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  • Three Trade Targets That Fit The Twins Style


    Cody Pirkl

    The trade market will be here before we know it and some teams are already getting some rumors swirling. The Twins have some needs as we know, and there may be some targets that fit their style.

    Image courtesy of Joe Camporeale | 2020 Sep 26

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    The lineup is solid and an addition probably isn’t 100% necessary. The bullpen is probably in need of two solid arms at the very least. The question is whether the Twins see it necessary to add to the rotation. With arms shuffling in and out with injury and none of their top prospects in AAA looking like options as late-season additions, it’s possible the front office finds themselves searching for help. The Tyler Mahle’s and Luis Castillo’s of the world are fun to dream on, but the Twins have a type.

    We’ve typically seen them target arms that need fixing as we saw with Kenta Maeda and Chris Paddack. The prices are lower and despite injuries to both, they’ve shown that they can be trusted to fix talented arms that haven’t reached their full potential for whatever reason. There are a few such pitchers that could be available this summer.

    German Marquez
    Could this finally be the year? The Rockies could have gotten a haul for Marquez at one point if they had only accepted that their best-case scenario was fourth in their own division with no shot at a wild card. Present-day not much has changed in that regard and perhaps their tune has changed. Since the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Marquez’s performance has dropped off precipitously despite being just 27 and now the Rockies will likely have to accept a much more modest return in trade if they ship off their former ace.

    Part of his issue is plain bad luck this season as Marquez has posted a 6.09 ERA with better peripherals despite pitching in Coors. His home runs have spiked and his strikeouts have dried up. With a year and a half of control left, the Twins could swoop in and save Marquez from the thin air of Colorado. His once-vaunted mid-90s fastball and disgusting slider are getting clubbed this season and just a few tweaks paired with a better park could revitalize Marquez. It’s unclear whether the Rockies intend to continue trying to contend, but the Twins have plenty to choose from at all levels of their system for a trade return.

    Kyle Hendricks
    “The Professor” as he’s known in Chicago has had a storied career on the North Side, helping the Cubs break their World Series drought in 2016 and serving as their ace for several years. The back end of the four-year deal Hendricks was given has not gone according to plan, as he’s posted middling numbers at best in 2021 and to begin 2022. The Cubs have a lot of question marks in their near future and they may finally be open to talking trade in regard to their 32-year-old soft tosser who has a year and a half left under contract.

    Hendricks' average fastball has settled in around 87 mph at this point which sounds scary, but the right-hander has never averaged even 90 on the heater as he’s dominated lineups with command and poise. It’s certainly walking a tightrope with such little velocity, but Hendricks has done it before and nothing in his stuff screams that he can’t do it again. He’s recently changed to a changeup-heavy approach, his best pitch which has led to a few better outings lately. Perhaps the Twins have their own ideas to fix, but given Hendricks’ 4.95 ERA so far this season, the Twins would be paying far from the ace starting pitcher price.

    Trevor Rogers
    Perhaps the riskiest target, Rogers has legitimate ace upside and has very recently shown it in the MLB. During the minor league shutdown, Rogers gained significant velocity on his fastball which has held ever since, contributing to his 2.64 ERA in 133 innings in 2021. So far this season, however, Rogers has been a completely different pitcher, posting 5.87 ERA and seeing his K rate drop from 28.5% to 18.7%. At 24 years old with four and a half years of control remaining, this could be the highest upside gamble the Twins could make.

    Rogers’ decline is puzzling, as his plus-plus changeup has underperformed and the rest of his repertoire has followed suit. His release point has steadily dropped ever so slightly since his debut which could be one issue the Twins could look to clean up. The Twins and Marlins have long been discussed as a great trade fit, as the Twins need young pitching and the Marlins need some young MLB-ready bats to support their already fantastic rotation. Make no mistake, this would be a blockbuster, likely involving someone like Jose Miranda and several other painful pieces leaving Minnesota. Still, Rogers might be just a small tweak away from a return to form, an outcome that would likely make him the undisputed #1 pitcher in the Twins rotation. That’s a possibility that’s hard to ignore.

    It’s possible this is the year the Twins go and get a ready-made ace. Personally, I’d hold off on such ideas until we actually see it. Instead, there are several pitchers that could be on the market that fit the Twins mold of acquiring talented arms in need of a tweak or two. Do you think any of these names are likelier than others? Do you have any names that aren’t on this list? Let us know below.

     

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    Marquez and Hendricks have expensive contracts for next year, so that means the prospect capital to obtain either will be minimal.  But it also means they are expensive for what they produce, if they don't bounce back.  It's not like taking a flyer on some bounceback candidate on a make-good contract in the spring.

    Trying Rogers would amount to gambling that Miami's coaching staff is dumber than ours, and has failed to unlock something that we will.  Maybe?  I don't mind investing someone like Miranda in trade, but you don't want to guess wrong on the pitcher that comes back to us.

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    1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

    I just have a hard time with all these trade projections.  Are they really better than what we have?  

    Not on the surface. Which is why I am only interested in bullpen arms. Unless the 3 pitchers in the article have massive turn arounds in the 2nd half, they’re not starting a playoff game over Ryan, Gray, Ober, or Archer. 

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    I don’t know why Miami would sell low on Rogers. He’s affordable and they can pick any time in the next three years to move him. Unless they know he’s broken for good, surely they’d wait until he rebounds.

    No interest in Marquez or Hendricks. I’d rather see the young arms. I’d trust the young arms more too.

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    23 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

    I don’t know why Miami would sell low on Rogers. He’s affordable and they can pick any time in the next three years to move him.

    Good way of looking at him.  He's got all three minor league options remaining, near as I can tell, so they can stash him at essentially zero cost, waiting for him to finish developing, and/or an offer they can't refuse.

    But has there been the slightest rumor that the Marlins would be open to dealing him?  Even if so, them wanting to move him, a former first-rounder, would signal that we shouldn't want him.  I mean, I know that sounds unduly pessimistic, if not downright circular, but then 99% of all possible trades would be bad, so I think I'll stick with that.  We want him only if he's off the table. :)

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    Rogers is the only one that moves the needle at all, and that’s IF he gets back to what he was his first season. The other two are no better than what we have, and even Rogers isn’t as good as Gray or Ryan. Getting one of these options is fine, but they can’t be the best starter you acquire before the deadline if you want to be serious about winning. 

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    Absolutely not on Hendricks. 32yo, expensive and pitching poorly with low velocity....firm NO.

    Rogers is very intriguing if the cost isn't TOO high. But young, LH, controllable and remaining options...why on earth would they even consider moving him unless they just think he's beyond fixing. Of course, being desperate for offense COULD motivate them to be sellers.

    I do have some interest in Marquez, but it's kind of midling. He was good...not great...in 2018 and 2020. I hadn't realized he was still only 27yo. If the Twins and Johnson see something to unlock in him, similar to Maeda and Paddack, I think he'd come relatively cheap prospect wise. There's certainly the potential to unlock more with him. But if you guess wrong, he's really no better than anything we already have.

     

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    8 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

    If the Twins and Johnson see something to unlock in him, similar to Maeda and Paddack,

    I don't care for those comps. If they think they can precipitate a Tommy John Surgery on Marquez, if I'm the pitcher I'd be asking my agent to look for any loopholes that would allow me to block the trade or file a grievance. :)

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    Miami is said to be looking at Oaklands cf. Maybe  Celestino would interest them. Ordinarily I wouldn’t suggest this considering Buxtons injury history. But it could be time to sell high on Celestino.

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    We don't need bullpen arms to win a playoff game, and winning a playoff series (or more) is the ONLY reason the Twins should be "buying" this trade season. If we are making moves just to win a crappy division, and get swept in the first round, I'd rather roll with what we have, keep our prospects, and build for next year. (And relievers? Remember the stupid Ramos for Capps trade? Probably better than you remember the playoff games Matt Capps decided in our favor before he was quickly out of baseball. Since that was zero wins secured.)

    The only thing that will move the needle on playoff success is a starter good enough right now to fit into our top three, and none of these targets fit that mold as far as I can tell. (if it were offseason, sure, but "fixing" a pitcher mid-season seems too dubious to be dumping prospects.)

    Not saying the OP is wrong, just saying making the moves suggested are wrong. Unless the Rockies want a package of Strotman, Sands, Thielbar, and Duffey. I'd be all over that!

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    4 hours ago, PatPfund said:

    Not saying the OP is wrong, just saying making the moves suggested are wrong. Unless the Rockies want a package of Strotman, Sands, Thielbar, and Duffey. I'd be all over that!

    Looking at Marquez, maybe I could like him if I squint. His velocity is still good. Strikeouts probably increase upon a move as the Twins likely decrease his sinker usage. Oddly he has an issue with wild pitches, but not walks. That’s probably a product of that silly sinker too though.

    Would the Twins take on that salary for him though? The Rockies still owe him about 22M. They’d likely not be able to get much of a return to clear him off their books.

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    I to don’t like the 3 suggestions. I would consider both of the following trades.

    It could be a 3 team trade Marlins-“A”-Twins.
    Miami gets the “A” centerfielder + player.

    Oakland get a pitcher + player from Miami.

    Oakland get Celestino + Martin + Sands + player from the Twins.

    Twins get Montas & Blackburn.

    Then, work a trade with the Pirates for relief pitchers Bednar & Stratton to the Twins for #8 Steer, #9 Waller, #14 Sabato, #17 Strotman + player. 
    I agree this would thin out the prospects but with current recent promotions to the big team with limit success and maintaining 8 of 10 top prospects. And a younger set of prospects on the lower end of the prospects for the lack of experience. 

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    Hold firm.  They are winning.

    if still in first after the 8 games with Cleveland, then maybe think about a move.  But any moves will be costly to our upcoming offensive talent 

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    Looking at MLB Trade Values, Rogers is still valued at 60.4 at 24 years old. (that's no diminishment of value at all) That would cost you Larnach AND Miranda for equal value.  That's a pretty hefty price.  Rogers still has outstanding stuff and would unquestionably be our Ace going forward.  

    The key is discovering why he's been pretty crummy this year and "fixing" him.  I'd have to have a definite idea what it would take to "fix him" before I would make that deal.  But he's younger, has more cost controlled years and possibly more talented than Montas/Castillo.  And he's Left handed !  

    I'm not interested in Hendricks at all.  The Yankee and Astro lineups would eat him alive.  Marquez is intriguing.  He's gone from a value of 60.0 not that long ago to now just 16.1.  He's 27 years old and still has good stuff.  You could get him for Miranda even up.  One thing I will say about Marquez is that he's a horse !  He is a 200 inning pitcher and may just need to get away from Coors to rediscover his confidence.  He may not project as a #1 or even a #2 but he could be a solid #3 who eats innings and helps keep your BP from getting overworked.

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    2 hours ago, TopGunn#22 said:

    Looking at MLB Trade Values, Rogers is still valued at 60.4 at 24 years old. (that's no diminishment of value at all) That would cost you Larnach AND Miranda for equal value.  That's a pretty hefty price.  Rogers still has outstanding stuff and would unquestionably be our Ace going forward.  

    The key is discovering why he's been pretty crummy this year and "fixing" him.  I'd have to have a definite idea what it would take to "fix him" before I would make that deal.  But he's younger, has more cost controlled years and possibly more talented than Montas/Castillo.  And he's Left handed !  

    I'm not interested in Hendricks at all.  The Yankee and Astro lineups would eat him alive.  Marquez is intriguing.  He's gone from a value of 60.0 not that long ago to now just 16.1.  He's 27 years old and still has good stuff.  You could get him for Miranda even up.  One thing I will say about Marquez is that he's a horse !  He is a 200 inning pitcher and may just need to get away from Coors to rediscover his confidence.  He may not project as a #1 or even a #2 but he could be a solid #3 who eats innings and helps keep your BP from getting overworked.

    The last thing they should do is trade away promising young position players for a #3 SP.  They already have great SP depth and more on the way over the next couple years so I just don't see much value in a #3 to this team.  Another top of the rotation guy is another matter especially in the playoffs.   

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    13 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

     

    Looking at Marquez, maybe I could like him if I squint. His velocity is still good. Strikeouts probably increase upon a move as the Twins likely decrease his sinker usage. Oddly he has an issue with wild pitches, but not walks. That’s probably a product of that silly sinker too though.

    Would the Twins take on that salary for him though? The Rockies still owe him about 22M. They’d likely not be able to get much of a return to clear him off their books.

    Exactly! Like him the best of these options, and if they'd help us clear some 40-man dross, the salary might be worth the gamble.

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    I don't really see any of the 3 plugging our biggest hole which IMO is the bullpen. When healthy we have Gray, Ryan, Ober, Archer, Smeltzer & or Bundy to start games. Certainly not tops in the league but not nearly as bad as our pen. Jax, Duran, Maybe Pagan. That leaves a lot of question marks and innings to cover IMHO.

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    21 hours ago, Karbo said:

    I don't really see any of the 3 plugging our biggest hole which IMO is the bullpen. When healthy we have Gray, Ryan, Ober, Archer, Smeltzer & or Bundy to start games. Certainly not tops in the league but not nearly as bad as our pen. Jax, Duran, Maybe Pagan. That leaves a lot of question marks and innings to cover IMHO.

    That's not a rotation you want to go into the post season with IMO. Gray and Ryan yes....Ober, Archer and Smeltzer/Bundy are not ideal starting pitchers against the yankees, blue jays. astros, etc..

    Kendricks and Marques should both be cheap prospect wise and if they aren't willing to sell prospects for a Castillo, Montas type starter than they need to throw some darts and hope something works because we've seen what the current guys have and I don't' want to see that come postseason if they get in! 

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    41 minutes ago, JakeBru3 said:

    That's not a rotation you want to go into the post season with IMO. Gray and Ryan yes....Ober, Archer and Smeltzer/Bundy are not ideal starting pitchers against the yankees, blue jays. astros, etc..

    Kendricks and Marques should both be cheap prospect wise and if they aren't willing to sell prospects for a Castillo, Montas type starter than they need to throw some darts and hope something works because we've seen what the current guys have and I don't' want to see that come postseason if they get in! 

    Right now I don't see Kendricks being an upgrade over anyone but Bundy the way he has pitched so far. I haven't seen Marques yet. Just my opinion.

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    NO way to any of those! German has fallen off 2 straight years & has a big contract?

    A younger guy with good stuff who isn't doing  well? (Paddack, anyone?)

    If we get Ober, Winder, even Maeda back, we will be fine for starters. None of them pitch more than 5 innings  anyways these days.

    It is and always will be from now on about the Bullpen. One need look no further than the playoff teams the last couple of years.

    All had a bevy of flame throwers & a filthy closerback at the back end. 

    End of story.

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    On 6/20/2022 at 9:08 AM, JakeBru3 said:

    That's not a rotation you want to go into the post season with IMO. Gray and Ryan yes....Ober, Archer and Smeltzer/Bundy are not ideal starting pitchers against the yankees, blue jays. astros, etc..

    If they're up against Toronto, they'd better be trading for some vacc cards or half the team won't be there.

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    On 6/18/2022 at 10:20 AM, mikelink45 said:

    I just have a hard time with all these trade projections.  Are they really better than what we have?  

    Better than Ober or Dylan Bundy as playoff starters I'd argue yes. The point of these names isn't that they're ready made improvements to the front of the rotation, they all have tweaks to make that could get them there. I don't think anybody thought we were getting anything better than a low end #3 when we traded for Maeda. I get why people don't want to see names like this as trade targets but unfortunately I find them more worthwhile to talk about than someone like Frankie Montas until the front office proves me wrong.

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    On 6/18/2022 at 11:16 AM, ashbury said:

    Marquez and Hendricks have expensive contracts for next year, so that means the prospect capital to obtain either will be minimal.  But it also means they are expensive for what they produce, if they don't bounce back.  It's not like taking a flyer on some bounceback candidate on a make-good contract in the spring.

    Trying Rogers would amount to gambling that Miami's coaching staff is dumber than ours, and has failed to unlock something that we will.  Maybe?  I don't mind investing someone like Miranda in trade, but you don't want to guess wrong on the pitcher that comes back to us.

    I'm not super worried about expenses for next year, as you said they'll cost less to acquire and we can count on Correa's $35m falling off for next season. We also shouldn't have to invest much in the rotation and we know they won't do so in the bullpen regardless of where things stand there.

    I get the nervousness around trading for a pitcher in need of fixing, but this is what they do. In Maeda's case he needed a pitch mix change that made a huge difference. In Paddack's case it was performance and health based. Regardless of how they worked out, I think the history of this front office operating on the trade market tells us these names are more realistic than a pitcher that comes in and is immediately our #1. 

    I'm not saying they shouldn't trade for Mahle, Montas, Castillo etc., it's certainly the safer value. I just think they're going to be one of the first teams to bow out when the bidding wars begin.

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    On 6/18/2022 at 12:20 PM, nicksaviking said:

    I don’t know why Miami would sell low on Rogers. He’s affordable and they can pick any time in the next three years to move him. Unless they know he’s broken for good, surely they’d wait until he rebounds.

    No interest in Marquez or Hendricks. I’d rather see the young arms. I’d trust the young arms more too.

    IMO the reason Miami would sell low is because they still have an incredible rotation with a bunch of other monster arms approaching the MLB. That alone isn't enough to trade someone just to trade them but they have a desperate need for controllable bats and I think they match up well with the Twins in that regard.

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