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Nash Walker

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Nash Walker last won the day on March 6 2020

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  1. You have convinced me about Rodon being a worthy project gamble. For it to happen management would  need to focus on long relief and less on starters and short relief. With his agent Boras I doubt we'd get a good deal on him. But if we can, I'd OK with the gamble. He does have good stuff. 

    1. Nash Walker

      Nash Walker

      Thank you Doc!! I agree!!!

  2. Whenever a team signs a star in their prime, the pressure automatically mounts. Not just the stress of success, but the heat on how the team will build around that star. Will the Angels ever give Mike Trout enough pitching to win? Can the Phillies build enough strength around Bryce Harper? There’s a constant clock tick, tick, ticking. Trout, 30, has nine years remaining on his deal. How many more years can the Angels expect healthy, MVP-level production? Harper, 29, just won MVP for a Philadelphia team that missed the playoffs once again. $300+ million contracts considerably impact spending, even for teams like the Phillies, Angels, and Yankees. For one, that’s a lot of money on the books for a long time. Additionally, teams must supplement the stars they sign with other All-Star level players. For the Twins, a club that just handed out the second-largest contract in team history, the situation is the same. On a per-game basis, Byron Buxton is in the same tier as his $300 million counterparts. The only thing keeping him from that status is his injury history. Now that Minnesota decided Buxton is the building block, the front office must work to avoid wasting his prime. Buxton, 27, will never combine his elite speed and power more than now. In other words, this is likely the best version of Buxton we’ll ever see. Consider this scenario. The Twins continue to sit around in free agency and on the trade market and fail to muster enough pitching to compete in 2022. Let’s say, on top of that, Buxton plays 140 games and wins MVP. This situation is plausible. While Buxton is one of the most impactful players in MLB, he is only one player. See Harper, Bryce and Trout, Mike. By signing this deal, Buxton commits to a team coming off a last-place finish with an unknown road ahead. If he’s healthy, a gamble the Twins have already decided to make; they have to make it matter. Here’s how they can: 1. SIGN CARLOS RODÓN Rumored to be involved in his sweepstakes, the Twins have an opportunity to add an ace for a cheaper-than-usual price tag. Rodón’s injury history is enough to scare off even the riskiest of teams. He barely got through the 2021 season with dwindling velocity and more arm problems. The healthy version of Rodón was the best pitcher in the league, posting a 2.37 ERA and 35% strikeout rate in 132 2/3 innings. He’s the exact type of gamble a team like the Twins should make. 2. TRADE FOR CHRIS BASSITT Bassitt has the American League’s lowest ERA over the last two seasons (min. 200 innings) and is reportedly available. He works with a deep repertoire of pitches with clear room for improvement. He’d immediately join Rodón as a duo rivaling Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito as the best in the division. 3. RE-SIGN MICHAEL PINEDA Pineda had some hiccups over his three years with the Twins, but he was rock-solid and often gave them a chance to win. Pineda’s 3.80 ERA since 2019 is enough to run back for more. A top three of Rodón, Bassitt, and Pineda would enter the season as one of the best the Twins have ever had. (at least since the season they had Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios and Michael Pineda atop their rotation) What do you think? Does the Byron Buxton extension put more pressure on 2022? Do you like these moves? Comment below! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Byron Buxton’s health will once again play a huge role for the Twins in 2022. Of equal importance, though, is whether it will matter if he does stay healthy. It has to count. Whenever a team signs a star in their prime, the pressure automatically mounts. Not just the stress of success, but the heat on how the team will build around that star. Will the Angels ever give Mike Trout enough pitching to win? Can the Phillies build enough strength around Bryce Harper? There’s a constant clock tick, tick, ticking. Trout, 30, has nine years remaining on his deal. How many more years can the Angels expect healthy, MVP-level production? Harper, 29, just won MVP for a Philadelphia team that missed the playoffs once again. $300+ million contracts considerably impact spending, even for teams like the Phillies, Angels, and Yankees. For one, that’s a lot of money on the books for a long time. Additionally, teams must supplement the stars they sign with other All-Star level players. For the Twins, a club that just handed out the second-largest contract in team history, the situation is the same. On a per-game basis, Byron Buxton is in the same tier as his $300 million counterparts. The only thing keeping him from that status is his injury history. Now that Minnesota decided Buxton is the building block, the front office must work to avoid wasting his prime. Buxton, 27, will never combine his elite speed and power more than now. In other words, this is likely the best version of Buxton we’ll ever see. Consider this scenario. The Twins continue to sit around in free agency and on the trade market and fail to muster enough pitching to compete in 2022. Let’s say, on top of that, Buxton plays 140 games and wins MVP. This situation is plausible. While Buxton is one of the most impactful players in MLB, he is only one player. See Harper, Bryce and Trout, Mike. By signing this deal, Buxton commits to a team coming off a last-place finish with an unknown road ahead. If he’s healthy, a gamble the Twins have already decided to make; they have to make it matter. Here’s how they can: 1. SIGN CARLOS RODÓN Rumored to be involved in his sweepstakes, the Twins have an opportunity to add an ace for a cheaper-than-usual price tag. Rodón’s injury history is enough to scare off even the riskiest of teams. He barely got through the 2021 season with dwindling velocity and more arm problems. The healthy version of Rodón was the best pitcher in the league, posting a 2.37 ERA and 35% strikeout rate in 132 2/3 innings. He’s the exact type of gamble a team like the Twins should make. 2. TRADE FOR CHRIS BASSITT Bassitt has the American League’s lowest ERA over the last two seasons (min. 200 innings) and is reportedly available. He works with a deep repertoire of pitches with clear room for improvement. He’d immediately join Rodón as a duo rivaling Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito as the best in the division. 3. RE-SIGN MICHAEL PINEDA Pineda had some hiccups over his three years with the Twins, but he was rock-solid and often gave them a chance to win. Pineda’s 3.80 ERA since 2019 is enough to run back for more. A top three of Rodón, Bassitt, and Pineda would enter the season as one of the best the Twins have ever had. (at least since the season they had Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios and Michael Pineda atop their rotation) What do you think? Does the Byron Buxton extension put more pressure on 2022? Do you like these moves? Comment below! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  4. The Oakland Athletics have three starters who’re reportedly available in trades. Does left-hander Sean Manaea offer the best value of the group? THE PLAYER The Royals picked Manaea out of Indiana State in the first round of the 2013 draft. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 66th-best prospect in baseball following a solid 2014 season. Manaea, 29, is listed at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, an imposing presence on the mound. The Royals traded Manaea to Oakland midway through 2015 for eventual World Series Champion Ben Zobrist, who went 20-for-66 with eight doubles and two homers in the playoffs. It was a win-win trade. Manaea made an immediate impact upon his arrival to the majors in 2016. He’s been a regular mid-rotation starter for over 700 innings, posting a 3.86 ERA (107 ERA+) with a 21% strikeout rate. Manaea’s ERA+ of 113 since 2018 tops free agents Kevin Gausman (111), Robbie Ray (111), and Jon Gray (104). The lefty works with three pitches, a low-90s sinker, a plus changeup, and a slurvy curveball. Manaea’s changeup was a top-six changeup in baseball in 2021, per Statcast’s run value. Like potential pitch mix adjustments with Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas, a bump on Manaea’s current 24% changeup usage could help him miss more bats and get more outs. THE COST Maybe the most appealing factor in a Manaea trade is the cost, at least compared to Bassitt and Montas. Manaea is a lesser pitcher and projects to make the most in arbitration ($10.2 million). He’s a free agent after 2022. He’s not a frontline starter, but Manaea would become the Twins’ best pitcher and provide stability at a reasonable price. MLB Trade Simulator curiously values Manaea over Bassitt, but it’s close enough. The tool says the Twins would need to send RHP Jhoan Duran, SS Keoni Cavaco, OF Misael Urbina, RHP Drew Strotman, or trade of similar value. There’s an argument to be made that the Twins should not be seeking one-year stopgaps at the expense of high-upside prospects. They don’t have a competitive roster, and keeping as much young talent as possible is vital. On the flip side, the Twins still have plenty of solid position players, and they should receive help from top pitching prospects in 2022. A deal for Manaea (and subsequent moves) would give them a fighting chance in 2022. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  5. THE PLAYER The Royals picked Manaea out of Indiana State in the first round of the 2013 draft. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 66th-best prospect in baseball following a solid 2014 season. Manaea, 29, is listed at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, an imposing presence on the mound. The Royals traded Manaea to Oakland midway through 2015 for eventual World Series Champion Ben Zobrist, who went 20-for-66 with eight doubles and two homers in the playoffs. It was a win-win trade. Manaea made an immediate impact upon his arrival to the majors in 2016. He’s been a regular mid-rotation starter for over 700 innings, posting a 3.86 ERA (107 ERA+) with a 21% strikeout rate. Manaea’s ERA+ of 113 since 2018 tops free agents Kevin Gausman (111), Robbie Ray (111), and Jon Gray (104). The lefty works with three pitches, a low-90s sinker, a plus changeup, and a slurvy curveball. Manaea’s changeup was a top-six changeup in baseball in 2021, per Statcast’s run value. Like potential pitch mix adjustments with Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas, a bump on Manaea’s current 24% changeup usage could help him miss more bats and get more outs. THE COST Maybe the most appealing factor in a Manaea trade is the cost, at least compared to Bassitt and Montas. Manaea is a lesser pitcher and projects to make the most in arbitration ($10.2 million). He’s a free agent after 2022. He’s not a frontline starter, but Manaea would become the Twins’ best pitcher and provide stability at a reasonable price. MLB Trade Simulator curiously values Manaea over Bassitt, but it’s close enough. The tool says the Twins would need to send RHP Jhoan Duran, SS Keoni Cavaco, OF Misael Urbina, RHP Drew Strotman, or trade of similar value. There’s an argument to be made that the Twins should not be seeking one-year stopgaps at the expense of high-upside prospects. They don’t have a competitive roster, and keeping as much young talent as possible is vital. On the flip side, the Twins still have plenty of solid position players, and they should receive help from top pitching prospects in 2022. A deal for Manaea (and subsequent moves) would give them a fighting chance in 2022. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  6. Hey Tony&Rodney!! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts here!! Your deal for Meyer and Cabrera is especially interesting. The Meyer connection is clear: he's a Minnesota kid and was rumored to be available at the deadline. I would be shocked if the Marlins traded Alcantara after the year he just had, but never say never. López seems like a viable target too. To me, though, Meyer is the guy. They have so much young pitching, Meyer dominated Double-A last year and isn't far off. I think he could be up in mid-2022. It's a great get for the future and for the fans whom value the Twins investing in MN players.
  7. No American League starter with at least 200 innings pitched over the last two seasons has a lower ERA than Chris Bassitt. Even then, the most intriguing starter for the Athletics is Frankie Montas. THE PLAYER Montas, 28, is coming off a terrific season where he posted a 3.37 ERA (121 ERA+) and 3.37 FIP in an AL-leading 32 starts. Montas bounced back from a forgettable 2020 to set career highs in innings (187), strikeouts (207), and Wins Above Replacement (3.7). Traded three times in as many years, Montas is no stranger to changing organizations. The Red Sox signed him as a teenager out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 and traded him to the White Sox in 2013. Chicago then moved him to the Dodgers in a three-team deal to acquire Todd Frazier in 2015. Finally, Montas settled in with Oakland after another deal just eight months later. Jharel Cotton, whom the Twins just claimed, was also a part of that deal. After a tumultuous start to his career, Montas finally hit his stride in 2019 with a terrific 2.70 ERA and 2.90 through his first 15 starts. Then, more adversity. MLB suspended Montas for 80 games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He returned for one start in September but was ineligible for the postseason. Montas has a high-spin, upper 90s fastball that he could work up in the zone more. Like Bassitt, he overuses a mediocre-to-poor sinker. His splitter is terrific, with an expected batting average of .134 at a whiff rate over 50%. Montas’ splitter was the fourth-best in baseball in 2021 and produced the highest swing-and-miss rate among starters. Lefties destroyed his sinker, hinting that he needs to up the usage of that nasty split. He’s already excellent against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .295 On-Base Percentage and .660 OPS in 2021. There’s more to unlock here. THE COST Montas is under contract for two more seasons with an estimated salary of $5.2 million in his second year of arbitration. With a raise in 2023, Montas is probably holding a two-year, $13-15M price tag. Unlike Sean Manaea and Bassitt, who are free agents after 2022, Montas’ two remaining arbitration years theoretically double his value. If the Athletics are serious about resetting, it’s fair to assume they’d be looking for close-to-the-majors players in return. According to MLB Trade Simulators, an imperfect tool, the Twins would need to part with a value that equates to a package of Ryan Jeffers and Trevor Larnach. If Montas replicates his 2021 season for the next two years, that’s a fair price to pay. The enticing part of this deal is the upside. Montas, like Luis Castillo, is in his prime and harnesses some of the best stuff in the majors. With a few tweaks, the Twins could oversee a complete breakout from the promising right-hander. What do you think? Should the Twins pursue Frankie Montas? Comment below! FOR MORE TWINS CONTENT: — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  8. The Oakland Athletics are reportedly shopping their veteran starters. Is Frankie Montas a viable target for the Twins? No American League starter with at least 200 innings pitched over the last two seasons has a lower ERA than Chris Bassitt. Even then, the most intriguing starter for the Athletics is Frankie Montas. THE PLAYER Montas, 28, is coming off a terrific season where he posted a 3.37 ERA (121 ERA+) and 3.37 FIP in an AL-leading 32 starts. Montas bounced back from a forgettable 2020 to set career highs in innings (187), strikeouts (207), and Wins Above Replacement (3.7). Traded three times in as many years, Montas is no stranger to changing organizations. The Red Sox signed him as a teenager out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 and traded him to the White Sox in 2013. Chicago then moved him to the Dodgers in a three-team deal to acquire Todd Frazier in 2015. Finally, Montas settled in with Oakland after another deal just eight months later. Jharel Cotton, whom the Twins just claimed, was also a part of that deal. After a tumultuous start to his career, Montas finally hit his stride in 2019 with a terrific 2.70 ERA and 2.90 through his first 15 starts. Then, more adversity. MLB suspended Montas for 80 games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He returned for one start in September but was ineligible for the postseason. Montas has a high-spin, upper 90s fastball that he could work up in the zone more. Like Bassitt, he overuses a mediocre-to-poor sinker. His splitter is terrific, with an expected batting average of .134 at a whiff rate over 50%. Montas’ splitter was the fourth-best in baseball in 2021 and produced the highest swing-and-miss rate among starters. Lefties destroyed his sinker, hinting that he needs to up the usage of that nasty split. He’s already excellent against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .295 On-Base Percentage and .660 OPS in 2021. There’s more to unlock here. THE COST Montas is under contract for two more seasons with an estimated salary of $5.2 million in his second year of arbitration. With a raise in 2023, Montas is probably holding a two-year, $13-15M price tag. Unlike Sean Manaea and Bassitt, who are free agents after 2022, Montas’ two remaining arbitration years theoretically double his value. If the Athletics are serious about resetting, it’s fair to assume they’d be looking for close-to-the-majors players in return. According to MLB Trade Simulators, an imperfect tool, the Twins would need to part with a value that equates to a package of Ryan Jeffers and Trevor Larnach. If Montas replicates his 2021 season for the next two years, that’s a fair price to pay. The enticing part of this deal is the upside. Montas, like Luis Castillo, is in his prime and harnesses some of the best stuff in the majors. With a few tweaks, the Twins could oversee a complete breakout from the promising right-hander. What do you think? Should the Twins pursue Frankie Montas? Comment below! FOR MORE TWINS CONTENT: — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  9. THE PLAYER The White Sox drafted Bassitt, 32, in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft out of the University of Akron. In what turned out to be a lopsided trade, the White Sox moved Bassitt and Marcus Semien for Jeff Samardzija in December of 2014. Semien and Bassitt combined for 29.7 Wins Above Replacement and counting, while Samardzija barely eclipsed replacement level in his lone season for Chicago. Billy Beane won again. Bassitt has quietly pitched very well for the last four seasons. Among 74 starters who’ve thrown at least 400 innings over that span, Bassitt is tied for 13th in ERA+ (130) and ranks 14th in OPS against (.656). 49 starters have thrown at least 200 innings over the last two seasons. Just six have a lower ERA than Bassitt: Corbin Burnes, Walker Buehler, Brandon Woodruff, Max Scherzer, Zack Wheeler, and Max Fried. Bassitt works with a deep arsenal of offerings and excels at missing barrels. He throws a sinker in the lower-to-mid 90s, an excellent four-seamer with similar velocity, a cutter, changeup, slider, and curveball. The lanky right-hander is an interesting case study. He’s already terrific, but there’s glaring room for improvement in his profile. Bassitt increased his slider usage from 0.1% in 2019 to 10.1% in 2021. My suggestion: bump that up even more. Bassitt’s slider grades as an excellent pitch, with an expected batting average of .127 and a 39% swing-and-miss rate in 2021. Perhaps fewer sinkers (.356 xWOBA) and cutters (.375), and more sliders would help Bassitt miss more bats. This change would significantly help against right-handed batters, who hit just .143 with a .209 wOBA against Bassitt’s slider in 2021. THE COST Bassitt is one year from free agency and will make about $9 million via arbitration in 2022. The Athletics aren’t afraid to trade away their expiring veterans, and there’ve been multiple reports indicating that Bassitt, Sean Manaea, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson could all be available. According to MLB Trade Simulators, a deal for Bassitt would require quite a bit, but not nearly as much as Luis Castillo. If the Athletics wanted one young player in return, Trevor Larnach holds similar value, according to the simulator. If they seek a package, perhaps Alerick Soularie, Matt Wallner, Blayne Enlow and Drew Strotman could make sense. The Twins certainly value one-year commitments. Because Bassitt is making such a reasonable salary, it’s viable to trade for him and sign a high-priced free agent. The Twins have the depth to swing a deal like this. It’s possible they’d favor Manaea, the younger lefty who may require less in return. Manaea is objectively worse than Bassitt but throws an excellent changeup and costs a projected $10.2 million via arbitration in 2022. Frankie Montas, 28, could be the highest-upside target but also the most expensive with two years remaining on his contract. What do you think? Should the Twins trade for Chris Bassitt? FOR MORE TWINS CONTENT: — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  10. The Twins have an extreme need for starting pitching. Could they swing a deal for Athletics starter Chris Bassitt? THE PLAYER The White Sox drafted Bassitt, 32, in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft out of the University of Akron. In what turned out to be a lopsided trade, the White Sox moved Bassitt and Marcus Semien for Jeff Samardzija in December of 2014. Semien and Bassitt combined for 29.7 Wins Above Replacement and counting, while Samardzija barely eclipsed replacement level in his lone season for Chicago. Billy Beane won again. Bassitt has quietly pitched very well for the last four seasons. Among 74 starters who’ve thrown at least 400 innings over that span, Bassitt is tied for 13th in ERA+ (130) and ranks 14th in OPS against (.656). 49 starters have thrown at least 200 innings over the last two seasons. Just six have a lower ERA than Bassitt: Corbin Burnes, Walker Buehler, Brandon Woodruff, Max Scherzer, Zack Wheeler, and Max Fried. Bassitt works with a deep arsenal of offerings and excels at missing barrels. He throws a sinker in the lower-to-mid 90s, an excellent four-seamer with similar velocity, a cutter, changeup, slider, and curveball. The lanky right-hander is an interesting case study. He’s already terrific, but there’s glaring room for improvement in his profile. Bassitt increased his slider usage from 0.1% in 2019 to 10.1% in 2021. My suggestion: bump that up even more. Bassitt’s slider grades as an excellent pitch, with an expected batting average of .127 and a 39% swing-and-miss rate in 2021. Perhaps fewer sinkers (.356 xWOBA) and cutters (.375), and more sliders would help Bassitt miss more bats. This change would significantly help against right-handed batters, who hit just .143 with a .209 wOBA against Bassitt’s slider in 2021. THE COST Bassitt is one year from free agency and will make about $9 million via arbitration in 2022. The Athletics aren’t afraid to trade away their expiring veterans, and there’ve been multiple reports indicating that Bassitt, Sean Manaea, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson could all be available. According to MLB Trade Simulators, a deal for Bassitt would require quite a bit, but not nearly as much as Luis Castillo. If the Athletics wanted one young player in return, Trevor Larnach holds similar value, according to the simulator. If they seek a package, perhaps Alerick Soularie, Matt Wallner, Blayne Enlow and Drew Strotman could make sense. The Twins certainly value one-year commitments. Because Bassitt is making such a reasonable salary, it’s viable to trade for him and sign a high-priced free agent. The Twins have the depth to swing a deal like this. It’s possible they’d favor Manaea, the younger lefty who may require less in return. Manaea is objectively worse than Bassitt but throws an excellent changeup and costs a projected $10.2 million via arbitration in 2022. Frankie Montas, 28, could be the highest-upside target but also the most expensive with two years remaining on his contract. What do you think? Should the Twins trade for Chris Bassitt? FOR MORE TWINS CONTENT: — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  11. No American League starter with 200 IP over the last two years has a lower ERA than Athletics’ RHP Chris Bassitt. Multiple reports are saying he could be available in trade. Should the Twins go after him?
  12. No American League starter with 200 IP over the last two years has a lower ERA than Athletics’ RHP Chris Bassitt. Multiple reports are saying he could be available in trade. Should the Twins go after him? View full video
  13. For recent episodes of the Locked On Twins Podcast, click here. Thank you for listening!
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