Jim Bowden posted a piece called Anatomy of a Trade (Insider required) yesterday at ESPN and - to everyone’s surprise - it was fantastic. It discusses how trades come together and he goes through a hypothetical trade that takes place… and how it progresses over the course of nearly 40 days.
This hypothetical trade ends with both teams coming to an agreement at the deadline. But you must keep in mind that for every one that goes through, there are probably hundreds that never grow legs and die.
One conversation that I can confirm has happened - and continues to happen - is between the Twins and the Colorado Rockies. It’s still in the infant stages. In fact, the idea sprouted after an All-Star break where the Twins All-Star second baseman, Brian Dozier, and the Rockies All-Star shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki, “bonded.”
As Bowden suggests in his piece, the first call is made and the initial offer is “usually lopsided and downright embarrassing.” I don’t know who made the first offer, but the Rockies’ top target is Kyle Gibson. They’ve also asked for Miguel Sano. The Twins target? Troy Tulowitzki.
Where do negotiations go from here? If the Rockies insist on a top arm, there are really only a couple of options. Besides Gibson, you’d have to imagine that Jose Berrios will be brought up. And possibly Trevor May and/or Alex Meyer to a lesser extent. But as far the “headliner” goes, only Gibson and Berrios could really fit in that category.
With ten days to go, this discussion could really morph in a lot of different directions. In the right deal, the Rockies would be willing to send some cash. (Seth covered Tulowitzki’s contract really well in this piece posted early today, so I don’t feel the need to re-hash it.) In any deal where money is sent, the Rockies would ask for a better return.
Would the Twins have interest in acquiring other pieces from the Rockies? Both LaTroy Hawkins and John Axford could be valuable additions to the Twins bullpen. The Twins have also asked about Rockies catcher Nick Hundley, who is under contract through next season and having his best offensive season since 2011.
If you’re wondering how the Rockies could deal the face of their franchise, it seems like they might be ready to move on from the duo of Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, with star 3B Nolan Arenado and All-Star 2B D.J. LaMahieu taking over. Moving Tulo, CarGo and potentially Charlie Blackmon could add a lot of valuable pieces to a franchise who has struggled almost as badly as the Twins have over the past five seasons.
None of that means that a deal is going to happen. Not with the Twins or with anyone else. All things have to line up perfectly for a deal to get done.
As one source familiar with the talks told me, if the Twins make it through their gauntlet-of-a-week this week, “talks will get serious and move fast.”
Whether you like Tulowitzki or not, the Twins are having conversations with the intent of getting better this year.