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  • Four Players the Twins Could Trade This Winter


    Cody Christie

    Minnesota’s trade deadline was certainly memorable, but multiple veteran players stayed with the organization. Here are four players the Twins could look to trade this winter. Should they?

    Image courtesy of © Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Taylor Rogers

    It seemed like a certainty for a Taylor Rogers trade to occur before the deadline, but his recent finger injury made it tougher to swing a deal. He is still under team control for 2021, and there isn’t a guarantee the Twins will be in the race next season. On the most recent episode of Gleeman and the Geek, Aaron Gleeman mentioned that multiple teams were interested in adding Rogers even with his injury. Relievers, especially late-inning options, are a valuable commodity, and Rogers seems like one of the most likely candidates to be dealt in the off-season.

    Byron Buxton

    Like Rogers, Byron Buxton trade rumors were swirling in the days leading up to the deadline. There are some similarities between the two players because they were both on the IL, and have one more year of team control. Minnesota made multiple contract offers to Buxton in the weeks before the deadline, but Buxton’s rejection of those offers means his name will be out there this winter. Nothing stops the Twins from revisiting a contract extension before other teams are offered him in a trade. That being said, a player with Buxton’s ceiling has the potential to draw trade interest even on an expiring contract. 

    Josh Donaldson

    Donaldson is a little trickier proposition when looking at potential trades because the Twins would need to pay down part of his contract to find a partner. By multiple metrics, Donaldson is having a solid season for the Twins as he has posted a 133 OPS+ for the second consecutive year. Health questions are part of the Donaldson equation, but he is on pace to play over 120 games for only the second time since 2016. It will take the right kind of team to get a Donaldson trade done, but more teams might be interested in him if he finishes the season healthy. 

    Max Kepler

    While the names above might be obvious, Kepler has the potential to be one of the organization’s most valuable trade assets. He is under team control through 2024, and the maximum he can earn is $25.3 million. As Twins fans know, it’s a very team-friendly deal, which might make other teams interested in adding him. He has value because he produces consistent numbers while also providing some defensive flexibility. Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff’s emergence in the outfield make Kepler more expendable. Trading teams looking for a left-handed bat with multiple years of team control may be willing to part with the right package. 

    Which player do you think is most likely to be dealt? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    I don't know what to do with Rogers but you would likely be selling low with him coming off of injury so probably better off keeping him at least until the deadline next year.

    If the Twins really do want to compete next year they should try to come to a better compromise on the incentives ceiling for Buxton.  He could be a big part of this teams success if they can get him signed.  He is the only true 5 tool player they have if he can stay healthy.

    I can go either way with Donaldson but if the Twins are putting in money to get rid of him I think they should keep him.  He is one of the few players on this team with an 800 OPS and even if he does get injured for long periods of time the Twins have Miranda to fill in as needed.  If someone took on his contract and the Twins invested all that money into a top tier shortstop then that is a trade I could get on board with.

    Until we better understand our outfield situation I can't see trading Max.  I have hyped him on potential since 2019 and he hasn't quite gotten there yet but with Kirilloff likely at 1st base and Larnach not the greatest right fielder it seems a bit early\premature to start talking about trading Max.  

    I think the Twins keep all those guys next year and hopefully they invest what money they have into pitching.  2022 looks like a wild card year right now with the pitching so up in the air but I don't think I would trade any of these guys if they truly want to compete next year.

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    I would also put Miguel Sano into the mix, if he can get his average up and approach the 25-homer mark.

     

    But who do the Twins have to replace. Well, with Rogers, anyone they could BUY as a closer. There seems to be some left-handed ams in the minors on the cusp, and we can still drag out Columbe and Thielbar for another season...I guess.

     

    Miranda will be added to the 40-man. The question is more if he will come up in September and get some exposure, Thus do you go with Donaldson and hope he IS tradable next trade deadline.

     

    Getting rid of two outfielders. I would rather see Kirilloff at first base, thus keeping Kepler and his contract, still, in Minnesota. I think the Twins will play out half-the-season with Buxton, unless he does return for 25-30 games and really rakes. We need value for him. I would rather see him help us in center and play for his free agent contract with all his abilities in 2022 and just give him a qualifying offer and get a top signing...or trade at mid-season.

     

    I see the Twins sticking with Rooker and Garver as possible DH candidates, also capable of playing first, which means the Twins will have another catcher on the roster besides Jeffers.

     

    September is important. Do the Twins look at anyone and everyone they can fit into the current 40-man musical chairs, or not.

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    Let’s claim we are competing in 2022. As said by twins brass. If that is to happen and we’re not looking at 2025 we need to not trade anyone. We resign almost everyone and bring in one of Stroman, Rodriguez. We also bring in one of Kershaw, Scherzer. Now we’re not looking for these guys to bring in cy young potential but cy young/winning/competitor pedigree( Nelson Cruz a few years ago). In fill the bullpen with your young guns. Guys with stuff and something to prove. Enough of Derek law, Derek coulombe, Luke Ferrell, Shaun Anderson. We don’t want these guys anymore. Give Rocco a veteran/ old school baseball mind bench coach. Not a Derek law Shaun Anderson equivalent bench coach.build a team to be hard nosed and compete on the field. Not on a piece of paper. Then, see what happens! We’re the underdog again. Surprise someone again!

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    Seems like Buxton is the only player listed that is likely to have a significant market this winter, if he comes back healthy and avoids the IL the rest of the year.
     

    Donaldson and Kepler apparently didn’t generate a lot of interest at the trade deadline and Rogers may be done for the year. All seem like better candidates to keep around in an effort to either remain competitive or rebuild value for trades next summer. 
     

    It feels like they should make another push to extend Buxton. He’s probably the only potential superstar in the entire organization at this point. That being said, If they can’t work out a deal they should  absolutely pursue a trade in the winter. Hate to be cynical but if he’s not under contract I wouldn’t want him in the opening day roster, too much risk of another lengthy injury and losing him for nothing or close to it. 
     

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    I see no reason to trade out all these players turning 2022 and maybe 2023 into years to bring along the slew of prospects the Twins receive by moving these proven MLB players.

    The success rate of prospects is unknown to me, but through my own observation through the years it doesn't seem all that high.

     

    Proving you belong, can stay and thrive in MLB is a multi-variable deal with lots of snares that end careers.

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    Cody, you are a busy poster. I appreciate your ideas but you have taken the Twins down to a $30-50 million payroll and I'm not convinced that anyone will give up top ten talent for these four. 

    Perhaps a dose of positive thinking keeps Buxton, Donaldson, and Rogers. I'm wondering if the Marlins might find Kepler an interesting add, if we also suggest Arraez, Garver, and maybe Dobnak for Sandy Alcantara and Max Meyer. 

    What I do agree with is the idea that the Twins need to be active this coming offseason. 

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    Agree with the popular sentiment. Trading all the players listed above would be tantamount to a complete rebuild fire sale. Polanco and Garver would absolutely have to go as well as the list above.

    Each player needs to be evaluated on their own as contracts needs are determined and offers for players are reviewed. The Twins have virtually nothing solid behind the players mentioned above.

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    54 minutes ago, Craig Arko said:

    I feel as though I logged into White Sox Daily by mistake.

    It’s actually Twins Minor League Daily. The major league team has been dismissed until 2024 around here lately. 

    Aaron Gleeman tweeted tonight the Twins are 3-43 allowing more than 5 runs, 42-20 allowing less than 5 runs. Dismantling the offense doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to me. 

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    Before trading Buxton the Twins should negotiate in good faith with him over the winter. Hell put him LF before he can prove he can stop hitting in walls full speed. He finally proved himself at the plate this year! 

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    They can't trade Buxton and they shouldn't trade Donaldson. I'd listen on offers for the other two. I think we have enough corner depth to trade Kepler if it improves our pitching for 2022 and beyond. Rogers is greatly overrated and we should trade him ASAP.

    I think we have enough offensive pieces to have a good offense next year but the pitching staff is a disaster. They need to figure out something and if that means parting with Kepler, fine.

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    16 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

    It’s actually Twins Minor League Daily. The major league team has been dismissed until 2024 around here lately. 

    Aaron Gleeman tweeted tonight the Twins are 3-43 allowing more than 5 runs, 42-20 allowing less than 5 runs. Dismantling the offense doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to me. 

    What about when they allow exactly 5 runs? 5 must be included in one of those groups.

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    All 4 guys are not contributing much now. Losing all 4 wouldn't make much difference right now. You might get a good return for Buck. A small return for Rogers and Kepler and you'd lose dollars trading Donaldson. If Buck doesn't want to stay, which it clearly looks like, then you have to go the same route with him as you did with Berrios. Keeping players that don't want to be part of the team don't help team chemistry. They need to go. I'm all for a youth movement. It's been 30 years since the last Championship and the current veterans on the field now will never get there without a major influx of talent. 

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    Most of this makes no sense IMO, unless they don't plan to ever really compete again. (because thinking 24/25 is the next window is too far away for fans and in baseball)

    So they trade Rogers and spend the money they save on lesser pitchers?

    Trade Donaldson with the only back up plan at third is a prospect with a career .771 OPS (he has been hot this year and I HOPE that continues) or Arraez who would be out of position, and opening up another hole that Arraez filled.

    Trade Buxton at lowest of low values, with no back up plan for a replacement.

    Kepler -"Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff’s emergence in the outfield make Kepler more expendable. "

    Is this really true have Larnach and Kirilloff did so much this year that they make Kepler expendable?

    The idea of going into next year with a lineup of Sano, Polanco, Arraez, Miranda, Jeffers, Larnach, Kirilloff, and Gordon/Celestino and 10 rookies pitchers does nothing for me.  Plus if you are going to do this why would you go out and sign top end starters or why would they sign here?

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    Seems like an extreme reaction to losing one player (Berrios) who was under team control next year.  We need to resign Buxton.  There are a half dozen prospects in the system that could become as good as Berrios.  It's also possible Berrios could be replaced by a free agent.  There might be one (Martin) that could become as impactful as Buxton and that's a big if.

    The guy I could see being traded is Arreaz.  He is one of my favorite players but Miranda is an ideal replacement.  He would get time at 3B/2B/1B/DH.  We would be positioned to move Donaldson if Miranda continues to mash at he MLB level. 

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    9 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

    Seems like an extreme reaction to losing one player (Berrios) who was under team control next year.  We need to resign Buxton.  There are a half dozen prospects in the system that could become as good as Berrios.  It's also possible Berrios could be replaced by a free agent.  There might be one (Martin) that could become as impactful as Buxton and that's a big if.

    The guy I could see being traded is Arreaz.  Miranda would get time at 3B/2B/1B/DH.  We would be positioned to move Donaldson if Miranda continues to mash at he MLB level. 

    The Twins don't sign free agent starters who are as good as Berrios.  They have openings but will more likely fill them with JA Happ types.  

     

    That's just my observation after 20 years following this team.  I hope you're right about the prospects.

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    Berios was clearly going to test the market and it sounds like Buxton is too. If they cannot sign him, then I tend to agree that he's traded this offseason as waiting until the deadline would be a major gamble given his health issues.

    The question to me is if they can compete in 2022. If the answer is no, make the call and send anyone packing that won't be contributing beyond 2022. 

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    I think this was a good article primarily because it generates a LOT of comments and interesting opinions (and isn't that what the goal of this website should be?)

    Buxton---You can't trade him.  His "value" on MLB Trade Values is lower than Kepler's !!!  You just can't sell that low.  The Twins need to step up and make a reasonable contract offer to Buck with incentives for games played that will compensate him fairly.  If Buxton plays he WILL produce.  

    Donaldson--He's better off staying here unless somebody overwhelms you with an offer.  Which I don't think is going to happen.  With Cruz gone it opens up the opportunity to play him at DH more often and keeps a pretty good bat in our lineup.

    SANO---How could he NOT be initially mentioned ??  He's a rally killer who will never be what he hoped us to be.  I'd GIVE him away if I could so I could use his $10 million or so on a couple of GOOD bullpen pieces or a Pineda-like SP.

    Taylor Rogers--Being injured killed the big return the Twins could have gotten for him.  If the Twins bring in a REAL closer this off season (Rosenthal, Yates etc...) I like Rogers as my 8th inning guy who can close on occasion.  Again, unless I'm overwhelmed with a trade I hang onto him.

    Kepler---Max just frustrates me.  He should be better, but he's not.  His approach at the plate is baffling.  His value (according to MLB trade Values) is 30.4.  If we got equal value for him, I'd deal him.

    Arraez---I like Arraez.  he should be in the lineup every day and our leadoff hitter.  Unfortunately, since Rocco won't bat him leadoff he's a constant source of frustration.  He also has the highest value on MLB trade Values and would bring back a TON.  I could see packaging him for someone like Arizona's Ketel Marte who would make an excellent leadoff hitter, and a guy versatile enough to play 2B, CF, corner OF and maybe some 3B.  Plus he's got more "pop" than Arraez.

    The Twins still have big problems with the way their roster is constructed and they need to determine if next year is a throw away year or if they truly want to compete.  But they need to be ACTIVE this off season and they need to be smart. 

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    7 minutes ago, diehardtwinsfan said:

    The question to me is if they can compete in 2022. If the answer is no, make the call and send anyone packing that won't be contributing beyond 2022. 

    I completely agree, but if this FO decide they can't compete in 2022, I am out, done with the Twins. They told us they would bring sustained winning and starting over 6 or however long they have been here is not that, I can't stand Rocco as a manager but have put up with him since they have been pretty decent and winning divisions, I am willing to say 2021 is fluke and not the norm and sometimes seasons like this need to happen to refresh, replenish the old and/or stale.

    They have already lost my son, he has two Twins jerseys, Buxton and Berrios, he knows my favorite player of of the 90's and 2000's was Vlad, So he has kind of been paying attention to the Jays, and when Berrios got traded there. He said my new team in the Blue Jays, I want a Vlad, Berrios and Bichette Jersey, that was a sad day in our house.

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    I think the trade deadline left enough talent on the roster to build around and actually have some respectability in 2022.  They may not truly compete, but they should be heading in that direction.  Trading all of these guys seems not only unnecessary, but counterproductive.  I could see trading Kepler if Kirilloff needs a position because Sano is still around.  Buxton should only be traded if they know they won't be able to extend him.  

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    So many factors to weigh before you pull a trigger on any those players.  Also, I would say any player can be traded.  That being said, Buxton would be most likely to be dealt off-season in my mind.  The reason being, unless it comes with contract extension, his value will slowly drop each passing game, unless a team gets desperate mid-season. However, if you enter the season with Buck on roster we should hopefully plan to keep him the full year.  

    Kepler, I think will depend on what other moves may or may not happen.  If we keep Buck Kepler is more likely to be dealt.  

    Donaldson I only see as a salary dump deal as his age and leg issues are really showing this year.  

    Rodgers I would keep and see how season goes then trade mid-season if we are doing poorly.  I doubt many teams will give up a haul off-season for him.

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    1 hour ago, Boom Boom said:

    The Twins don't sign free agent starters who are as good as Berrios.  They have openings but will more likely fill them with JA Happ types.  

     

    That's just my observation after 20 years following this team.  I hope you're right about the prospects.

    You have a point for sure.  I was going to qualify this statement and chose to not get into it.  It would be most accurate to say teams with below average revenue ALMOST NEVER sign the very top free agents SPs.  Colorado signed Mike Hampton and Arizona signed Zack Grienke.  If we are going to accurately portraying the odds of this happening again we need to include the fact that Arizona had just signed a billion dollar TV contract.  We should also point out neither acquisition led to success.

    Perhaps more to the point is that I said “could be replaced”.  Signing the highest profile FA is also not the only way to replace him in free agency.  Making a Carlos Rodon or Charlie Morton signing when the Rays got him is even more impactful than signing the big money FAs.

    You are correct in that the Twins have not signed a $150M free agent SP.  However, if we are going to portray the situation accurately, we should say that it is an extreme rarity for any below average revenue team to sign these free agents.  It’s not the product of the Twins being cheap. It’s a matter of roster management.  Investing too high of a percentage of payroll in any single player is not effective which is why you don’t see any below average revenue teams investing in the highest priced FAs. 
     

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