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  • Roundtable: How Do You Feel about the Twins Deadline Day Deals?


    Seth Stohs

    The Minnesota Twins added a starting pitcher, two relief pitchers and a backup catcher option before Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline. They lost some really good prospects to do so. With a day to reflect, what are your thoughts on what the Twins did at the deadline? 

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

     

    The Twins waited until Tuesday, the trade deadline, to make their moves, but in the end, they added right-handed starter Tyler Mahle, right-handed relievers Jorge Lopez and Michael Fulmer, and a backup catcher option in Sandy Leon. It came at a price as the Twins dealt infielders Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, left-handed pitchers Cade Povich, Steve Hajjar and Juan Rojas, right-handed pitchers Yennier Cano, Sawyer Gipson Long and Juan Nunez

    Seth Stohs: As you know, I don’t like to see prospects traded, and yet, I fully understand that it is a necessary evil in order for the big-league club to add talent and fill holes. Before the deadline, the obvious question is: What do the Twins need to do? I would tell people that they need to add at least one starter, two reliable relievers, and another catching option. That’s exactly what the Twins front office did. Mahle now rejoins Sonny Gray at the top of the Twins rotation. Lopez should team with Jhoan Duran at the end of ball games. Fulmer should slot into 7th and 8th innings with Griffin Jax.

    Back to the prospects, Spencer Steer has a chance to be a really good player, but with the Twins, he’s behind Jose Miranda and others. Same with Christian Encarnacion-Strand who has destroyed baseballs since entering pro ball in 2021. Steve Hajjar has had an up and down season, but he has a chance to be good if healthy. Cade Povich has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter, maybe even more. The Twins had to give up something in order to get something, but they did just that. The front office made the necessary moves. The question, in my mind, is if the Twins added enough to stay ahead of the White Sox in the AL Central. We shall see. 

    Jeremy Nygaard: For me, the long and the short of it is that you hope your prospects turn into productive players. Not that they’re great comparisons, but you hope you can develop Cade Povich into a player with Tyler Mahle’s ability. You hope that any of those other pitching prospects that were dealt if they fail as starters, turn into really good relievers like Jorge Lopez. And that’s exactly how the teams that dealt Mahle and Lopez feel too. They just acquired three or four chances. Nobody that the Twins dealt is sure things and like you mentioned, Seth, even Steer was going to have a hard time breaking into the lineup. It’s hard not to like the deals they made because they give the Twins a chance to go deeper this year, Mahle will be a big part of the rotation in ‘23 and Lopez helps the bullpen for the next two years. Plus they still have all their top prospects. Sure, Fulmer was a rental, but at a low cost. Now, if you want to talk about if Lopez has two more years being the dude he is now… well, that’s another story.

    Melissa Berman: Tuesday represented the most active trade deadline day the Twins have had in years, maybe ever, and is a clear message from the front office: "We see ourselves as serious contenders, and we want to win now." While losing high-flying prospects like Steer and Encarnacion-Strand is unfortunate, it simultaneously is a vote of confidence for the Twins' young corps of Arraez, Miranda, Lewis, Kirilloff, and Larnach. When healthy, each player has produced at a high level, and it is outwardly apparent that the Twins see them in their long-term outlook. Consequently, there would not be a lot of places for these hitting prospects to go in the Twins organization. The Twins made good moves on Tuesday that provide them with much-needed help for the rest of the 2022 season and several more to come.

    Contrast the multitude of Twins moves with the Chicago White Sox, who only added reliever Jake Diekman, and the Cleveland Guardians, who added pitcher Ian Hamilton. The lack of moves could mean one of two things: the teams think they can compete with what they currently have, or, conversely, they don't see themselves as serious division contenders this season. Rebuilding and major retooling of lineups are best done in the offseason with the free agent market at a team’s disposal. Time will tell if the AL Central, currently the most competitive division race in baseball, will stay a close three-horse race, and if the Twins’ moves will be enough to keep them on top. 

    Rena Wang: To echo Melissa, it was exciting as a fan to see the Twins so active at the trade deadline for the first time in years. We’ve become accustomed to disappointment and a lack of urgency to win (CC. the trade Correa crew), but we’ve known in the back of our minds all along that the Twins’ front office is ready to win with the moves that were made in the offseason.

    It's always painful to lose prospects, especially Christian Encarnacion-Strand who was recently named the Minor League Hitter of the Month for the second time, but the definition of a prospect speaks for itself. I’m always an advocate of taking a risk for something tangible and certain. The Twins also exceeded expectations by trading for Jorge López, the best young closer in baseball. Although Michael Fulmer fits the profile of the average Twins’ trade target, he’s having a career season in the bullpen and would slot in perfectly with Griffin Jax and Tyler Duffey as a middle reliever. Tyler Mahle is the starter that the Twins desperately need with Bailey Ober headed to the 60-Day IL. All in all, if these trade targets continue to perform as advertised, the Twins have a real shot to compete for the first time in years. 

    Theo Tollefson: The Falvey and Levine regime had their best trade deadline to date Tuesday. They acquired the bare minimum of what many Twins fans had been asking for since mid-June with a reliable middle-of-the-rotation starter and two backend relievers. 

    Tyler Mahle was the best acquisition of them all. Mahle has had much better numbers on the road this year than he had at Great American Ballpark with the Red. Given that Target Field is more of a pitcher-friendly ballpark than GAB, Mahle should find himself more comfortable in his new home ballpark for the next year and a half with the Twins. 

    Jorge Lopez was a surprise acquisition but a welcomed one at that. Lopez has finally reached the potential he was given as a prospect with the Brewers over seven years ago. Although Rocco Baldelli has never officially designated someone as the closer in his five years as manager, people can expect Lopez to unofficially fill that role for the Twins and take a load off of Duran and the rest of the bullpen.

    Michael Fulmer is just another good addition for a depleted Twins bullpen. He will certainly help in any role he is used for in relief. 

    The Twins did give up a good amount of prospects to acquire who they needed this deadline, but they did not sell their entire farm system as the Padres did to get what they needed. This sets the team up well to win the AL Central this season and retool themselves for next year as well. 

    Nash Walker: The Twins filled their biggest hole with a bang in Jorge López. They so badly needed a high-leverage right-handed reliever to pair with Jhoan Duran in the back of the bullpen. Other than Josh Hader, López was the best reliever dealt during the deadline. He’s also under team control through 2024, a significant wrinkle that sets up the Twins’ backend for the future. 

    Tyler Mahle was my No. 1 target for the Twins when combining every factor. He should thrive outside of Cincinnati and I love his stuff. He knows how to pitch and there’s room for upside. Mahle is a mid-rotation starter *right now,* but I think there’s a real chance he’s a frontline starter very soon. Could they have used another starter? No question. Mahle is a great addition either way. 

    After Mahle and López, I was hoping the Twins wouldn’t stop short. They then traded for Michael Fulmer, who I think is one of the more underrated relievers in baseball. Fulmer shuts down right-handed hitters and the Twins now boast a strength in the bullpen with Duran, López, Griffin Jax and Fulmer. It was a good finish to a good deadline. Let’s see how it plays out. 

    Matt Braun: This was exactly the trade deadline the Twins needed; each move perfectly covered a weakness and two of the deals netted players who will impact future Twins teams as well. It’s hard to complain about that. What excites me—beyond the added talent—is that the team found a way to trade uncertain or blocked prospects without losing the big names. Spencer Steer is a major loss, but he had no easy path to the Twins; Cade Povich is a serious blow—I thought that he had the potential to become a solid mid-rotation arm—but he’s the only player I’m truly worked up over. 

    Tyler Mahle is the dude. I’ve wanted Mahle on the team for years; I think his performance has another gear left and moving him away from a little league ballpark will neutralize his home run issue. I’m absolutely ecstatic that the Twins snagged him away from the Reds, and I might argue that he would be a theoretical game 1 starter (don’t worry, I knocked on wood after typing that). Jorge López is another great get. His stuff is mind-bending, he’s only 29, and the Twins will have him for two more years following this season. He and Jhoan Duran in the back-end may be the best—and nastiest—1-2 punch the team has had in a long time. Michael Fulmer is an acceptable get; he fills the 6th/7th inning role adequately—although his control worries me—and a middle relief piece deepens the bullpen. Gone are the days of Tyler Thornburg pitching in the 8th inning.

    My only qualm is that Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer still constitute 40% of the starting rotation. That’s not a terrible problem—every team will tell you that they aren’t fully comfortable with their starting staff—but it’s still an area the team could have improved upon. Netting Carlos Rodón would have made this an award-winning deadline; instead, it’s a great one.

    Your Turn: Share your thoughts in the comments below. Try to keep it to 150-200 words, and enjoy reading the thoughts of others.  

     

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    48 minutes ago, MGM4706 said:

    Truth is Twins got out manuvered by Seattle for the real prize (Castillo) who they got for very little.

    Twins did not have the prospect capital Seattle had to complete that deal, They gave up multiple top 100 prospects+. They gave up a lot for him, It definitely was not being "out maneuvered"

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    21 minutes ago, Jack Griffin said:

    Twins did not have the prospect capital Seattle had to complete that deal, They gave up multiple top 100 prospects+. They gave up a lot for him, It definitely was not being "out maneuvered"

    I agree.  The Twins definitely DID NOT get outmaneuvered by Seattle for Castillo.  Seattle gave up A LOT to get him.

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    Can't wait to see Mahle pitch, but even if he's average, it's a great trade day. Solidifying the bullpen gives the Twins a chance to do a KC-like run, which featured a great pen backing up some average starters, plus a pretty good hitting lineup. Twins now have that strategy in place, which to me means they win the division and maybe even win a playoff series!

    On the other hand, if Mahle turns into gold..!

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    I really like what they did.  I love that it was not just one-year rentals (except Fulmer) but players we have controlled at least into next year.  Yeah, we paid more for them but the alternative for one-year rentals is to have to replace them in the off season and we have not been big players in the FA market.

    I hope that they work to extend all three pitchers if they perform during the second half of the season.

    I like the catcher move as we needed something to fill the gap for the short-term, although they do need to look harder at that position long-term.

    This deadline was refreshing and kudos to the FO.  They really did the best that they could with what they had.  Now, let's go win the division.

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    Good analysis, good comments: thanks. I agree that Baldelli isn't the best at handling his pitching staff, especially now that he no longer has a premier pitching coach for collaboration. Last night it made no sense to remove Ryan after five innings with his pitch count unless there's something wrong with Ryan, though maybe Baldelli  wanted to try out the new tools in his toolbox. The Guardians are only a game behind, and the Sox are still very much in the mix, so we'll see how it plays when the Twins play those two teams; so far, aren't they, like, 2-10? I expect the bullpen now to have a much better save percentage; without all the blown saves, the Twins would be running away with the division. As for the lost prospects, one never knows down the line how they'll perform for sure until they reach the bigs. The Twins have an opportunity now to get into the playoffs and win a series, however dim their chances to get past the Yanks or Astros, and the 40 man roster can only protect so many players when so many young prospects are now with the Twins and proving they belong.  So yeah, plaudits to the FO. They did what they had to do and what almost every Twins fan thought they had to do.

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    1 hour ago, farmerguychris said:

    Why do you wish the starters to go 6-7 innings when there is statistical data which shows that nearly every pitcher in the history of the game have worse stats when facing hitters for the third time in a day.  When our BP was awful, it made sense to consider pushing the starters longer, hoping they can be the exception to the 3rd time thru the order historical data.  However with an upgraded BP, we should be more confident playing the numbers and having them go thru twice and then turn it over.  Numbers don't lie.

    To expect to use 4 relievers per game is foolish. That's how a bullpen gets burned out. A 1 or 2 slot pitcher should average around 6IP per start. There has to be games to let some guys have consecutive days off. The way Rocco manages they are averaging less than 5IP per start. The only way this is sustainable is to have a couple of good 2 inning relievers, which as things sit now I don't see.

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    I'm changing my grade to A.

    The Padres have traded 66 prospects in the last few years, and are projected to be the best NL team the rest of the year. That might not happen, of course, but they've put themselves in that position.

    The twins didn't go that far, they still have nearly all their top prospects. But, they shored up their biggest weaknesses for this year and next, while giving up good, but not elite, prospects. It's hard to understand anyone not liking the base of players on this roster for this year and next. 

    My impression of the FO definitely improved this week.

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    2 minutes ago, Karbo said:

    To expect to use 4 relievers per game is foolish. That's how a bullpen gets burned out. A 1 or 2 slot pitcher should average around 6IP per start. There has to be games to let some guys have consecutive days off. The way Rocco manages they are averaging less than 5IP per start. The only way this is sustainable is to have a couple of good 2 inning relievers, which as things sit now I don't see.

    It would be cool if one thread on this site could not be about the manager and how he manages the pitchers. Just one thread. 

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    1 hour ago, MGM4706 said:

    Truth is Twins got out manuvered by Seattle for the real prize (Castillo) who they got for very little. But they at least salvaged something with the pen addition. Starter is another middle of the road guy. Until Twins change their thinking that an ACE is not needed they won't be able to compete with the Big Boys! No team has gone deep in the Playoffs without an Ace in 50 years. Let's start there! You have to Pay to Play! Twins won't so they are what they are .500++ And a One and done team if they make the playoffs. Just reality 

    I don't know. Noelvi Marte was probably the highest rated prospect that got moved (can argue Hassell, but Gore and Abrams have graduated), and Edwin Arroyo is a top 100 guy too.

    The similar deal from the Twins would have been Royce Lewis and Spencer Steer, and then SWR/Povich/Hajjar/etc... and another high-upside pitcher. Is that the deal you wanted to make, or is what they actually did way better than that? I'm the latter by a longshot.

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    I hate to be pessimistic, but then I have been a Twins fan since day one and seen it too many times in the past 30 years. I just hope the Twins dont screw these guys up  to where they can't get the clutch hit of throw strikes with the bases loaded. The new guys were a welcome relief yesterday.

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    2 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    And yet, this thread isn't about that. Not even a little. 

    Oh, I don't know.  We got 3 pitchers and a back up catcher on deadline day.  Basically, we are improved by the 3 pitchers, not the back up catcher, so it is natural to speculate how someone like Rocco, who is becoming notorious for his management of pitchers, will handle the new ones, and the only way one can do that is to review how he has handled others.  You could argue that is a part of this thread, at least a little, as anything else; not that I ever argue, mind you.  :)  

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    2 hours ago, MGM4706 said:

    Truth is Twins got out manuvered by Seattle for the real prize (Castillo) who they got for very little. But they at least salvaged something with the pen addition. Starter is another middle of the road guy. Until Twins change their thinking that an ACE is not needed they won't be able to compete with the Big Boys! No team has gone deep in the Playoffs without an Ace in 50 years. Let's start there! You have to Pay to Play! Twins won't so they are what they are .500++ And a One and done team if they make the playoffs. Just reality 

    Got for very little? 2 top 50 prospects, and their #5 prospect?  Trust me,  it hurt Seattle to make this move - Twins couldn't come close to this.   I suspect this will change,  but a lot of people out here were not happy with the cost.   Again, Twins couldn't touch this offer. 

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    9 minutes ago, PNW twins said:

    Got for very little? 2 top 50 prospects, and their #5 prospect?  Trust me,  it hurt Seattle to make this move - Twins couldn't come close to this.   I suspect this will change,  but a lot of people out here were not happy with the cost.   Again, Twins couldn't touch this offer. 

    I distrust people who use the phrase, "trust me", but that doesn't mean you're not wrong.

    The Twins would have had to start their offer with Miranda to match...and I'm already out. You could argue he is already the best hitter on the team. 

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    I'm sorry Seth. I know you know and love the guys the Twins traded away, but objectively they likely gave away:

    1 serviceable MLB regular who has an 8-10 year career with 10-12 WAR.

    2-3 decent role players that last 5 years or less in the majors.

    And the rest will never even make it, or get a cup of coffee at best.

    None will be stars.

    It's just the way prospects work. That is why, other than the cream of the crop, it's best to flip them once they raise their value. Most of those guys will never be worth more than they are right now. It was masterful.

    And who knows. Maybe one of those guys turns into the jackpot winning Powerball ticket. That's a chance well worth taking.

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    2 minutes ago, Minny505 said:

    I distrust people who use the phrase, "trust me", but that doesn't mean you're not wrong.

    The Twins would have had to start their offer with Miranda to match...and I'm already out. You could argue he is already the best hitter on the team. 

    I only used "trust me" because I live out here and I listened to an interview with GM Dipoto and he used those exact words.  Hurt, but not regret.  When they finally make the playoffs after 21 years (longest streak in North American sports) I suspect most people will no longer care about the prospect haul.  

    I'm with you on Miranda.

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    1 hour ago, Mike Sixel said:

    It would be cool if one thread on this site could not be about the manager and how he manages the pitchers. Just one thread. 

    I want to clarify my 'haha' note to your comment, Mike.  I am not laughing sarcastically at what you said, rather smiling in support of your comment.

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    Personally I am happy with the deals.  They brought in 2 controllable pitchers, a rental pen arm, and a backup catcher, all without giving up any "top" prospects that are near MLB ready.  Either Lopez or Mahle could be dealt before their contracts end if we wanted to, which would soften any lost prospects, or we use them all next year for another hopeful playoff run. 

    Steer plays a position that is not a need for a couple of years, barring injuries of course, but there are others that can fill in.  The pitchers are all a couple of years from being ready, and we never know how would pan out, but we have a lot of depth in the lower minors that was going to get figured out at one point.  None of them are highly touted but doing well.  CES may be the biggest peice going out, but he is mainly a bat, and again at position not of major need right now.  I also have concerns his bat will not carry in the higher levels, which is why he is also not a top prospect because of fear his chase rate will get exploited as he faces better pitching. 

    These are the types of deals I was hoping would be made.  Improve the team, but do not sell the farm or your future.  

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    Anyone who has read my comments over the past however many years TD has been around knows that I believe every good minor league prospect is going to become a superstar.  I guess this began way back when I was writing about the minor leagues on John Bonnes' site, whatever that was called.   [Was it Twins Territory, John?]  So I have been in love with the Twins minor league system for at least 20 years.  

    With these moves I want to proclaim that I have seen the light and now understand that minor league prospects can be used to improve a roster for that late season push.  I still believe it makes sense to hang onto those best prospects, guys like Royce Lewis, Miranda, AK and probably the top two from this year's draft.  My transition probably began when I understood the reasoning behind last spring's trade of Petty for Sonny Gray.  

    This strategy makes more sense when trading good prospects like Steer and E-S, players blocked by young players getting it done for the big league team.  And I love finding those diamonds in the rough in rounds later than the first couple, guys like Steer that can be a major part of bringing in a valuable asset.   I am impressed, really impressed by the front office getting two key players who will be around for more than two months.  Fantastic move, guys.  Now let's get Mahle extended this winter and Lopez next winter.   

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    2 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

    It would be cool if one thread on this site could not be about the manager and how he manages the pitchers. Just one thread. 

    Topic: "What to do with Sano"

    First Reply: "Well if Rocco could put his spreadsheets down, and have pitchers go more than 1 inning, we wouldn't have to worry about this!"

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    1 hour ago, Brandon27 said:

    I like the trades but now search through waviers find another starting pitcher or bullpen arm  and outfielder 

    Why not take a shot at Dinelson Lamet for a bullpen arm????  

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    7 minutes ago, cheeseheadgophfan said:

    Why not take a shot at Dinelson Lamet for a bullpen arm????  

    I would love taking a flyer on Lamet, but I'd wager he's claimed before he gets to the Twins

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    Like posted by others, the offense has been the most dissapointing and was not addressed at all at the deadline.   I just do not see this team going anywhere in the post season, even with these additions.   I also have zero confidence in Rocco's managing capabilities, particularly in pressure packed games.   He has tremendously benefited from the bat of Nelson Cruz up to this season and now the weakest division in baseball.

    I am convinced the Christian Encarnacion-Strand is going to be an absolute stud.  We will see him in the HR derby for multiple years.  I like Mahle but he is not going to be a difference maker this year and we have control only for one more season.  I personally think the FO gave into the media and fan pressures with these moves.   

    I do not mind the secondary trades nearly as much as those seem to be better deals.

    Overall grade C-.     We needed a big bat and should not have traded CES.

     

     

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    I really like what they did.  What frustrates me a little is that everyone not named Falvey thought the bullpen was going to be a problem.  I would have preferred they actually spend for a solid reliever instead of blowing 19 saves and then having to give up prospects to correct the problem.  

    I like that they've set themselves up to have a solid starting rotation next year as well...Gray, Mahle, Maeda, Ryan, Winder, etc.

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    All the pitchers are upgrades to what we had. It's about time. And I welcome them and could care less about the prospects traded. One year of a World Series is worth 20 of just competitive enough to get to the playoffs and lose a record setting 18 straight and counting. I hope that Lopez' one year of being desired after all the years of not keeps him at the high level. I hope that Mahle's expected stats start happening in reality instead of not. Buxton and his now healed hand should be happy that he doesn't have to step into the batter's box against Mahle's control. Fulmer seems to have found his niche, and with injuries behind him, hopefully he continues to get even better.

    To call it a "great" haul...... well..... OK. Compared to meager past trade deadlines, it is remarkable. And we really needed the pitching and could use more. We have been conditioned to get nothing, or give up some of our favorite players for strangers and prospects that never pan out, so this seems like the cat's meow. 

    Berrios was traded with the same control left that Mahle was traded for, and it was pitched and argued that it was a must to do so by so many to get value. So was Pressly. The Berrios haul has been so not helpful to the Twins, and have not even advanced a level in the minors yet. Does this mean the Mahle is now on the block for this off season?

    This upcoming 5 games against the Blue Jays and Dodgers should be telling.

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    1 hour ago, HerbieFan said:

     What frustrates me a little is that everyone not named Falvey thought the bullpen was going to be a problem.  

    Actually, just the opposite. 

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