Nate Palmer Twins Daily Contributor Posted December 24, 2022 Share Posted December 24, 2022 The Minnesota Twins could really use another impact bat in their lineup. While third base isn't the most obvious fit, there are options on the trade market that could fill that need for some offense. Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports The Minnesota Twins officially (again) lost Carlos Correa and one of their most impactful bats to the New York Mets. That still leaves the Twins with a huge void to fill in the middle of their lineup. It will be impossible to replace Correa truly, but there may be a path to replace some of his value by acquiring a few different third basemen that could be available via trade. Rafael Devers , Red Sox Stop me if you have heard this before. The Red Sox have an impact, all-star level player ready to hit free agency, and we aren’t sure if they will keep them in town on a new contract. We have seen the team in Boston dance this dance with both Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts , only to see one traded and the other walk. Should the Twins maybe try and benefit this time around? Rafael Devers has been an excellent hitting third baseman in the middle of Boston’s lineup and is in his last year of arbitration. This past season he hit .295/.358/.521, which was good for a 141 wRC+. Defensively he may not stay at third base long term as his defensive numbers are already looking a bit ugly, but that didn’t prevent him from putting up a 4.9 fWAR in 2022. While the last thing the Twins need is another left-handed bat, Devers is in that top tier where handedness matters little. He isn't as bothered by the platoon splits as he only drops to .272/.315/.424 and a .739 OPS when facing lefties. Devers power does drop but overall, but still continues to hold his own. The sticky part of a trade for Devers is that the acquiring team would want to be assured they could sign him to an extension. Maybe the Twins would be willing to put that Correa money toward the 26-year-old Devers. If so, a package around Jose Miranda could make sense for both sides, especially since the hope is that Miranda would turn into a right-handed hitting version of Devers, but isn’t that quite yet. Anthony Rendon , Los Angeles Angels Those who listen to Gleeman and the Geek will have heard the guys talk about the Twins going after “depressed assets.” Anthony Rendon very well could be the poster child of a depressed asset. Bad enough that the Trade Simulator gives Rendon a -132.3 value. By comparison, Trevor Story comes in at -37.4. Rendon has certainly earned that ranking entering the 4th year of his 7-year, $245 million contract. The past two seasons have seen Rendon’s offensive numbers dip dramatically. The one-time All-Star has only been slightly above replacement level in recent seasons. As his K-rate has gone up and walk-rate down, he only slashed .229/.326/.380 this past season. So why would the Twins want to gamble on an expensive, declining player? The conversation would start and end with the front offices' confidence in being able to bring Rendon back to his earlier career performances. He already has two things going for him versus the rest of the Twins roster: he is right-handed and hits left-handed pitching well. Last season he sported a .873 OPS when facing lefties. A mark that jumps to .900 over his whole career. A Rendon acquisition is an absolute gamble, but with Gio Urshela in the fold, the Angels may be willing to get rid of their third baseman. A move that would also clear the payroll in preparation to try and keep Shohei Ohtani . Eduardo Escobar , New York Mets In case you missed it earlier, the New York Mets just signed a $315 million third baseman. With that move, rumors are circulating that they may be willing to move the veteran infielder and old friend, Eduardo Escobar. Someone that Cody Christie also highlighted when exploring some former Twins the club could bring back. Escobar is the most likely out of this list the Twins could acquire and, unfortunately, the one that moves the needle the least. He would bring in another bat to mix into the lineup against left-handers. Eddie’s numbers against lefties in 2022 were .259/.299/.519 with a .817 OPS. and nine home runs. The tricky thing about Escobar is he is hardly a third baseman at this point in his career. He recorded a -11 DRS and a -7 OAA. So while he could play the position, he may be more of a bat at this point than carry any value as a fielder. Considering how bad the Twins were against left-handed pitching last season, he could still be a valuable addition to the team. View full article Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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