little? 2 top 50 prospects, and their #5 prospect?  Trust me,  it hurt Seattle to make this move - Twins couldn't come close to this.   I suspect this will change,  but a lot of people out here were not happy with the cost.   Again, Twins couldn't touch this offer. 

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They realized where the weaknesses were, and directly addressed them. I couldn’t realistically ask for more. I’d like to point out that the emergence of Miranda made a lot of this possible, It kept most of the 40-man intact.

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9 minutes ago, PNW twins said:

Got for very little? 2 top 50 prospects, and their #5 prospect?  Trust me,  it hurt Seattle to make this move - Twins couldn't come close to this.   I suspect this will change,  but a lot of people out here were not happy with the cost.   Again, Twins couldn't touch this offer. 

I distrust people who use the phrase, "trust me", but that doesn't mean you're not wrong.

The Twins would have had to start their offer with Miranda to match...and I'm already out. You could argue he is already the best hitter on the team. 

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I'm sorry Seth. I know you know and love the guys the Twins traded away, but objectively they likely gave away:

1 serviceable MLB regular who has an 8-10 year career with 10-12 WAR.

2-3 decent role players that last 5 years or less in the majors.

And the rest will never even make it, or get a cup of coffee at best.

None will be stars.

It's just the way prospects work. That is why, other than the cream of the crop, it's best to flip them once they raise their value. Most of those guys will never be worth more than they are right now. It was masterful.

And who knows. Maybe one of those guys turns into the jackpot winning Powerball ticket. That's a chance well worth taking.

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2 minutes ago, Minny505 said:

I distrust people who use the phrase, "trust me", but that doesn't mean you're not wrong.

The Twins would have had to start their offer with Miranda to match...and I'm already out. You could argue he is already the best hitter on the team. 

I only used "trust me" because I live out here and I listened to an interview with GM Dipoto and he used those exact words.  Hurt, but not regret.  When they finally make the playoffs after 21 years (longest streak in North American sports) I suspect most people will no longer care about the prospect haul.  

I'm with you on Miranda.

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1 hour ago, Mike Sixel said:

It would be cool if one thread on this site could not be about the manager and how he manages the pitchers. Just one thread. 

I want to clarify my 'haha' note to your comment, Mike.  I am not laughing sarcastically at what you said, rather smiling in support of your comment.

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Personally I am happy with the deals.  They brought in 2 controllable pitchers, a rental pen arm, and a backup catcher, all without giving up any "top" prospects that are near MLB ready.  Either Lopez or Mahle could be dealt before their contracts end if we wanted to, which would soften any lost prospects, or we use them all next year for another hopeful playoff run. 

Steer plays a position that is not a need for a couple of years, barring injuries of course, but there are others that can fill in.  The pitchers are all a couple of years from being ready, and we never know how would pan out, but we have a lot of depth in the lower minors that was going to get figured out at one point.  None of them are highly touted but doing well.  CES may be the biggest peice going out, but he is mainly a bat, and again at position not of major need right now.  I also have concerns his bat will not carry in the higher levels, which is why he is also not a top prospect because of fear his chase rate will get exploited as he faces better pitching. 

These are the types of deals I was hoping would be made.  Improve the team, but do not sell the farm or your future.  

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Anyone who has read my comments over the past however many years TD has been around knows that I believe every good minor league prospect is going to become a superstar.  I guess this began way back when I was writing about the minor leagues on John Bonnes' site, whatever that was called.   [Was it Twins Territory, John?]  So I have been in love with the Twins minor league system for at least 20 years.  

With these moves I want to proclaim that I have seen the light and now understand that minor league prospects can be used to improve a roster for that late season push.  I still believe it makes sense to hang onto those best prospects, guys like Royce Lewis, Miranda, AK and probably the top two from this year's draft.  My transition probably began when I understood the reasoning behind last spring's trade of Petty for Sonny Gray.  

This strategy makes more sense when trading good prospects like Steer and E-S, players blocked by young players getting it done for the big league team.  And I love finding those diamonds in the rough in rounds later than the first couple, guys like Steer that can be a major part of bringing in a valuable asset.   I am impressed, really impressed by the front office getting two key players who will be around for more than two months.  Fantastic move, guys.  Now let's get Mahle extended this winter and Lopez next winter.   

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2 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

It would be cool if one thread on this site could not be about the manager and how he manages the pitchers. Just one thread. 

Topic: "What to do with Sano"

First Reply: "Well if Rocco could put his spreadsheets down, and have pitchers go more than 1 inning, we wouldn't have to worry about this!"

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Like posted by others, the offense has been the most dissapointing and was not addressed at all at the deadline.   I just do not see this team going anywhere in the post season, even with these additions.   I also have zero confidence in Rocco's managing capabilities, particularly in pressure packed games.   He has tremendously benefited from the bat of Nelson Cruz up to this season and now the weakest division in baseball.

I am convinced the Christian Encarnacion-Strand is going to be an absolute stud.  We will see him in the HR derby for multiple years.  I like Mahle but he is not going to be a difference maker this year and we have control only for one more season.  I personally think the FO gave into the media and fan pressures with these moves.   

I do not mind the secondary trades nearly as much as those seem to be better deals.

Overall grade C-.     We needed a big bat and should not have traded CES.

 

 

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I really like what they did.  What frustrates me a little is that everyone not named Falvey thought the bullpen was going to be a problem.  I would have preferred they actually spend for a solid reliever instead of blowing 19 saves and then having to give up prospects to correct the problem.  

I like that they've set themselves up to have a solid starting rotation next year as well...Gray, Mahle, Maeda, Ryan, Winder, etc.

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All the pitchers are upgrades to what we had. It's about time. And I welcome them and could care less about the prospects traded. One year of a World Series is worth 20 of just competitive enough to get to the playoffs and lose a record setting 18 straight and counting. I hope that Lopez' one year of being desired after all the years of not keeps him at the high level. I hope that Mahle's expected stats start happening in reality instead of not. Buxton and his now healed hand should be happy that he doesn't have to step into the batter's box against Mahle's control. Fulmer seems to have found his niche, and with injuries behind him, hopefully he continues to get even better.

To call it a "great" haul...... well..... OK. Compared to meager past trade deadlines, it is remarkable. And we really needed the pitching and could use more. We have been conditioned to get nothing, or give up some of our favorite players for strangers and prospects that never pan out, so this seems like the cat's meow. 

Berrios was traded with the same control left that Mahle was traded for, and it was pitched and argued that it was a must to do so by so many to get value. So was Pressly. The Berrios haul has been so not helpful to the Twins, and have not even advanced a level in the minors yet. Does this mean the Mahle is now on the block for this off season?

This upcoming 5 games against the Blue Jays and Dodgers should be telling.

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