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  • Building a Perfect Twins Trade Deadline


    Cody Christie

    Over the next couple of weeks, Twins fans are going to be checking their phones and waiting for a notification. Did the club acquire a front-line starting pitcher? Could a bullpen arm or two be on the way to the Twin Cities? Even with one of baseball’s best records, Minnesota’s roster has some holes. When you look at your phone on July 31, what would be the perfect trade deadline scenario?

    Image courtesy of © Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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    Deadline Blueprint

    With one of the baseball’s best offenses, it makes sense for the Twins to focus on adding pitching before the deadline. Minnesota’s most glaring need is the bullpen. Taylor Rogers might be the AL’s most valuable reliever, but he won’t be able to pitch every postseason inning. Ryne Harper, Tyler Duffey and Zach Littell have been more than serviceable, but they might be better suited for pitching the middle innings.

    Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi have been leading the pitching staff, while the rest of the rotation has fit into their roles nicely. Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez have had some up and down moments throughout the year. Michael Pineda has provided an upgrade over recent fifth starters. Would you trust one of these pitchers to face the Yankees or Astros line-up in the ALDS?

    Ideally, the Twins would add two relief arms and a starter before the calendar turns to August.

    Bullpen

    In a perfect world, the Twins would be able to add both a right- and left-handed reliever to assist Rogers in his late inning role. There are some internal options for the Twins including two left-handed pitchers that are already on the 40-man roster. Both players would be unknowns in a relief role, so it makes sense to find someone with some experience if the price in prospects isn’t too steep.

    When it comes to left-handed relievers, Will Smith is the name on everyone’s list. He is currently being used as the Giants closer, but his cost might be slightly lower since he is a free agent after the season. John projected a package of Kohl Stewart and Edwar Colina for Smith. If that’s the deal on the table, I pull the trigger.

    For Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers, there have been few bright spots this year. However, Shane Greene has been one of the team’s best players. In 2018, he struggled in his first chance being the full-time closer. He posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP with a 65 to 19 strikeout to walk ratio. For how bad he was last season, he has done a complete 180 this year. He has a microscopic 1.06 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks. He’s also under team control through 2020.

    Starting Pitching

    There’s been lots of talk about Madison Bumgarner since he is a pending free agent and the Giants are likely to be sellers. One must wonder what version of Madison Bumgarner a club would receive in a trade. He’s been a World Series hero but that was half a decade ago. This season he has posted a 3.86 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP to go along with 121 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings. Another thing to consider is Bumgarner has a lot of miles on his arm with 1755 big league innings over the last 11 seasons.

    Toronto’s Marcus Stroman is another potential trade target and he is younger than Bumgarner. So far this season, he has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has 88 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings, so Bumgarner has him beat in that category. Stroman has another year of team control as the 2020 season will be his final year of arbitration eligibility.

    Both above-mentioned pitchers could help the club, but I’d rather the team target Arizona’s Zack Greinke, even if he has a no-trade clause that includes the Twins. There are a few reasons I’d rather the team go after a 35-year old pitcher with a big contract. First, it would likely take fewer high-ranking prospects to acquire Greinke because of his large contract. Greinke has been very good this year with a 2.95 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.

    Minnesota has the financial flexibility in the years ahead to absorb the Greinke contract. Plus, three of the Twins current starters will be free agents following the World Series. Greinke could fit in at the top of the rotation with Berrios for the next handful of seasons. If he isn’t still an ace in 2021, the Twins could still fit him in some part of their rotation.

    Greinke, Smith, and Greene put the Twins in better position to win October games. Who would be part of your perfect trade deadline for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    I'd love to do a Stroman/Giles package and then get Smith (especially if the cost is that low). Would be a decent prospect haul for all of those guys but I would be ok with something like Graterol or Larnach, Gordon, Wade, and Gonsalves for Stroman/Giles and the aforementioned Stewart and Colina for Smith. All in all that's 6 prospects for 3 MLers and only sacrificing 1 top 10 prospect. Would it be enough? Not sure, maybe we would have to switch out Gonsalves for a higher rated prospect like Duran or Thorpe to get it done but I think the return is worth it

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    I like the Greinke idea because it should cost us fewer prospects.  With the financial flexibility the Twins have and with the number of FA starting pitchers currently on our roster, it might be a very good move.

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    I want a big move, but I also wanna save up on prospect capital for next season as well, so how about just Vazquez and Kennedy?? If we wanna add onto our rotation of Berrios and Perez, why not just wait till the offseason to bring back Odorizzi and sign either Porcello, Keuchel, or Wheeler instead of overpaying for a “good not great” starter like Stroman (still like him though) who would only be controllable for one more season after the current one.

     

    Vazquez <—> Gordon/Larnach/Jeffers/Colina/Jax

    Kennedy <—> Littell/Cave/$4M of $14M for 2020

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    As the trade talks heat up, one guy I hope the Twins take off the table is Balazovic. There is an article about him in the Athletic, and he sounds like Berrios 2.0 with the work ethic, but in a 6'4" frame and with an emerging change-up to compliment the mid 90s heat. This guy has future ace written all over him.

     

    Sorry if you aren't a subscriber:

    https://theathletic.com/1080988/2019/07/17/as-trade-deadline-nears-twins-prospect-jordan-balazovic-continues-to-impress/

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    Say no to the internal options at this point.

     

    The Twins need to go outside the organization to fix these issues.

    Absolutely agree.  If the internal options were better than the existing bullpen arms...wouldn't they already be on the team?  Replacing AAAA arms with unknown AAA arms isn't the answer for a team hoping to achieve some success into October.

     

    Regarding Greinke, the Twins seems to like their future financial flexibility. Not sure that dealing for a 35 year old with a FAT contract fits that mold.

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    Sorry, but Bumgarner scares me. The SO and ERA look nice, and he's not close to old, but he is simply not the pitcher he was, has a lot of miles on his arm, is a short term rental, and would be changing leagues.

     

    Stromal is quality, but no better than what we already have, IMO. Same with a lot of guys I've heard mention. I think I could get behind Greinke. He's pitched in the AL, he's not a rental, the prospect capital shouldn't be as high, and other than a somewhat disappointing 2016, he has been a model of consistency and his 2019 numbers are right in line with career norms. It appears he has enough in the tank to actually make a difference the next couple of years. And isn't that what we need? An experienced difference maker.

     

    As for the bullpen, we all know the names, just TWO PLEASE. But if we can get the big RH arm, I'd like to toss out Tony Watson from SF as an experienced, solid LH who shouldn't cost much. His SO numbers are down this season, but he has had a very nice career and still looks good.

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    Sorry, but Bumgarner scares me. The SO and ERA look nice, and he's not close to old, but he is simply not the pitcher he was, has a lot of miles on his arm, is a short term rental, and would be changing leagues.

    Who cares about the miles on his arm if he's a short term rental?

     

    And if the prospect price reflects the fact that he's a rental, that should be fine too.

     

    And Bumgarner is FAR more likely to be actually available (especially to the Twins) than Greinke.

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    Who cares about the miles on his arm if he's a short term rental?

     

    And if the prospect price reflects the fact that he's a rental, that should be fine too.

     

    And Bumgarner is FAR more likely to be actually available (especially to the Twins) than Greinke.

    Agreed if you are OK for a rental. Guess my point wasn't fully clear. If you already have 3 SP without contracts you have to make decisions on, do you want a 4th? If the answer is yes you'd better be thinking that new guy is going to make a real differences and worth the cost of obtaining him. Is Bumgarner that guy?

     

    Seems to me if they were to add a SP it would be with 2020 in mind as well. Greinke fills both roles, difference maker this season and back for next season. But for the record, I'm also not sure Greinke is truly available.

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    I'm not as big on Bumgarner as some, but sometimes those types of pitchers find a second wind. Also, if Carl Pavano can energize a club house after an August deadline trade, I'd think a big name Bumgarner would really get the other players pumped up.

     

    Not my first choice, but I could see some intangible benefits if nothing else.

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    First, why are people so down on Pinada?  Look at what he has been doing lately, he should be considered our third started not our fifth.  Do I want him pitching in Yankee stadium in playoffs, maybe not compared to some others, but he is improving.  Over his last 7 games he has pitched 39.2 innings, walked 5 struck out 37, gave up 13 earned.  That is a good 7 games.  You say 7 is not long enough, he has only pitch 18 games so still a decent chunk of his season.  Time to give the guy a break. 

     

    That being said, I would love to see a top end starter added and at least one more top pen arm.  I am all for trading away prospects to do it.  Why do we always say we cannot trade prospects?  Because we fear the unknown of what they may become, but they may also become nothing worth much either.  If you can increase chances in playoffs trade the prospects, just don't sell the whole farm.  We have plenty of middle infield depth and plenty of outfield depth, sure some will draw interest. 

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    I would like Robbie Ray from the Dbacks and Giles from the jays.

     

    I would be thrilled if there could be a Ray Grienke combo trade plus Giles

     

    Yes I know the Twins are on his no trade list but still...

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    If the Twins are going to add a starter, I feel strongly that it needs to be someone that would slot into our top 3 for the playoffs and have control beyond 2019.  That's a short list of available pitchers. 

     

    Relievers on the other hand could be rentals or have team control, I just want a couple guys that are pitching well this year.  My two trades happen to be for relievers with team control in 2020.  I'm curious to hear other opinions of my trade packages.  Fair trade value is so hard to determine.

     

    Twins trade Brusdar Graterol, Brent Rooker, Nick Gordon, and Cole Sands to the Mets for Noah Syndergaard.

     

    Twins trade Jorge Alcala and Gabriel Maciel to the Giants for Sam Dyson and Tony Watson.

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    mlb.com has their predictions up:

     

    https://www.mlb.com/news/20-predictions-for-2019-mlb-trade-deadline

     

    I find it amusing that Bumgardner stays but the rest of the Giant's chips get moved. They either all go or not go. I'd be thrilled getting Will Smith, but I'll be really disappointed if that's all we walk away with, as implied here.

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    I'm curious to hear other opinions of my trade packages. Fair trade value is so hard to determine.

     

    Twins trade Brusdar Graterol, Brent Rooker, Nick Gordon, and Cole Sands to the Mets for Noah Syndergaard.

     

    Twins trade Jorge Alcala and Gabriel Maciel to the Giants for Sam Dyson and Tony Watson.

    This link is a good sanity check for trade proposals:

     

    https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/trade-simulator/

     

    Your Mets proposal fails badly, even without accounting for the fact that Graterol is still on the shelf with shoulder issues.

     

    Your Giants deal is only "maybe accepted" but they list Watson with 1.5 years control when 2020 is actually a player option. So that might be close, although I suspect it may not be all that distinguishable from other offers -- 40 FV prospects are fairly fungible.

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    Already said this in another thread, but pulling the trigger on a trade today after beating the Yankees in game 1 of the series would really energize the fan base. Whatever you’re paying would be worth it in terms of the PR alone, let alone what you’d get on the field.

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    I want a big move, but I also wanna save up on prospect capital for next season as well, so how about just Vazquez and Kennedy?? If we wanna add onto our rotation of Berrios and Perez, why not just wait till the offseason to bring back Odorizzi and sign either Porcello, Keuchel, or Wheeler instead of overpaying for a “good not great” starter like Stroman (still like him though) who would only be controllable for one more season after the current one.

    Vazquez <—> Gordon/Larnach/Jeffers/Colina/Jax
    Kennedy <—> Littell/Cave/$4M of $14M for 2020

    Too much to give up to acquire Vazquez. Good hitting catchers like Jeffers are rare. Jax is the pitcher I really like other than our top 2. Larnach can really hit.

    Yes let's get Kennedy.

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    Good grief, if those predictions come even close, that is a lot of activity over the next week.

     

    With that said - the A's trading for Stroman? That is so un-A's like. Just some real interesting predictions.

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    If the Twins are going to add a starter, I feel strongly that it needs to be someone that would slot into our top 3 for the playoffs and have control beyond 2019.  That's a short list of available pitchers. 

     

    Relievers on the other hand could be rentals or have team control, I just want a couple guys that are pitching well this year.  My two trades happen to be for relievers with team control in 2020.  I'm curious to hear other opinions of my trade packages.  Fair trade value is so hard to determine.

     

    Twins trade Brusdar Graterol, Brent Rooker, Nick Gordon, and Cole Sands to the Mets for Noah Syndergaard.

     

    Twins trade Jorge Alcala and Gabriel Maciel to the Giants for Sam Dyson and Tony Watson.

    I think it's too much to give up for Syndergaard. However I would trade Alcala and Maciel to get Dyson and Watson in a heartbeat.

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    I was actually on the site last night and knew that it says that my offer for Syndergaard comes up way short.  While I think that website is a ton of fun, I question the value of players in some cases.  I'm actually excited to see some trades happen and look on their website to see if they're very accurate  or not.

     

    This link is a good sanity check for trade proposals:

    https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/trade-simulator/

    Your Mets proposal fails badly, even without accounting for the fact that Graterol is still on the shelf with shoulder issues.

    Your Giants deal is only "maybe accepted" but they list Watson with 1.5 years control when 2020 is actually a player option. So that might be close, although I suspect it may not be all that distinguishable from other offers -- 40 FV prospects are fairly fungible.

     

     

     

     

    Edited by TwinsTerritory
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    Too much to give up to acquire Vazquez. Good hitting catchers like Jeffers are rare. Jax is the pitcher I really like other than our top 2. Larnach can really hit.

    Yes let's get Kennedy.

    Giving up that much for Vazquez is obviously gonna hurt, but compared to having to give up any of Lewis, AK, Graterol, Balazovoc, and Duran, I’d say it’s definitely worth it, especially if it’s gonna make us WS favorites.

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    I was actually on the site last night and knew that it says that my offer for Syndergaard comes up way short. While I think that website is a ton of fun, I question the value of players in some cases. I'm actually excited to see some trades happen and look on their website to see if they're very accurate or not.

    I agree it's fair to quibble with some of those values, but in what universe are the Mets trading Syndergaard for a single top 100 prospect who is missing most of the current season with shoulder issues? Keep in mind, Syndergaard is not an expiring contract, nor are the Mets really rebuilding given their roster. But even if you assume the Mets decided to move Syndergaard right now, I don't see how the Padres would fail to top that offer handily, and probably a few other teams too.

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    With that said - the A's trading for Stroman? That is so un-A's like. Just some real interesting predictions.

    Remember, the A's once traded Russell for Samardzija. I could likewise see them getting Stroman for the 2019 pennant race, and then flipping him in the offseason.

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    I agree it's fair to quibble with some of those values, but in what universe are the Mets trading Syndergaard for a single top 100 prospect who is missing most of the current season with shoulder issues? Keep in mind, Syndergaard is not an expiring contract, nor are the Mets really rebuilding given their roster. But even if you assume the Mets decided to move Syndergaard right now, I don't see how the Padres would fail to top that offer handily, and probably a few other teams too.

     

    Probably a universe where his value is down. I guess the question with Thor is whether or not he can rebound. Given that the Mets think they can contend next year, I doubt Thor is on the market. Wheeler should be. 

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