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  • Twins Acquire Gold-Glove Outfielder from Royals


    Ted Schwerzler

    The Twins have been looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder. According to a variety of reports on Monday evening, they acquired a Gold-Glove caliber outfielder, Michael A. Taylor, from the Kansas City Royals. 

    Image courtesy of Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

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    Since the Minnesota Twins signed Joey Gallo it has looked like the outfield was packed with a glut of left-handed bats. Needing someone on the right hand side of the batter’s box, preferably with an ability to play centerfield, has been a must. Now they have that man in Michael A. Taylor.

    Michael A. Taylor was a 6th round pick by the Washington Nationals way back in 2009. He spent the bulk of his career there prior to joining the Kansas City Royals two seasons ago. Across 266 games for Kansas City, Taylor has compiled just an 83 OPS+ while slashing .249/.304/.347.

    If the Twins were only looking for a masher to replace Kyle Garlick, Taylor probably isn’t it. He is as light-hitting as it gets, and had very marginal differences between splits last season. Taylor did hit 12 home runs in 2021, but has never replicated the 19 he blasted in 2017 with the Nationals. Over the course of his career, the .722 OPS against lefties is better than the .660 mark against righties, but we’re grasping at straws there.

    More importantly for Minnesota, Taylor represents some level of insurance behind Byron Buxton in centerfield. Certainly Joey Gallo can play there, and if Max Kepler remains on the roster he can as well. Both of them are a bit more stretched than Taylor however, as 605 of his 661 career starts have come in centerfield.

    With the Royals last season, Taylor posted a 1.5 fWAR after a 2.0 mark in 2021. His career best was 3.2 back in 2017, and the bulk of it has always been defensively derived. His 19 defensive runs saved in Kansas City last year pair well with five outs above average. Among centerfielders in 2022, no one posted a higher DRS total than Taylor. Should Buxton go down or miss time, Rocco Baldelli has a surefire defensive star to replace him.

    The Twins traded away Triple-A left-handed reliever Evan Sisk and Double-A flame-thrower Steven Cruz in exchange for the outfielder. 

    The Twins traded away Triple-A left-handed reliever Evan Sisk and Double-A flame-thrower Steven Cruz in exchange for the outfielder. The Twins acquired Sisk in exchange for J.A. Happ when they dealt with the St. Louis Cardinals. He lit up the strikeout numbers last season at Triple-A St. Paul, but his walk rates were scary, and Minnesota was clearly never convinced enough to call him up. Cruz has an electric fastball that can touch triple-digits, but he too has struggled with walks and hasn't put it together while reaching Double-A.

    So, there you have it, the Twins have a right-handed, but not-very-good-hitting outfielder who can play centerfield when Byron Buxton gets days off in the field, which I think this signals we will see a lot of. 

    We will add more details as we learn them, so be sure to check back and let us know what you think of this intra-divisional trade for the Twins. Leave your comments below some Michael A. Taylor highlights from 2022. 

     

     

     

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    Not sure why the Twins didn't care for Sisk as his numbers were good last year.  I guess I don't understand the Walks issue as his WHIP was only 1.02.  They left Sisk unprotected in rule V and nobody grabbed him so there must something that other teams didn't like or think he wasn't ready for MLB ball.  Personally I think this is a good get for KC.  6 Years of control of a likely solid Lefty reliever and a gamble on flame thrower Cruz who was starting to find more control.  Cruz had tendency to groove pitches though so there is work to be done. 

    The Twins get one year of control for Taylor and he is great Buxton insurance in the field not so much with the bat.  Probably a necessary move.  I assume an outfielder gets moved here shortly?

    Man the Twins are getting picked over on the pitching prospect side of things, but they got Sisk in the Happ deal so kind of found money\asset there and Cruz is a lottery ticket for KC so not a bad deal I guess.

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    1 minute ago, VivaBomboRivera! said:

    This is nice to know 

    Boy do we have depth now in the outfield  , infield  and starting  pitching , bullpen still needs something intriguing  ...

    Celestino will not have a position on opening day and now will go to AAA and improve on his hitting and running game ...

    Michael Taylor,  welcome to the twins  , finally a better replacement for Buxton if he is injured  ...

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    We can really put together a great defense in the OF late in games. Jhoan Duran has to be happy.

    To me, the best part is now we should allow Celestino a year at AAA. Develop some power, hit the cutoffs, learn to run the bases properly. Taylor is gone in 2024. Do everything well and Celestino will be ready for 2024. I'm not giving up on him yet.

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    4 minutes ago, FlyingFinn said:

    We can really put together a great defense in the OF late in games. Jhoan Duran has to be happy.

    To me, the best part is now we should allow Celestino a year at AAA. Develop some power, hit the cutoffs, learn to run the bases properly. Taylor is gone in 2024. Do everything well and Celestino will be ready for 2024. I'm not giving up on him yet.

    Agree with your assessment 100%.  IMO (and possibly others), Celestino desperately needs a full year at AAA to prove he can hit-----which he never has done because he basically bypassed SP in 2021.  Not overwhelmed with addition of Taylor, but his defensive attributes far outweigh what Garlick offered with his waffle iron of a glove.  

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    PThe team certainly could use some speed at times. Taylor was still 86th percentile in sprint speed at 31 last year, though he's never really been a huge base stealer.  It's a good depth move.

    I did like Sisk. With Thielbar a setup man and Moran more of a left-handed righty matchup specialist, I thought they still could have had room for more of a LOOGY type even with the 3 batter minimum. Cruz definitely has potential too, though I'm kind of skeptical he'll ever really learn control.

    End of the day, both marginal guys that are never going to make or break a team, so really can't complain about this move

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    Is this just insurance for Cellestino (sp?, Sorry) to get some AAA seasoning? And for Lewis to heal up? I can't imagine Lewis will play infield any more on a regular basis with who the starters are.

    Who does Kepler get traded for now? Bullpen help? I would rather they sign Chafin or Moore.

    I can't see the Twins keeping Kepler. At this point maybe he is getting traded for prospects.

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    I really like this trade. Michael Taylor and Byron Buxton are so fast, the Twins can just use these  two players in the OF and use the third OF position for a lefty reliever, who can mow down lefthanded batters and  the starting pitcher can remain in the game in the OF, with the lefty reliever remaining in the game somewhere in the OF when right handed batters are at bat. Alternate the pitchers. How's this for thinking outside the box?

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    Will be interesting to see where the position player moves go from here. Right now I have the 13 position players as:

    Jeffers- C only
    Vazquez- C only
    Correa- SS only
    Farmer- IF/cOF or C in a pinch
    Miranda- cIF/2B in a pinch
    Polanco- 2B only
    Buxton- CF only
    Gallo- OF/1B or 3B in a pinch
    Gordon- Utility with emphasis on OF
    Kepler- OF/1B in a pinch
    Kirilloff- 1B/cOF
    Larnach- cOF only
    Taylor- OF only

    Obviously all eligible to DH as well. But that's a lot of versatility. Even if they all have dominant position areas, there's a lot of guys who can cover other spots. And those are all guys who deserve a legit MLB shot. Wouldn't be shocked if they stick with this or if they make more moves. FO is cooking now.

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    25 minutes ago, Rik19753 said:

    I like it. The best defensive OF in the league just got better.

    I guess this signals the end of Celestino though. 

    Really would have liked for them to give a chance to Evan Sisk. But it is nice that J.A.Happ actually provided some value to the team after all.

    Taylor accrued 3.2 WAR in '22 for what we gave up, I'm satisfied with the trade. I'd say we've got the best CF  in MLB. Taylor hits basically the same against both LHPs & RHPs. Maybe the change of teams could unlock something in his hitting.

    Celestino can get some more seasoning in AAA. With all these OFers that can't be sent down, it  looks like somebody has to leave unless they figure Gallo would spend some time at 1B.

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    Be interesting to see who leaves from the 40-man now. Between Wallner and Larnach for the 13th guy.

    He'll be a free agent at the end of the season, but allows Celestino to play regularly, as well as the Twins to makie an outfield decision on Martin & Lewis.

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    I understand the value of pursuing Taylor.  But ouch.  With an in-division opponent, Sisk is very likely going to come back to haunt us more than Taylor will haunt them.  Meanwhile, I'm gonna have to swallow my concerns about Joey Gallo and Emilio Pagan and watch to see what amazing magic they can bring to this team which made the FO believe that this trade improves the team's future.

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    1 minute ago, Althebum82 said:

    I understand the value of pursuing Taylor.  But ouch.  With an in-division opponent, Sisk is very likely going to come back to haunt us more than Taylor will haunt them.  Meanwhile, I'm gonna have to swallow my concerns about Joey Gallo and Emilio Pagan and watch to see what amazing magic they can bring to this team which made the FO believe that this trade improves the team's future.

    Sisk isn't all that, apparently. It's not like anyone selected or claimed him when they had a chance

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