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  • Trade Deadline Proves Value of the Twins' Young Core


    Cody Christie

    On paper, the Twins had a very successful trade deadline, but that might not tell the entire story. Minnesota's young core might have been the most sought-after piece of the roster.

    Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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    Every team's front office enters the trade deadline with a specific focus. Is a team buying or selling? What are the team's current and future needs? Luckily, the Twins could find a balance by adding controllable assets without surrendering multiple prospects from the top of their farm system. However, teams were also calling about some of the younger members of the big-league roster, and the Twins front office had a clear message… "No."

    One of the players asked about was Jose Miranda, the reigning AL Rookie of the Month. In July, he hit .353/.405/.603 (1.008) with two doubles and five home runs in 20 games. Out of those five home runs, two of them were walk-off winners. Miranda might be one of the most valuable pieces to the current Twins line-up, and the team wanted to keep the young core intact to help with an October run.

    As the trade deadline approached, Carlos Correa gave feedback to the front office and coaching staff about players the Twins should add. One of Correa's messages was, "Jose Miranda was untouchable, and he needs to be in this franchise for a long time." Miranda is coming off one of the best minor league seasons in franchise history, and he seems to be putting it all together at the big-league level. Another team was likely going to have to overpay to acquire his bat. 

    Twins GM Thad Levine joined KFAN's Paul Allen on Thursday, and Allen explicitly asked about offers for Miranda. Levine didn't get into any specifics about offers for Miranda. Still, he said, "the league will tell you how valuable they are, and it's at these trade deadlines that you realize how valuable and coveted some of your players are." Besides Miranda, Levine also referenced some of the team's young pitching at the big-league level without mentioning specific names. 

    Some of Minnesota's younger pitchers are part of the team's long-term core, including Jhoan Duran and Joe Ryan. Ryan may have been Minnesota's most valuable pitcher according to trade value, but there was no way the team was going to deal him. When healthy, Bailey Ober and Josh Winder are two other young pitchers who have value to the team this season. Minnesota is starting to see value in its pitching pipeline, and other front offices have also noticed this. 

    Minnesota's minor league system might not rank as highly as in recent years, but the team has plenty of young talent at the big-league level. The Twins have used 12 players this season that are 25 years or younger, including Luis Arraez, Trevor Larnach, Ryan Jeffers, Gilberto Celestino, and Alex Kirilloff. In 2022, these players have all been critical to the team's success and will be relied on for crucial situations throughout the season's remainder. 

    Levine said, "the future is bright for this franchise based upon the feedback we got at this trade deadline of how much the industry likes some of our minor league players and certainly some of our young players at the big-league level." Minnesota's front office wants to keep the team's winning window open as long as possible, and this trade deadline might prove that the team is meeting that goal. 

    How do you feel about the Twins young core? Do you feel like any of the players mentioned above are untouchable? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

     

     

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    I still feel the front office knows '22 is just a mirage.  There isnt enough assets to trade for or even available to fix this teams needs in '22.  If we can stay competitive and maybe win the division great but we have no pitching to even remotely be competitive in a play off series.

    The players they brought in at the deadline are going to be here next year and that is key.  The players they moved (outside of Povich and Hhijjar) were required to be added to 40 man at seasons end and were already blocked by young players at the major league level.  

     

    I think what this organization has found out was all the pitching prospects that had injuries in 2021 and we thought had to do with missing 2020 are still dealing with injuries and that maybe they are just injury prone and may never make it with all the lost development time.  You cant keep so many young pitchers on the 40 man roster who cant contribute in the majors.  

     

     

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    6 minutes ago, High heat said:

    I still feel the front office knows '22 is just a mirage.  There isnt enough assets to trade for or even available to fix this teams needs in '22.  If we can stay competitive and maybe win the division great but we have no pitching to even remotely be competitive in a play off series.

    The players they brought in at the deadline are going to be here next year and that is key.  The players they moved (outside of Povich and Hhijjar) were required to be added to 40 man at seasons end and were already blocked by young players at the major league level.  

     

    I think what this organization has found out was all the pitching prospects that had injuries in 2021 and we thought had to do with missing 2020 are still dealing with injuries and that maybe they are just injury prone and may never make it with all the lost development time.  You cant keep so many young pitchers on the 40 man roster who cant contribute in the majors.  

     

     

    I'm not sure "mirage" is the right term, but I agree with your general point.  They're benefiting from a terrible division.  I don't think they really intended to be in this position this season, but are taking advantage of it.  I think they're offseason plan was to keep the valley shallow instead of bottoming out by keeping a relatively competitive team intact with the intent of getting the youth some major league experience in the process.  I think they're still largely doing that, they just happen to be on top of the division in the process.  Their goal was always to be much more competitive next season, and like you mention, the deadline acquisitions bear that out too.  

    And they did that without dealing a top 10 prospect in the process.  

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    I think the hitting core looks pretty darn good. You have Miranda, Lewis, Larnach, Kirilloff, Celestino, technically Gordon and Arraez as well.  With Wallner and Palacios at AAA close to ready as well. Down the line you have Martin, Jullien, Severino, Isola with maybe Williams and Camargo.  Then Rodriguez, Urbina, Miller, Aguiar, Rosario at low A with Urbina and Rodriquez possibly fast movers.  That is a lot of hitting talent at the MLB level and down the line and I am not even including the recently drafted guys or FSL or DSL guys.

    Top of the rotation pitching, however, looks pretty barren to me. Unless of course things change for Enlow, Sands, Balazovich, Henriquez etc.  While Varland and SWR look OK they look more like 5th starters than mid rotation.  I don't see a single pitcher that looks like a mid rotation arm until you get to Raya at low A. So once again I see pitching as a weakness in this system unless some magic happens with the players mentioned above.

    There are plenty of arms that look like strong candidates for the pen like Canterino, Sisk, Sands, Lawyerson, etc. however, I don't see a lot of high octane pen arms in the system.  I guess Cruz would be one but his control has been horrible.  Maybe Canterino can up the velo from the pen and he has 4 pitches he could use as well.

    So it is pretty much the same old same old. They need more pitching and IMO they should prioritize it earlier in the draft like Cleveland generally does.  They did in 2021 and now teams have picked off the 1st three pitchers they took in the draft in rounds 1, 2, and 3.

    Hopefully they can work some trades in the offseason to replenish some of the lost MiLB pitching depth but they should have plenty of bats to trade if it comes down to needing to do that.

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    1 hour ago, Dman said:

    I think the hitting core looks pretty darn good. You have Miranda, Lewis, Larnach, Kirilloff, Celestino, technically Gordon and Arraez as well.  With Wallner and Palacios at AAA close to ready as well. Down the line you have Martin, Jullien, Severino, Isola with maybe Williams and Camargo.  Then Rodriguez, Urbina, Miller, Aguiar, Rosario at low A with Urbina and Rodriquez possibly fast movers.  That is a lot of hitting talent at the MLB level and down the line and I am not even including the recently drafted guys or FSL or DSL guys.

     

    That is all a crap shoot at best, wishful thinking at worst.

    Some will do well and some will be coulda , woulda , shoulda.

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    6 minutes ago, RpR said:

    That is all a crap shoot at best, wishful thinking at worst.

    Some will do well and some will be coulda , woulda , shoulda.

    All Drafts and prospect lists\acquisitions are crap shoots to some degree.  So many things can happen from A ball to the major leagues and only a small percentage of guys drafted something like 5% even make it.  So yeah you are not wrong a lot of them won't make it but looking at the talent that is there, it is a stronger list than the pitching side IMO.  They also just drafted maybe the best college hitter in the draft and several other high contact bats.  Odds are a couple of those guys work out.  The Twins have a strong young hitting core at the MLB level and guys with good skills behind it.  I think they are OK on that side of things.

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    It's always fun to see how people throw out names from the minors like they were hall of famers.  Most of those players mentioned in our minor leagues will not make it to the big leagues much less stay there and be productive for the Twins.  I too believe the FO was caught by surprise with how well they started out and have hung into first place.  But it is obvious this team may or may not finish in first place but they are not a first place team.  The trades should benefit us for a few years though.  Remember this FO assembled this mess of a pitching staff this off season.  They elected to go bargain basement and holding pitching salaries down because of the budget.  But yet we're able to spend 35 mil on one player.  He hasn't even done that well this year.  We could have had some mu h needed established major league pitching for that 35 mil.  If the goal has always been to compete in 2023 and 2024 they must do a better job this off season putting the major league team together.

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    I'm with @Dman, the offense is in a good place with Celestino, Lewis, Kirilloff, Miranda, Arraez, Jeffers, Larnach, Gordon, Buxton, Polanco, Kepler all under 30 years old and under team control for 2 or, in most cases, more years at super cheap rates unless any of the real young guys blow up and get big arb numbers coming their way. That's 10 guys who've shown they have big league abilities in same way, shape or form. That's a really great place to be when building a team as their cheap deals mean the FO should be able to splurge in FA to fill specific holes with top quality talent knowing they have a base of competitive position players in place already. Health is a concern with a few guys and that's where the minor league system needs to kick out solid players here and there, but you're not in dire need of the system producing superstars in the next couple years because of those 10 guys being so cheap. Having someone like Brooks Lee bust out this year and next to possibly become a star would just put them in that much better of a position.

    The pitching is the concern still. Next year you have Mahle, Gray, Ryan, and Maeda as a pretty decent 4 pieces of a rotation, and, again, with them having extra money due to the young position players they could go out and spend a bunch on a guy to front those 4 in the rotation. Don't know that I'd bet on them doing that, but it's financially feasible at least. The pen is always difficult to assess as they're such volatile pitchers, but Duran and Lopez hopefully can form a really, really good 1-2 punch at the back end for 2 more years with Duran being around for 3 more on top of that even. Hopefully Alcala comes back and is a really nice middle inning guy and Jax can continue to be solid in that role. If you can have those 4 fill those roles for the next 2 years on arb or pre-arb deals you're again in good shape to splurge on the other 4 spots in the pen.

    They're in a good spot to supplement their holes going into 2023 due to the cheapness of the majority of the roster, but they still need to figure out some #1-3 pitchers from the system. Ryan could be a 2/3, but looks like he's probably best served as your 3/4 guy. The other top arms in the system have really taken steps back this year which is a real bummer. Maybe Prielipp comes in looking like his old self and cruises through the system in 2 years and can front the rotation, but the more likely situation is they're going to have to finally pay for some pitching. If they can keep churning out position players in the Miranda, Kirilloff, Larnach, Lewis talent range they can afford to pay for pitching, but I think we'd all prefer they start producing some top end pitching of their own. Or at least fill the pen with young shutdown arms (I'd move Canterino to a pen role now and see what he can do in the minors to be ready for 2023 as a pen weapon in Minneapolis).

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    29 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    I'm with @Dman, the offense is in a good place with Celestino, Lewis, Kirilloff, Miranda, Arraez, Jeffers, Larnach, Gordon, Buxton, Polanco, Kepler all under 30 years old and under team control for 2 or, in most cases, more years at super cheap rates unless any of the real young guys blow up and get big arb numbers coming their way. That's 10 guys who've shown they have big league abilities in same way, shape or form. That's a really great place to be when building a team as their cheap deals mean the FO should be able to splurge in FA to fill specific holes with top quality talent knowing they have a base of competitive position players in place already. Health is a concern with a few guys and that's where the minor league system needs to kick out solid players here and there, but you're not in dire need of the system producing superstars in the next couple years because of those 10 guys being so cheap. Having someone like Brooks Lee bust out this year and next to possibly become a star would just put them in that much better of a position.

    The pitching is the concern still. Next year you have Mahle, Gray, Ryan, and Maeda as a pretty decent 4 pieces of a rotation, and, again, with them having extra money due to the young position players they could go out and spend a bunch on a guy to front those 4 in the rotation. Don't know that I'd bet on them doing that, but it's financially feasible at least. The pen is always difficult to assess as they're such volatile pitchers, but Duran and Lopez hopefully can form a really, really good 1-2 punch at the back end for 2 more years with Duran being around for 3 more on top of that even. Hopefully Alcala comes back and is a really nice middle inning guy and Jax can continue to be solid in that role. If you can have those 4 fill those roles for the next 2 years on arb or pre-arb deals you're again in good shape to splurge on the other 4 spots in the pen.

    They're in a good spot to supplement their holes going into 2023 due to the cheapness of the majority of the roster, but they still need to figure out some #1-3 pitchers from the system. Ryan could be a 2/3, but looks like he's probably best served as your 3/4 guy. The other top arms in the system have really taken steps back this year which is a real bummer. Maybe Prielipp comes in looking like his old self and cruises through the system in 2 years and can front the rotation, but the more likely situation is they're going to have to finally pay for some pitching. If they can keep churning out position players in the Miranda, Kirilloff, Larnach, Lewis talent range they can afford to pay for pitching, but I think we'd all prefer they start producing some top end pitching of their own. Or at least fill the pen with young shutdown arms (I'd move Canterino to a pen role now and see what he can do in the minors to be ready for 2023 as a pen weapon in Minneapolis).

    Nice summary!  Wish I could write like you.   I always appreciate what you have to say.  

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    49 minutes ago, Dman said:

    Nice summary!  Wish I could write like you.   I always appreciate what you have to say.  

    Well thank you. I appreciate the kind words and appreciate what you bring to these forums as well!

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    1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

    ...Next year you have Mahle, Gray, Ryan, and Maeda...

    Bundy has an option as well if something goes wrong. There's the potential Duran goes back to the rotation considering that's where he wants to be. Tough call there. Then there are the wildcards like Winder, Ober, and Woods-Richardson.

    One of my biggest complaints about the Twins' planning is that it feels like there is no plan.

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    With so many young established players who are all pretty healthy except Killeroff.  We have time to restock our minor leagues.  It would be nice if we can get a few pitchers developed.  I think next offseason will be a quiet one for us especially if Correa doesn’t opt out.  Maybe go get a pitcher or two.  But really what else would we need to do?

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    Two of my all time favorite quotes:

    George Carlin: "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

    Rolling Stones: "You can't always get what you want"

    I really like the way this team is constructed position player wise. IMEDIATE CAVEAT: I like/love the position players and lineup with a healthy AK. Without him, it's still good. But without him, we need to add a bat somehow, some way. And I don't necessarily mean a DH. There is no reason, especially how this team is built, to have ONE GUY filing a non defensive position. Period!

    Larnach, Buxton, Kepler, Miranda, not sure but Lewis eventually, Polanco, Arraez, Kirilloff, Jeffers is a great starting lineup. I like the ability and potential of Celestino as a 4th OF, but that wouldn't stop me from adding competition. Not sure what Gordon has to do to prove he's a really nice 25th man. I would bet Ursela is brought back for 2023.  Despite trades made, there are a couple of very interesting prospects from Palacios,  (a possible fill in at SS to begin. 2023), to Hellman to Julian moving up and a couple others. Can Wallner continue to grow and develop? Is there any chance Isola can continue to it and play good defense behind the plate and be a viable catching option soon?  Could Williams suddenly climb the latter as a 1B/DH/C? 

    The roster looks very good with the exception of SS to still be figured out. And there are some interesting pieces getting close to at least provide depth.

    Am I the only one who's been intrigued by Correa's recent comments about making additions? Is he only being a great teammate and wanting to win? Or is he really sincere about sticking around? Just something to contemplate and fantasize about I guess. 

    The lineup is just fine with heath and questions about SS being the only main issue. After that, it's backup/shared catcher and competition for the 4th OF spot.

    Pitching wise, how can you not be exited for Mahle, Gray, Ryan, Maeda, Winder, Ober, etc, with depth from various arms even before the FO MIGHT make a move. And Paddack comes back June/July. If the FO is as smart as I think they are, they will learn from their mistakes and add at least one solid arm to this group, if not a great one. 

    Rotation and bullpen, it's awesome to have a plan that makes sense in your blueprint. But when 2020 happens...and I know some are tired and dismissive, but it happened...you have to adjust. And the FO has done that, much to their chagrin I'm sure.  There is a real chance that guys like Balazovic and SWR and others will rebound in 2023 and we will wonder WTH suddenly happened from one year to the next.

    I know he's not a pitcher, but think about Martin for a moment. He was drafted in 2019, missed an entire season  of ball, went straight to AA, and we wonder about developing and urgency. SWR was moved very early, lossed half of of a year due to the Olympics and we wonder how such a talented young arm isn't ready yet. 

    I'm not yet a dis-believer in the pipeline yet. I've seen early returns. And I hope to see more soon. But I haven't yet lost faith in the plan or some of the arms. And I don't want the FO to  be complacent. But I'm still holding out real hope for some arms that could make a difference 

     

     

     

     

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    I am still hoping we sign Correa long term with no opt outs.  SS could be the one black hole here, unless Lewis can fill it starting 2024.   With most of our pitchers being cheap the next few years, no reason we could not make this work. Liked the bullpen tonight,  It is far deeper than it was, still could use more, but think Moran could help after the 10 days.  Sands could just be a long man, blowout pitcher, that would also work, if we need 3 - 4 innings when the starter in ineffective.  Hard to say where this goes, but hoping for the best.

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    Don't forget about Palacios at shortstop. He has a far better glove than Lewis and seems to be figuring out how to hit. Some players take time. Maury wills was one, Gordon seems to be finding a groove. Health will be huge for the Twins going forward, as it is this year and most others. A healthy Kirilloff changes everything.

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    16 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

    It's always fun to see how people throw out names from the minors like they were hall of famers.  Most of those players mentioned in our minor leagues will not make it to the big leagues much less stay there and be productive for the Twins.  I too believe the FO was caught by surprise with how well they started out and have hung into first place.  But it is obvious this team may or may not finish in first place but they are not a first place team.  The trades should benefit us for a few years though.  Remember this FO assembled this mess of a pitching staff this off season.  They elected to go bargain basement and holding pitching salaries down because of the budget.  But yet we're able to spend 35 mil on one player.  He hasn't even done that well this year.  We could have had some mu h needed established major league pitching for that 35 mil.  If the goal has always been to compete in 2023 and 2024 they must do a better job this off season putting the major league team together.

    In fairness to the FO they did go after some FA starters but failed. It's impossible to know why some of those guys don't want to sign with the Twins. I'm sure the money is part of it, but there have been some who chose to go elsewhere when the Twins matched the offers.

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    I felt 2022 was going to be a rebuilding year. Yet, because of the weakness of the division, the Twins have been competitive and have showcased so much young talent.

    They parted with some players, a couple they might regret if current "new" talent regresses in the coming year. But who knows where prospects ever...go.

    Going thru an active trade deadline, the Twins also had to get a real feel about just who otehr teams might covet. And those bodies that you can't give away (Strotman, Balazovic have to be running on fumes, but I hope the Twins give Balazovic another chance, but removing him from the 40-man will allow him to make a decision to stay or not).

    If you look at all the injuries throughout the team and organization, the team is still rich in probable players who can contribute.

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    On 8/5/2022 at 8:12 PM, bean5302 said:

    Bundy has an option as well if something goes wrong. There's the potential Duran goes back to the rotation considering that's where he wants to be. Tough call there. Then there are the wildcards like Winder, Ober, and Woods-Richardson.

    One of my biggest complaints about the Twins' planning is that it feels like there is no plan.

    What I remember was in spring training Duran said he was really enjoying the bullpen. He said as a starter he was always sore and he felt great with the reliever workload (paraphrasing).

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    7 minutes ago, wabene said:

    What I remember was in spring training Duran said he was really enjoying the bullpen. He said as a starter he was always sore and he felt great with the reliever workload (paraphrasing).

    From last month. He wants to start if he can. I don't blame him since a top starter makes 3x as much and gets contracts 2x as long as a top reliever...

    https://www.twincities.com/2022/07/07/twins-usage-of-star-rookie-pitcher-jhoan-duran-shows-eye-toward-bigger-picture/

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    3 hours ago, bean5302 said:

    From last month. He wants to start if he can. I don't blame him since a top starter makes 3x as much and gets contracts 2x as long as a top reliever...

    https://www.twincities.com/2022/07/07/twins-usage-of-star-rookie-pitcher-jhoan-duran-shows-eye-toward-bigger-picture/

    Well he is singing a different tune now and that's ok with me. If he can make it as a starter all the better. 

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