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  • Is José Miranda a Deadline Trade Candidate?


    Nash Walker

    If the post-lockout Twins taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. The team is now in first place and in need of reinforcements to make a push in October. Could they move their 2021 breakout prospect?

    Image courtesy of Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

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    José Miranda put together one of the best Minor League seasons in Twins history in 2021, hitting a ridiculous .344/.401/.572 with 30 homers in 127 games. Miranda, 23, emerged as a future building block for the Twins, an unbelievable development after he hit just .252/.302/.369 with eight homers in 2019. Miranda deserved an opportunity to join the Twins last September, but his debut waited until May 2nd in Baltimore. 

    Over his first 14 MLB games, Miranda hit a paltry .094 with a .332 OPS. He didn’t belong, and many wondered how he was so successful in the high minors. Since then, Miranda has hit .318/.339/.556, showing off his contact skills and tremendous power. His defense at third and first base has certainly been an adventure, but he's a talented hitter adapting to the highest level. 

    The Twins’ infield outlook is much murkier than it was a few weeks ago. Royce Lewis is out for the year (and into 2023), and Carlos Correa will likely opt out and enter free agency. Gio Urshela has provided stability at third and is under team control through 2023, and it’s fair to wonder whether the Twins will want to pay him close to $10 million through arbitration. One thing’s for sure: the Twins are in first place with a roster that can make noise with reinforcements. With so much unknown, the time to invest is now.

    Austin Martin and Jordan Balazovic have struggled to open the season, making it difficult to project their value in a trade. It’s unlikely the Twins would sell low on arguably their top two prospects, and it’s equally unlikely a team would be willing to part with highly sought-after players for two guys with significant question marks. Miranda is at least a step ahead of both of them. Could he be the Twins’ most valuable trade chip?

    The Twins have helped more than just Miranda tap into his power. Spencer Steer is hitting .273/.371/.649 at Triple-A, providing similar defensive versatility. Then there’s Martin, who hasn’t had the same development but still projects as a future regular, just not at shortstop. Lewis will need a spot upon his return as well. There’s potential redundancy here.

    While the Twins made multiple additions to improve their 2022 roster, the one that could potentially hurt their long-term future was the trade for Sonny Gray. Chase Petty has a chance to be an ace, but he’s many years away, and the Twins took the immediate impact in Gray, who is under team control through 2023. The trade for Chris Paddack cost Taylor Rogers, who will enter free agency following this season. Trading Miranda would be the first real hit on the short and long-term future. It takes money to make money, of course. 

    The Twins had a chance to reinforce their roster at the 2019 deadline. They took a mid-level approach, trading for Sergio Romo and Sam Dyson. This time around, the Twins should be in on Frankie Montas, Luis Castillo, and any other frontline starter who is made available. They should be willing to part with top prospects. They should take opportunities to improve the roster. It’s time to end the dreadful Postseason losing streak, even if it means taking a massive risk. 

    I’m a big believer in Jose Miranda. I think he can be a true middle-of-the-order bat for the next half-decade. I’m also a believer in the 2022 Twins. With Correa and Byron Buxton in the fold, the Twins have real upside in the tournament. A trade for Montas and a high-leverage reliever could be enough to vault them as a real threat. 

    The American League is shockingly shallow. The Yankees are a force, as are the Astros. Behind them, the Twins can viably compete with anybody. They took two of three games from the Blue Jays in Toronto, won four of six from the Rays, and split with the Red Sox at Fenway. It's completely plausible that with the right moves, the Twins could create problems for the cream of the American League. Win the division, earn home field, and take your chances in October. The Twins have put themselves in a strong position. It’s time to take advantage in any way you can. Moving Miranda could provide that. 

    What do you think? Could Miranda be the key piece in a trade to bring in impact players? Comment below!

     

     

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    I certainly think Miranda is a trade chip and would use him in a trade for either Montas or Castillo.  I'd hang onto Steer if I dealt Miranda just to have a little backstop for prospects and because I think Steer is undervalued as a prospect (at least according to MLB Trade Values).

    I think a package of Miranda and Ober (once healthy) could be the foundation of a deal to bring a Montas or Castillo to the Twins.  I'd hate to give up either one, but you've gotta give something of value to get something of value.  Ober would step into either the A's or Reds rotation and Miranda would step into either of their lineups.  Miranda's position versatility would get him into the lineup at either 3B, 1B or DH.  Plenty of opportunities.  

    However, to do this, the Twins FO would need to lock Montas or Castillo up for a minimum of 5 years at equal to Berrios money or a little higher.  I believe both Montas and Castillo are superior pitchers to Berrios, so I'd pay the freight to get that SP #1 with Ace potential to front my rotation.  

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    This strikes me as a wishlist, not a realistic possibility.

    It's just too perfect. An older "prospect" who never had much value until he had one good year, who also doesn't really have a position with this team just happens to be the guy everyone else wants and lands us Frankie Montas?

    C'mon, man. Get real. A guy like Montas is going to cost us something like Larnach and Kirilloff and/or Steer. We're going to have to prepare to lose some guys we really, really like.

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    13 minutes ago, bighat said:

    This strikes me as a wishlist, not a realistic possibility.

    It's just too perfect. An older "prospect" who never had much value until he had one good year, who also doesn't really have a position with this team just happens to be the guy everyone else wants and lands us Frankie Montas?

    C'mon, man. Get real. A guy like Montas is going to cost us something like Larnach and Kirilloff and/or Steer. We're going to have to prepare to lose some guys we really, really like.

    I agree.  A front of the rotation SP will require a front of the rotation prospect going back plus Miranda.   Winder and Miranda is probably the rough equivalent to SWR / Martin in the Berrios trade which is a very good comp.  Trading away 6+ years of players like this to up or chances of going deep in the playoffs from very slim to slim is incredibly foolish.  It's a good way to never be a team with better than a slim chance.  

    Trade for a good RP and keep our top prospects.  

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    Think you may be over rating Miranda. He has no position that a team would trade a top player for and be able to say "we got our 3rd baseman or we got our 1st baseman. Miranda is shaky at both positions. Would have to be DH and continue to work on a full-time position. Twins moved Miranda in to cut down a run at the plate this week. Ball was hit to him. He hesitated, took a couple steps to first then threw home. Runner safe. That was baseball 101. Catch and throw home. Why did he think Rocco moved him in close?

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    At this point I think bullpen is more important and I am not trading Miranda for bullpen help. I can't imagine a pitcher like Montas signs an extension here without some guarantees that he will be allowed to be a traditional type starter and not a guy that gets pulled on pitch count or number of times though the lineup. Would the Twins do that? Should they do that?

    I wouldn't be afraid to trade some of the seemingly injury prone type pitching pipeline for help.

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    2 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    I can see the logic since Kiriloff is in the wings and Steer is right behind him.  But a team might want one of the two in line over Miranda and that should be okay too if we get what we need - SP.  

    Just reminding everybody Miranda is a 1  1/2 younger than Steer.

    EDIT: Correction 1/2 younger!

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    One of the slogans is "sell high" and that would eliminate trading Balazovic or Martin. Steer has absolutely mashed this season (similar to Miranda's 2021) and has played in the middle infield more than Miranda did in 2021. I think the Twins can afford to part with one of those two guys (Miranda or Steer).

    I can support a trade involving Miranda. I have been disappointed by his lack of selectivity and his defense. I can also support a trade for Steer. On balance, I think the team would be a bit better off with Miranda, especially since (as noted above) he is younger. 

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    I like his bat but he surely is a member of the anvil chorus. If the Twins think this is what he is with the glove I would trade him.  If they feel he has the ability to improve at third I would hang onto him but get him to St Paul so he can work on his fielding and be ready to start at 3 rd next year. 

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    I doubt he nets either Montas or Castillo, without a couple more guys, but I would be more than willing to part with him.  He looks like he can hit okay, but his defense is terrible so far.  

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    Interesting question, Nash.  As is your discussion and many of the comments.

    Like most of us, I am concerned with his defense at both third and first.  With that said, I expect if he works hard enough his defense will improve to be at least average.  He may never be a gold glover at either position, but I expect come 2024 we won't be talking about how brutal he can be.

    As for who the Twins have at both positions, Urshela and Arraez must be the players most likely to fill third and first for the next few/several years.  Note: I am early to the club that Arraez should be their starting first baseman going forward.

    The Twins also have Kirilloff at first and Lewis at third, should Correa stay.  Both are likely higher on the Twins prospect list than Miranda, but we don't know that.  We all can talk about Correa's staying or leaving all we want, but only the Twins, Correa and his agent really know what the likelihood of his opting out is...or not.

    So your point, Nash, is a good one.  Miranda appears to be an excess player with potentially having a huge bat.  We won't know what he is worth in a trade until one occurs, should that happen.

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    Good thought-provoking stuff! I'm not sure what the Twins should do as they have tremendous options to think through. I know that if it were me, (IMHO), I would not have Kepler with the team next season. I would answer the question and have Larnach, Kiriloff and Buxton or Lewis in the OF. This would keep Lewis as either OF or SS (depending on his healing progress). Celestino is/would be a great back up. 

    I like what I have seen from Arraez as far as learning and improving at 1st base and though he is not a natural there, the guy can play about anywhere, but you must have his bat in our lineup! Urshela is a keeper. Would love Correa around but probably unlikely after this year. Polanco is a clutch hitter with runners in scoring position and is fairly good at second. 

    Garlick and Kepler can produce and should be attractive to other teams. We need to continue to improve the pitching. They might get us some. Buxton would get us more. The risk with Buxton is losing his defensive capabilities and his power in the line-up. I think the Twins could do pretty well without him while getting a lot in return. But.....I would only move him to the National League. With playing every team in the coming years, this could sting us for a few games each year. But, hey, it has happened before. 

    Maybe Miranda can learn to catch........I don't have any more right answers or wrong than anyone else here. What we do know is Miranda has upward trajectory and is young. But hey, Arraez is only 25, is versatile and can hit with the best. An interesting conundrum to have. GO TWINS!

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    One worry I have about pursuing Montas or Castillo is that the Dodgers will also be doing the same thing.  Their pitching has been hit by the injury bug and they will be very active.  It's tough competing against them for trade partners.

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    29 minutes ago, Jeff D. said:

    Good thought-provoking stuff! I'm not sure what the Twins should do as they have tremendous options to think through. I know that if it were me, (IMHO), I would not have Kepler with the team next season. I would answer the question and have Larnach, Kiriloff and Buxton or Lewis in the OF. This would keep Lewis as either OF or SS (depending on his healing progress). Celestino is/would be a great back up. 

    I like what I have seen from Arraez as far as learning and improving at 1st base and though he is not a natural there, the guy can play about anywhere, but you must have his bat in our lineup! Urshela is a keeper. Would love Correa around but probably unlikely after this year. Polanco is a clutch hitter with runners in scoring position and is fairly good at second. 

    Garlick and Kepler can produce and should be attractive to other teams. We need to continue to improve the pitching. They might get us some. Buxton would get us more. The risk with Buxton is losing his defensive capabilities and his power in the line-up. I think the Twins could do pretty well without him while getting a lot in return. But.....I would only move him to the National League. With playing every team in the coming years, this could sting us for a few games each year. But, hey, it has happened before. 

    Maybe Miranda can learn to catch........I don't have any more right answers or wrong than anyone else here. What we do know is Miranda has upward trajectory and is young. But hey, Arraez is only 25, is versatile and can hit with the best. An interesting conundrum to have. GO TWINS!

    Moving Kepler and putting Kirilloff in the OF could be the most productive alignment of this roster.  Arraez at 1B / DH maximizes his value.  Garlick would replace one of Larnach / Kirilloff against LH pitching where they become a bench bat for later in the game.  The bench is Garlick / Miranda or Steer plus Celestino and Gordon.  This assumes Urshela is traded or non-tendered and either Miranda or Steer is the everyday 3B.

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    1 hour ago, wsnydes said:

    For the right deal, I wouldn't hesitate to include him.  Urshela will be around for two more years or you can play Lewis there should Correa stay, or Arraez.  There are options for fill a 3B depth hole on the roster.

     

    38 minutes ago, roger said:

    Interesting question, Nash.  As is your discussion and many of the comments.

    Like most of us, I am concerned with his defense at both third and first.  With that said, I expect if he works hard enough his defense will improve to be at least average.  He may never be a gold glover at either position, but I expect come 2024 we won't be talking about how brutal he can be.

    As for who the Twins have at both positions, Urshela and Arraez must be the players most likely to fill third and first for the next few/several years.  Note: I am early to the club that Arraez should be their starting first baseman going forward.

    The Twins also have Kirilloff at first and Lewis at third, should Correa stay.  Both are likely higher on the Twins prospect list than Miranda, but we don't know that.  We all can talk about Correa's staying or leaving all we want, but only the Twins, Correa and his agent really know what the likelihood of his opting out is...or not.

    So your point, Nash, is a good one.  Miranda appears to be an excess player with potentially having a huge bat.  We won't know what he is worth in a trade until one occurs, should that happen.

    At some point, Miranda should have become a better defender.  He almost always makes at least one error at first or at third.  

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    Miranda is a huge liability in the field.  WHEN will the Twins learn that pitching and defense wins games.  Way too many errors - and he's not the only one...

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    9 minutes ago, Murph said:

     

    At some point, Miranda should have become a better defender.  He almost always makes at least one error at first or at third.  

    He doesn't have a lot of experience at 1B, so I understand to a degree there.  He's played plenty of 3B.  He's still young, he still can improve at both.

    Kirilloff is a much better 1B.

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    1 hour ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

    The Twins are the best team in the worst or second worst division in baseball. I'm not sure that this is a time when you start selling off your future and going into win-now mode.

    Do you see this division not being one of the worst two in the near future? If your answer is no, does that mean you never will trade?

    IMO trading a few prospects isn't selling off your future. Now I would agree with you if Miranda was traded for a relief pitcher or a starting pitchers with little to no control and no ability or want to sign that pitcher long term.

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    2 hours ago, wsnydes said:

    For the right deal, I wouldn't hesitate to include him.  Urshela will be around for two more years or you can play Lewis there should Correa stay, or Arraez.  There are options for fill a 3B depth hole on the roster.

    not a fan of arraez at 3rd but would like to see a long term contract worked out to keep Correa and Urshela. Next option maybe Martin or Steer?

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    2 minutes ago, Karbo said:

    not a fan of arraez at 3rd but would like to see a long term contract worked out to keep Correa and Urshela. Next option maybe Martin or Steer?

    I'm not really either, but Urshela is up for arbitration next season and is a FA the year after.  There's some time to work something else out in that timeframe.  Arraez is an option though.  Even if they trade Miranda, there's some depth there.

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    2 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

    I agree.  A front of the rotation SP will require a front of the rotation prospect going back plus Miranda.   Winder and Miranda is probably the rough equivalent to SWR / Martin in the Berrios trade which is a very good comp.  Trading away 6+ years of players like this to up or chances of going deep in the playoffs from very slim to slim is incredibly foolish.  It's a good way to never be a team with better than a slim chance.  

    Trade for a good RP and keep our top prospects.  

    You got that right. We need relievers. If we could get 2 "B" quality relievers that would greatly improve our chances, and cost a lot less!

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    Martin is arraez light (as in light in the ba/obp department) with worse defense. He seems to have the yips throwing the ball anywhere in the infield but especially on the left side. He is not an option unless he improves defensively or the twins are desperate to “justify” their investment. Hopefully he is ready in a few years (before he is rule 5 eligible).

    Urshela should be no more than a stopgap (which is what I believe the twins are using him as). Once the minor league Calvary is ready (Royce, steer, and perhaps julien), his services are no longer needed. And the Calvary is coming quick.

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    Does anyone seriously think the Twins will trade for Montas?  There will likely be 4-5 teams wanting to acquire his services, do you think the twins will outpay to win and get that trade?  No offense but I think its rather unlikely.   It will be a pitcher the Twins think they can improve to be a #2 to #1 pitcher  if they were to trade for a starting pitcher.  

     

    Here are most likely trade targets for starting pitching.   Wade Miley, Jose Quintana, Chad Kuhle, Tyler Mahle, and a darkhorse candidate is Yu Darvish who they tried to sign several years ago.   They could trade either Steer or Miranda.  I could see a Varland, Headricks, Or really any of the prospects beyond the top 4-5.   

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