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  • Ranking the Top 5 Twins by Trade Value

    Cooper Carlson

    Happy May, I guess it's already time to talk about trades. Who on the Twins major league roster has the most trade value? Come find out who I ranked 1-5.

    Image courtesy of Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    It's the middle of May and I'm writing about which key players hold the most trade value. I think something may have gone wrong recently...

    This isn't necessarily who could or will get traded (Cody Christie did a piece on that recently) but instead who holds the most value. For a team looking at the Twins, which players would help or be the most impactful? Sure, J.A. Happ is likely to be dealt but he sure isn't in the top five for most value. For this exercise we're going to exclude rookies such as Alex Kirilloff or Trevor Larnach because they will be on this team for years to come. Let's get right into it.

    5. Jorge Polanco, 2B/SS

    • Under team control through 2025
    • Stats since 2019: 241 G, .281/.340/.447 (.787), 109 wRC+, 5.5 WAR
    • Projected 2 year WAR (2022-23): 5.1

    I debated with myself for who should get this number five spot for quite a while. Other candidates included Max Kepler and Nelson Cruz but ultimately I decided on Polanco. He is a second baseman now who can still play a capable shortstop and he is back to being an above average major league hitter after a rough 2020. Kepler has not done that and Cruz is older than time itself. Polanco projects to be a top 3 hitter on this current Twins roster for the next two seasons and his recent bounce back has helped him reach this spot on my rankings. The four years of control after this season certainly help a lot.

    4. Byron Buxton, CF

    • Under team control through 2022
    • Stats since 2019: 140 G, .280/.319/.578 (.897), 135 wRC+, 6.3 WAR
    • Projected 2 year WAR: 4.4

    Placing Buxton on this list is extremely difficult. When healthy, he is potentially a top five player in baseball. When healthy. If you look at the games played, he has played 100 less than Polanco since 2019 and over 100 games just once since his career began in 2015. Buxton is just bitten by injury every single season no matter what he does. He's tried crashing into the wall less, changing how he runs, how he slides, and nothing seems to work. As I write this, he is sideline for at least another month after getting hurt running to first base. Despite all that, he is a phenomenal player. If he could play even 130 games this season he would be a top 10 MVP candidate without a doubt. Maybe some team wants to gamble on the health and the Twins could get a ton back.

    3. Kenta Maeda, SP

    • Under team control through 2023
    • Stats since 2019: 254 IP, 3.83 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 1.04 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, 4.5 WAR
    • Projected 2 year WAR: 4.3
    • Maybe I'll get some heat for not having Maeda at two or one because of his contract ($3 million over the next two seasons) but his start to this season has been very discouraging. I know, small sample size bla bla bla but Maeda is now 33 years old and basically just an above average starter if you exclude 2020. Number three on this list is still very good and Maeda would be an excellent acquisition for anyone because even if he doesn't pan out, that's just $3 million. There is almost no way Maeda doesn't provide $3 million worth of value until his current contract is up and that dollar figure only goes up if he is pitching well.

    2. Jose Berrios, SP

    • Under team control through 2022
    • Stats since 2019: 302 IP, 3.73 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, 6.2 WAR
    • Projected 2 year WAR: 6.8

    It took me a while to decide between Berrios and Maeda for who gets this spot, but ultimately projections, potential and age won me over. Berrios has the potential to be an ace (I know, we've been saying this forever) and any team would love that on their starting staff. He is just entering his prime at 26 years old and still has a year of control under his belt. The Twins could get a huge haul for Berrios who right now is an excellent number two starter with the potential to be one of the best in baseball. This might be the time for the Twins to trade him if they want to get the best return possible.

    1. Luis Arraez, UTIL

    • Under team control through 2025
    • Stats since 2019: .322/..387/.415 (.803), 120 wRC+, 3.7 WAR
    • Projected 2 year WAR: 6.3

    Number one on my list is the 24 year old .300 average .800 OPS hitter that can play pretty much wherever you need him too. Oh, he's also under team control for the next four seasons after 2021. Fangraphs loves him, projecting him to be the Twins best hitter on the current roster over the next two seasons and I can't blame them. All Arraez has done since arriving to the majors is hit successfully and has solidified himself as one of the only trustworthy hitters day in and day out. His technique and hitting ability allows him to remain consistent all year without many big slumps and his ceiling is winning the batting title in any given season. I love Arraez and despite barely getting started in the majors he seems to be almost a guaranteed .300 hitter every season.

    What did you think of these rankings? I can't lie, they were extremely hard to order but I at least think I got the five players right. You can switch up the order however you want but after these five the value starts to drop off pretty dramatically not counting the rookies. I'm not sure any of these guys get traded, and that's probably for the best if the Twins want to compete next season.

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    I love watching Arraez hit righties but he’s only the number 1 valuable trade asset right now because of team control. I doubt he’d bring back as much as many think he would.  While he plays a lot of positions he doesn’t play any overly well, he’s basically unplayable vs lefties. Idk why twins writers overvalue him so much.

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    Twins should be moving towards becoming a younger team.  Barring a massive winning streak that puts them in contention, The Twins should look to trading Maeda, Cruz, and Donaldson.   They should see what they can get for players they could lose after 2022 (Buxton, Berrios).   They can look to make a change of scenery trade for players who are underproducing here (Sano, Kepler ...). and with the other club in the trade.  

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    Twins don't have much trade value.  Twins put Cave on 60 day dl today.  Sorry about his injury but he wouldn't even be on most MLB rosters.now all we will be hearing from Twins people is conveniently whining about the injuries as a way to explain their lot play.  But check it out.  The Twins were rotten when Kiriloff Buxton and cave in there anyway.  They should plan every year for Buxton to be out 1 to 2 months.  

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    Strongly, strongly disagree with these rankings. I’ve actually put together my own rankings in the blog section, ranking the top 20 Twins. Arraez is not even a top 3 player in terms of value. He doesn’t have a defensive position (that he’s good at), which makes him a DH with no power. He’s much more valuable on the twins than any trade will return. The rest of the list is fine, but buxton should be higher. He’s hurt, but an MVP candidate when healthy. And that’s backed up by real numbers, not just some rhetoric I’ve made up. I also think Rogers and Cruz are more valuable than Polo, unless he stays hot on this little streak he’s on, which is certainly possible. It is worth noting that the advanced defensive metrics aren’t fans of his at 2nd base. 

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    Hard to say but right now it depends on what teams would be looking for. Look, we are only less than 2 months from being a division winner. Are you going to break up the team? And we are only 8 games out of a wild card though we have to pass too many teams to get there. I would say that Kepler (to the Yankees or Mets), Rogers and Donaldson and Cruz are the ones with the highest value who are likely to get traded and would bring back decent returns. You could even throw Colume in the mix since he has experience as a closer. But I'm not quite ready to break up the team looking at next year.

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