In an interview with SiriusXM on Sunday, Minnesota Twins CBO Derek Falvey told Jon Morosi that trading a package of MLB players is ‘something we have talked about.’ With the news also breaking Sunday that Byron Buxton rejected the Twins’ long-term contract offer, the possibility that Minnesota engages in more extensive re-tooling seems to increase with each passing day.
Buxton seems increasingly likely to be dealt this off-season given his currently IL status. Outstanding lefty Taylor Rogers seems likely to be dealt in the landscape of a thin relief market. José Berríos, the club’s lone recent success story in developing starting pitching seems determined to test free agency and would fetch a steep trade price. Finally, there are the rentals, with Andrelton Simmons, Michael Pineda, and Hansel Robles all strong trade possibilities ahead of Friday’s deadline.
So what would a Twins ‘packaging’ of MLB players look like? What kind of return might they get?
Trade 1: Twins and Blue Jays
Jays Receive: RHP José Berríos and LHP Taylor Rogers
Twins Receive: SS Jordan Groshans (32), RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (68), MI Miguel Hiraldo
This is a certified blockbuster. It’s no secret the Jays are seeking pitching in a tight AL East and an extremely competitive AL Wild Card race. Losing Berríos and Rogers would sting, but the return is exciting. Groshans is the #32 prospect on baseball. Currently at AA, he has the tools to become a plus hitter with plus power. While the home run power hasn’t fully developed, Groshans is slugging .461 at AA in 2021. Standing at 6’3 with strong defensive instincts and an excellent arm, he may eventually be an MLB 3B.
Woods Richardson is the #68 prospect in baseball. 6’5 RHP a fastball which sits 91-95 mph, solid command, two decent breaking balls (a curve and a slider), and a changeup which is regarded as the best in the system. Richardson is thought to have a high floor for a prep pitching draftee and should develop into a number two or three starter.
Hiraldo is a 20-year-old MI, the number 17 prospect in the 17-18 international free agent class. Hiraldo has excellent bat speed which should develop into solid power. He has a strong throwing arm which allows him to play all infield positions. At worst, he should develop into a strong utility infielder.
Trade 2: Twins and Padres
Padres Receive: LHP Taylor Rogers and RHP Michael Pineda
Twins Receive: RHP Mason Thompson and RHP Steven Wilson
Beyond Tyler Duffey (assuming Rogers is traded) who do you feel confident about in the Twins bullpen in 2022? A second-half audition for the likes of Ian Hamilton, Jovani Moran, and Yennier Cano is surely around the corner. All that said, the Twins badly need bullpen reinforcements. In Rogers, the Padres get an outstanding back-end piece for their bullpen, and in Pineda, a starter who can offer them solid innings down the stretch.
Mason Thompson was the 85th overall pick in 2016 (Padres #10 prospect). His early pro career was marred by injuries. He was finally healthy for the first time during the Padres instructional camp in 2020. Standing at 6’7, Thompson possesses a 60 grade, upper 90s fastball, and a power slider, both of which are good enough to miss bats. Thompson was added to the Padres 40 man roster in November to not expose him to the Rule 5 Draft. He projects as a late-inning reliever.
Steven Wilson checks in as the Padres #16 prospect. Currently, at AAA, Wilson has a 2.03 ERA in limited 2021 action, with 23 Ks in just 13 innings. Wilson is another prototypical reliever with a power fastball/slider mix. Wilson needs to continue to refine his command, but profiles as a seventh-inning reliever at the MLB level.
Trade 3: Twins and Mets
Mets Receive: RHP José Berríos and SS Andrelton Simmons
Twins Receive: 3B Brett Baty (73), OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, and RHP J.T. Ginn
The Mets, for once, are in a strong position. With a four-game lead atop the NL East, they need to fortify their roster to make a strong post-season run. The Mets have been heavily linked with Berríos for some time. Their off-season blockbuster acquisition, Francisco Lindor, recently went on the IL with a grade 2 oblique strain. Adding Andrelton Simmons would provide meaningful defensive coverage for Lindor until he returns, and trim some 2020 payroll for the Twins.
The Mets have a strong farm system and are a suitable trade partner for the Twins. In Brett Baty, the Twins acquire the #73 overall prospect in baseball. Currently, at AA, Baty is sporting a .382 OBP in over 200 ABs at Binghamton. He is on his way. Baty has gap to gap power, including opposite-field home run power. Though not an outstanding defender, Baty has the defensive capability to stick at 3B at the MLB level.
Crow-Armstrong is the Mets #5 prospect and the 19th overall pick in 2020. His progress has been significantly hampered by a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Crow-Armstrong has plus speed and was rated as the best defender in the 2020 draft class. He has solid gap to gap power and a solid to strong hit tool. He profiles as a prototypical high average, high on-base leadoff hitter.
J.T. Ginn is the Mets #6 prospect, currently at A+. Ginn had Tommy John surgery as a Sophmore in college, dropping his draft stock slightly. Ginn has a fastball that sits 91-95 mph which tops out at 97. He also possesses a promising slider and changeup. In 44 innings pitched in 2021, Ginn has a 2.44 ERA and 41Ks, to go with a cool 0.92 WHIP. Ginn profiles as a mid-rotation starting pitcher if he continues to develop after his surgery.
Note: I considered Matt Allan for this trade. He recently had Tommy John surgery, making him a more murky trade asset.
Would you pull the trigger on any of these trades? Which Twins players do see as most likely to be packaged together in a potential trade?
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