Cody Pirkl Twins Daily Contributor Posted December 30, 2022 Share Posted December 30, 2022 The shelves in Oakland are bare as the A’s continue to gut their roster. One key piece remains however, and if Billy Beane and company are looking to shed even more payroll, the Twins should be on the phone. Image courtesy of © Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports Ramon Laureano was once a huge name on the trade market before failing a PED test and having a down season in 2022. Still, at 28 years old the talented outfielder has a lot to offer a team that’s trying to contend. Laureano’s peak season came in the juiced ball season of 2019 when he posted a 127 wRC+ and was a 4+ win player. Though failing to match that level of output since, Laureano has been an above average hitter in two of three seasons. His defensive value has taken a bit of a hit, though his outfield jump and arm remain at near elite levels. His days as an everyday centerfield may be behind him, but his four defensive runs saved in right field in 2022 show that he can still be a plus defender in the corner with the ability to slide over in a pinch. Laureano isn’t an elite hitter, but he’s a solid one. His best tool is typically his barrel rate and the right-handed hitter is fantastic against left-handed pitching, slashing .268/.346/.444 against southpaws in his career. Despite a disappointing .663 OPS in 2022, Laureano still carries a .768 OPS in his career. It’s hard to imagine he’s done producing at his age. Ramon Laureano is a fiery player and would provide the Twins with a superior and more versatile right-handed option in the outfield than someone like Kyle Garlick. With news that Joey Gallo will be moving around, sometimes to DH and even in the infield, there should be plenty of at bats to go around in the outfield rotation if the Twins want to consolidate their depth. In regards to cost, the Twins would be buying low on Laureano who was a slightly below average hitter in 2022 and proved that his days as an everyday centerfielder are likely finished. Still, a rebound to some degree is probably in the cards, and him being a plus defender in a corner is likely with his raw skills. He won’t cost as much as he once would have, but given his team control through 2025, he’ll still cost a fair bit. Looking at recent trades the A’s have spun for players such as Sean Murphy and Frankie Montas, they seem to favor quantity on the return to quality. Given their inability to fetch top tier prospects for either of these two, the Twins farm system may be a good match considering we’d prefer to hang onto players at the top of our rankings. It’s entirely likely that prospects such as Austin Martin are options as part of the package. Even someone like Gilberto Celestino could make up a portion of a trade given the disappointing debut of Christin Pache in 2022. It’s hard to say what Oakland would be interested in, though it’s safe to say they’re willing to unload Laureano’s increasing arbitration money, and it’s unlikely his cost would cripple the Twins farm system. Adding another dependable outfielder could also open up players such as Matt Wallner or Trevor Larnach for trade packages to acquire further talent if the Twins chose to go that route. While it seems like they have the outfield squared away, Laureano could shake things up and open up an entire world of possibilities. It’s sounded like the Twins are focused on the position player side in trade talks. They should be, assuming Carlos Correa works out a deal elsewhere. Laureano would be the solid right-handed outfield bat it was long expected they’d be pursuing. It may finally be time for the Twins to get involved in the gross teardown in Oakland by prying their final asset away, View full article Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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