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  1. Take a look at the trades made on Monday. How many are of interest to Twins fans? Several former Twins players were traded to new teams. Several players the Twins may have had some interest in (or at least some fans did) were also dealt. PRELLER STRIKES AGAIN Padres receive: LHP Josh Hader Brewers receive: LHP Taylor Rogers, RHP Dinelson Lamet, LHP Robert Gasser, OF Esteury Ruiz (Read more on this trade at Brewer Fanatic) WOW! Pre-deadline day began with a blockbuster involving one of the best relievers in baseball. The Padres sent former Twin Taylor Rogers, fire-breathing right-hander Dinelson Lamet and two prospects for Josh Hader, who’s tied with Edwin Díaz for the second-most reliever fWAR since his rookie season in 2017. Rogers will join the Brewers bullpen, carrying a 4.35 ERA to Milwaukee. Rogers was terrific out of the gate for the Padres but has struggled to an 8.14 ERA over his last 22 appearances. He had just lost his closer role. Padres’ POBO AJ Preller is known to get crazy in trades and free agency; this deal is his latest example. Hader hasn’t been himself lately but is undoubtedly a dominant force when he’s right. He’s under team control through 2023. Could the Twins have made an offer here? MONTAS TO THE BRONX Yankees receive: RHP Frankie Montas Athletics receive: LHP Ken Waldichuk, LHP J.P. Sears, RHP Luis Medina, 2B Cooper Bowman With Luis Severino hurt and the Yankees searching for their first World Series title since 2009, the Bronx Bombers made a big move for one of the best starters on the market. Montas, 29, owns a 3.18 ERA in 104 2/3 innings for the Athletics this season. According to MLB Pipeline, the Yankees shipped out their best pitching prospect in Waldichuk. In addition, the Athletics received the Yankees’ fourth-best pitching prospect in Medina and their Nos. 20 and 21 prospects in Sears and Bowman. The Twins liked Montas dating back to March but ultimately fell short in their offer. Montas was one of three controllable starters said to be available. Luis Castillo was another, and the Reds dealt him to the Mariners next week. Tyler Mahle is still available as of Monday night. In February, Keith Law ranked the Yankees’ system as the 22nd best in baseball. He ranked the Twins at No. 18, but that was before injuries and ineffectiveness plagued the top of their pitching pipeline. Either way, it feels like the Twins missed out here. ASTROS BEEF UP Astros receive: 1B/OF Trey Mancini, RHP Jayden Murray Orioles receive: RHP Seth Johnson, RHP Chayce McDermott Rays receive: CF José Siri While the Yankees filled a starting pitcher need, the Astros improved their lineup with two additions. First, they acquired Trey Mancini in a three-team deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays. Mancini, 30, is hitting .268/.347/.404 with 16 doubles, a triple, and ten homers in 92 games for the Orioles. AND THEY WEREN’T DONE THERE… Astros receive: C Christian Vázquez Red Sox receive: IF Emmanuel Valdez, OF Wilyer Abreu Identifying a lack of offense at the catcher position, the Astros acquired one of the better hitting backstops in baseball. Vázquez, 31, is hitting .282/.327/.432 and is a free agent following this season. According to MLB Pipeline, Valdez and Abreu were the 28th and 29th best prospects in the Astros system. While Ryan Jeffers recovers from a fractured thumb and Gary Sánchez scuffles at the plate, Vázquez felt like a strong and viable target and didn’t exactly break the prospect bank. WHITE SOX ADD LEFTY WITH GREAT STUFF White Sox receive: LHP Jake Diekman Red Sox receive: C Reese McGuire The White Sox are missing their best left-handed reliever in Aaron Bummer (lat strain), and he isn’t expected back particularly soon. They made a move for Jake Diekman to fill the hole, sending Major League catcher Reese McGuire back to Boston in the deal. Diekman, 35, has a 4.23 ERA in 38 ⅓ innings. He’s walked 30 and struck out 51, relying on a mid-90s fastball and a hard, high-spin slider. Diekman has shut down lefties (.566 OPS) but struggled against righties (.842 OPS). He fills a significant hole for the White Sox in their quest to catch the Twins in the Central. Diekman signed a two-year, $8 million contract in the winter and is under team control in 2023. If the White Sox can help him reign in his control, he’ll be a solid middle-innings option for them. The Red Sox got the White Sox’s third-string catcher in return. CARDINALS BOLSTER ROTATION Cardinals receive: LHP José Quintana, RHP Chris Stratton Pirates receive: RHP Johan Oviedo, 1B/3B Malcom Nuñez With rumors swirling about Juan Soto’s future, the Cardinals made a lower-wattage move by trading for former frontline starter José Quintana. Now pitching well for the Pirates, Quintana is enjoying a resurgence at 33. Quintana owns a solid 3.50 ERA in 103 innings for Pittsburgh while holding opponents to a .679 OPS, his lowest mark since 2017 (.659). Quintana is having one of the best years of his career, with his lowest strikeout rate (21%) since 2019. Quintana should provide some rotational stability for the Cardinals while their ace Jack Flaherty recovers from a shoulder problem. Quintana is a free agent after the season. In return, the Cardinals received 6-foot-5 righty Johan Oviedo and Malcom Nuñez, who was the Cardinals' ninth best prospect in 2021. The Twins could’ve used Quintana as a quality innings-eater. ODO TO THE SOUTH Braves receive: RHP Jake Odorizzi Astros receive: LHP Will Smith In a rare deal between two playoff teams, the Braves and Astros matched up on a one-for-one pitching trade Monday night. Jake Odorizzi spun seven scoreless innings against the Mariners Saturday, striking out eight and lowering his ERA to a solid 3.75 on the season. Odorizzi remains a serviceable mid-rotation starter and will pitch in the National League for the first time in his career. Way back in 2019, many Twins fans were hoping the team would make a run at Will Smith, an excellent reliever who shined in 2.5 years with the Giants. Smith instead signed a three-year deal with Atlanta and now switches leagues for the first time to join the Astros. Smith, 33, isn't as good as he once was, but he was excellent last year in the playoffs. Smith didn't allow a run in 11 postseason innings. Houston is hoping he deepens an already great bullpen. It's hard to say if the Twins would've had a chance to land the reliable lefty. They don't have any expendable starters and couldn't afford to give away any pitching from the big league roster. MORE DEADLINE MAGIC? Braves receive: OF Robbie Grossman Tigers receive: LHP Kris Anglin One year ago, the Braves traded for Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, and Jorge Soler. All three worked out wonderfully and the Braves won the World Series. They're hoping Robbie Grossman offers a similar punch this time around. Grossman, 32, is having a brutal season. He hit 23 homers and posted a 114 OPS+ in 2021 but hasn't translated that success in 2022. It's an interesting, pretty low-risk move for the Braves. Grossman, despite all of his struggles, is hitting .364/.479/.520 against lefties. He'll likely assume a platoon role in Atlanta with Rosario. The Braves recently lost Adam Duvall to a season-ending wrist injury, so Grossman assumes that spot through the rest of the season, after which he'll enter free agency. I was quietly wondering if the Twins would get involved for their old friend here. Their outfield is extremely banged up and Grossman simply isn't this bad. We'll see if the Twins target any corner bats as the deadline nears. So What's Next? The pressure is turned up on the Twins. They must improve this roster if they hope to hold on in the division and have a chance in October. Montas, Castillo, and Quintana are no longer options. Mahle is likely to move, as is Noah Syndergaard. The jury is out on Carlos Rodón and Nathan Eovaldi. Then there's the bullpen. Mychal Givens and David Robertson are still out there. Standout reliever Daniel Bard signed an extension with the Rockies, while the Yankees snagged Scott Effross from the Cubs. The market should take more shape Tuesday. The implications of this deadline are straightforward. The Twins are in first place with clear holes and a one-year, $35.3 million superstar at shortstop. The division is weak and the time is now. Will they do enough to supplement the team? Will they do anything? Once thing is for sure, this front office has surprised us before. Can they do it again?
  2. The Yankees, Astros, Red Sox, and White Sox all made moves a day before the deadline. The pressure is turning up on the Twins as time runs out. Let’s get you caught up. Take a look at the trades made on Monday. How many are of interest to Twins fans? Several former Twins players were traded to new teams. Several players the Twins may have had some interest in (or at least some fans did) were also dealt. PRELLER STRIKES AGAIN Padres receive: LHP Josh Hader Brewers receive: LHP Taylor Rogers, RHP Dinelson Lamet, LHP Robert Gasser, OF Esteury Ruiz (Read more on this trade at Brewer Fanatic) WOW! Pre-deadline day began with a blockbuster involving one of the best relievers in baseball. The Padres sent former Twin Taylor Rogers, fire-breathing right-hander Dinelson Lamet and two prospects for Josh Hader, who’s tied with Edwin Díaz for the second-most reliever fWAR since his rookie season in 2017. Rogers will join the Brewers bullpen, carrying a 4.35 ERA to Milwaukee. Rogers was terrific out of the gate for the Padres but has struggled to an 8.14 ERA over his last 22 appearances. He had just lost his closer role. Padres’ POBO AJ Preller is known to get crazy in trades and free agency; this deal is his latest example. Hader hasn’t been himself lately but is undoubtedly a dominant force when he’s right. He’s under team control through 2023. Could the Twins have made an offer here? MONTAS TO THE BRONX Yankees receive: RHP Frankie Montas Athletics receive: LHP Ken Waldichuk, LHP J.P. Sears, RHP Luis Medina, 2B Cooper Bowman With Luis Severino hurt and the Yankees searching for their first World Series title since 2009, the Bronx Bombers made a big move for one of the best starters on the market. Montas, 29, owns a 3.18 ERA in 104 2/3 innings for the Athletics this season. According to MLB Pipeline, the Yankees shipped out their best pitching prospect in Waldichuk. In addition, the Athletics received the Yankees’ fourth-best pitching prospect in Medina and their Nos. 20 and 21 prospects in Sears and Bowman. The Twins liked Montas dating back to March but ultimately fell short in their offer. Montas was one of three controllable starters said to be available. Luis Castillo was another, and the Reds dealt him to the Mariners next week. Tyler Mahle is still available as of Monday night. In February, Keith Law ranked the Yankees’ system as the 22nd best in baseball. He ranked the Twins at No. 18, but that was before injuries and ineffectiveness plagued the top of their pitching pipeline. Either way, it feels like the Twins missed out here. ASTROS BEEF UP Astros receive: 1B/OF Trey Mancini, RHP Jayden Murray Orioles receive: RHP Seth Johnson, RHP Chayce McDermott Rays receive: CF José Siri While the Yankees filled a starting pitcher need, the Astros improved their lineup with two additions. First, they acquired Trey Mancini in a three-team deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays. Mancini, 30, is hitting .268/.347/.404 with 16 doubles, a triple, and ten homers in 92 games for the Orioles. AND THEY WEREN’T DONE THERE… Astros receive: C Christian Vázquez Red Sox receive: IF Emmanuel Valdez, OF Wilyer Abreu Identifying a lack of offense at the catcher position, the Astros acquired one of the better hitting backstops in baseball. Vázquez, 31, is hitting .282/.327/.432 and is a free agent following this season. According to MLB Pipeline, Valdez and Abreu were the 28th and 29th best prospects in the Astros system. While Ryan Jeffers recovers from a fractured thumb and Gary Sánchez scuffles at the plate, Vázquez felt like a strong and viable target and didn’t exactly break the prospect bank. WHITE SOX ADD LEFTY WITH GREAT STUFF White Sox receive: LHP Jake Diekman Red Sox receive: C Reese McGuire The White Sox are missing their best left-handed reliever in Aaron Bummer (lat strain), and he isn’t expected back particularly soon. They made a move for Jake Diekman to fill the hole, sending Major League catcher Reese McGuire back to Boston in the deal. Diekman, 35, has a 4.23 ERA in 38 ⅓ innings. He’s walked 30 and struck out 51, relying on a mid-90s fastball and a hard, high-spin slider. Diekman has shut down lefties (.566 OPS) but struggled against righties (.842 OPS). He fills a significant hole for the White Sox in their quest to catch the Twins in the Central. Diekman signed a two-year, $8 million contract in the winter and is under team control in 2023. If the White Sox can help him reign in his control, he’ll be a solid middle-innings option for them. The Red Sox got the White Sox’s third-string catcher in return. CARDINALS BOLSTER ROTATION Cardinals receive: LHP José Quintana, RHP Chris Stratton Pirates receive: RHP Johan Oviedo, 1B/3B Malcom Nuñez With rumors swirling about Juan Soto’s future, the Cardinals made a lower-wattage move by trading for former frontline starter José Quintana. Now pitching well for the Pirates, Quintana is enjoying a resurgence at 33. Quintana owns a solid 3.50 ERA in 103 innings for Pittsburgh while holding opponents to a .679 OPS, his lowest mark since 2017 (.659). Quintana is having one of the best years of his career, with his lowest strikeout rate (21%) since 2019. Quintana should provide some rotational stability for the Cardinals while their ace Jack Flaherty recovers from a shoulder problem. Quintana is a free agent after the season. In return, the Cardinals received 6-foot-5 righty Johan Oviedo and Malcom Nuñez, who was the Cardinals' ninth best prospect in 2021. The Twins could’ve used Quintana as a quality innings-eater. ODO TO THE SOUTH Braves receive: RHP Jake Odorizzi Astros receive: LHP Will Smith In a rare deal between two playoff teams, the Braves and Astros matched up on a one-for-one pitching trade Monday night. Jake Odorizzi spun seven scoreless innings against the Mariners Saturday, striking out eight and lowering his ERA to a solid 3.75 on the season. Odorizzi remains a serviceable mid-rotation starter and will pitch in the National League for the first time in his career. Way back in 2019, many Twins fans were hoping the team would make a run at Will Smith, an excellent reliever who shined in 2.5 years with the Giants. Smith instead signed a three-year deal with Atlanta and now switches leagues for the first time to join the Astros. Smith, 33, isn't as good as he once was, but he was excellent last year in the playoffs. Smith didn't allow a run in 11 postseason innings. Houston is hoping he deepens an already great bullpen. It's hard to say if the Twins would've had a chance to land the reliable lefty. They don't have any expendable starters and couldn't afford to give away any pitching from the big league roster. MORE DEADLINE MAGIC? Braves receive: OF Robbie Grossman Tigers receive: LHP Kris Anglin One year ago, the Braves traded for Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, and Jorge Soler. All three worked out wonderfully and the Braves won the World Series. They're hoping Robbie Grossman offers a similar punch this time around. Grossman, 32, is having a brutal season. He hit 23 homers and posted a 114 OPS+ in 2021 but hasn't translated that success in 2022. It's an interesting, pretty low-risk move for the Braves. Grossman, despite all of his struggles, is hitting .364/.479/.520 against lefties. He'll likely assume a platoon role in Atlanta with Rosario. The Braves recently lost Adam Duvall to a season-ending wrist injury, so Grossman assumes that spot through the rest of the season, after which he'll enter free agency. I was quietly wondering if the Twins would get involved for their old friend here. Their outfield is extremely banged up and Grossman simply isn't this bad. We'll see if the Twins target any corner bats as the deadline nears. So What's Next? The pressure is turned up on the Twins. They must improve this roster if they hope to hold on in the division and have a chance in October. Montas, Castillo, and Quintana are no longer options. Mahle is likely to move, as is Noah Syndergaard. The jury is out on Carlos Rodón and Nathan Eovaldi. Then there's the bullpen. Mychal Givens and David Robertson are still out there. Standout reliever Daniel Bard signed an extension with the Rockies, while the Yankees snagged Scott Effross from the Cubs. The market should take more shape Tuesday. The implications of this deadline are straightforward. The Twins are in first place with clear holes and a one-year, $35.3 million superstar at shortstop. The division is weak and the time is now. Will they do enough to supplement the team? Will they do anything? Once thing is for sure, this front office has surprised us before. Can they do it again? View full article
  3. The Twins took a risk by trading three rising prospects for Tyler Mahle, who owns a 4.40 ERA in 104 1/3 innings for the Reds this year. Mahle, 27, is under team control through 2023 and has some intriguing qualities about his arsenal. Let's break down this deal. View full video
  4. The Twins took a risk by trading three rising prospects for Tyler Mahle, who owns a 4.40 ERA in 104 1/3 innings for the Reds this year. Mahle, 27, is under team control through 2023 and has some intriguing qualities about his arsenal. Let's break down this deal.
  5. The Twins made a big splash by sending out four prospects for one of the top relievers left on the market. What does it all mean? View full video
  6. The Twins made a big splash by sending out four prospects for one of the top relievers left on the market. What does it all mean?
  7. The Minnesota Twins are in need of bullpen help, to the knowledge of many. Rockies' closer Daniel Bard could provide some much-needed punch back there with Jhoan Duran. Let's dive in. View full video
  8. The Minnesota Twins are in need of bullpen help, to the knowledge of many. Rockies' closer Daniel Bard could provide some much-needed punch back there with Jhoan Duran. Let's dive in.
  9. The Cubs didn't even feign an attempt at contention this year, so they're right where they expected to be. In the cellar, and acting as sellers. So who's available? The Cubs need pitching, and specifically, they need to add young pitchers with upside. The Twins have a few of those. Top Target David Robertson, RH Reliever In 2019, it looked like injuries were going to curtail an illustrious career as closer and setup man. For a decade, Robertson had been one of the best in the biz. He underwent Tommy John surgery and it looked like the end of the road. But he wasn't done. One year ago, the 37-year-old was the closer for Team USA in the Olympics in Tokyo, helping the team to a silver medal. He was a free agent and pitched a couple of games for Frank Viola’s High Point pitching staff in the independent Atlantic League. After the Olympics, he signed with the Rays and joined the team on September 1st. He turned that opportunity into one-year contract with the Cubs. As of the All-Star break, he had a dazzling 1.93 ERA and 11.6 K/9 rate as the team’s closer, appearing to be very much back to form. He'll be one of the most sought-after targets on the deadline market. Other Targets of Interest Willson Contreras, Catcher Contreras is the other big piece for the Cubs to deal at the deadline. The 30-year-old is a free agent at season’s end and one of the top backstops in the game. Good hitter, tons of power, and solid defense. But should the Twins spend any resources on a catcher (or any non-pitcher) at this point? The Ryan Jeffers injury might change their view on this. You're reading an excerpt of the 2022's Twins Daily Trade Deadline Primer about potential trade targets that we are providing free to Twins Daily's Caretakers. If you sign up now to be a Caretaker, you can download all six Divisional Dossiers as they're released, including the full version of this one, which we sent out to Caretakers earlier today. Plus, you'll get a free Offseason Handbook this fall and other perks. More importantly, you're helping support the writers and workers that make Twins Daily possible and keeping it viable for future generations of Twins fans. Thanks! Mychal Givens, RH Reliever Veteran reliever with a ton of late-innings experience. Fastball velocity down to 94 MPH average, but also has a slider and a changeup. Sleeper Target Marcus Stroman, RH Starter The Twins were not in on Marcus Stroman before he signed his three-year, $71 million with the Cubs – to the lament of many fans. He recently came off the IL with a shoulder issue, and he has struggled this year. He’s also got about $50 million left over the remainder of his contract. If healthy (a big if), Stroman can provide good innings, and maybe even be a postseason difference-maker. Huge risk, but maybe the Cubs would take on some of the contract for a better prospect. View full article
  10. The Cubs need pitching, and specifically, they need to add young pitchers with upside. The Twins have a few of those. Top Target David Robertson, RH Reliever In 2019, it looked like injuries were going to curtail an illustrious career as closer and setup man. For a decade, Robertson had been one of the best in the biz. He underwent Tommy John surgery and it looked like the end of the road. But he wasn't done. One year ago, the 37-year-old was the closer for Team USA in the Olympics in Tokyo, helping the team to a silver medal. He was a free agent and pitched a couple of games for Frank Viola’s High Point pitching staff in the independent Atlantic League. After the Olympics, he signed with the Rays and joined the team on September 1st. He turned that opportunity into one-year contract with the Cubs. As of the All-Star break, he had a dazzling 1.93 ERA and 11.6 K/9 rate as the team’s closer, appearing to be very much back to form. He'll be one of the most sought-after targets on the deadline market. Other Targets of Interest Willson Contreras, Catcher Contreras is the other big piece for the Cubs to deal at the deadline. The 30-year-old is a free agent at season’s end and one of the top backstops in the game. Good hitter, tons of power, and solid defense. But should the Twins spend any resources on a catcher (or any non-pitcher) at this point? The Ryan Jeffers injury might change their view on this. You're reading an excerpt of the 2022's Twins Daily Trade Deadline Primer about potential trade targets that we are providing free to Twins Daily's Caretakers. If you sign up now to be a Caretaker, you can download all six Divisional Dossiers as they're released, including the full version of this one, which we sent out to Caretakers earlier today. Plus, you'll get a free Offseason Handbook this fall and other perks. More importantly, you're helping support the writers and workers that make Twins Daily possible and keeping it viable for future generations of Twins fans. Thanks! Mychal Givens, RH Reliever Veteran reliever with a ton of late-innings experience. Fastball velocity down to 94 MPH average, but also has a slider and a changeup. Sleeper Target Marcus Stroman, RH Starter The Twins were not in on Marcus Stroman before he signed his three-year, $71 million with the Cubs – to the lament of many fans. He recently came off the IL with a shoulder issue, and he has struggled this year. He’s also got about $50 million left over the remainder of his contract. If healthy (a big if), Stroman can provide good innings, and maybe even be a postseason difference-maker. Huge risk, but maybe the Cubs would take on some of the contract for a better prospect.
  11. You sent over some good Minnesota Twins questions and topics of discussion, here are my answers. Carlos Correa, Willson Contreras, Juan Soto trades, building a World Series roster, Luis Castillo trades and bullpen prospects/general relief help were among the topics discussed. View full video
  12. You sent over some good Minnesota Twins questions and topics of discussion, here are my answers. Carlos Correa, Willson Contreras, Juan Soto trades, building a World Series roster, Luis Castillo trades and bullpen prospects/general relief help were among the topics discussed.
  13. The Twins need quality innings in their starting rotation. Noah Syndergaard, once an ace, could at least provide some stability in the second half. Let's discuss his fit with the Twins. View full video
  14. The Twins need quality innings in their starting rotation. Noah Syndergaard, once an ace, could at least provide some stability in the second half. Let's discuss his fit with the Twins.
  15. Combining talent, impact, cost, and viability, Tyler Mahle may be the best target on the board for the Twins at the upcoming deadline. View full video
  16. Combining talent, impact, cost, and viability, Tyler Mahle may be the best target on the board for the Twins at the upcoming deadline.
  17. Twins fans have heard a lot about Frankie Montas over the last six months. Now that the Twins are in first place and hopefully looking to improve at the deadline, does a trade for Montas still make sense? View full video
  18. Twins fans have heard a lot about Frankie Montas over the last six months. Now that the Twins are in first place and hopefully looking to improve at the deadline, does a trade for Montas still make sense?
  19. The Twins need to make some additions if they want to reach and advance in the Postseason. Could Miami Marlins starter Pablo López thread the needle of production and talent? View full video
  20. The Twins need to make some additions if they want to reach and advance in the Postseason. Could Miami Marlins starter Pablo López thread the needle of production and talent?
  21. The Twins have been tied to Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas. What would it take to land one of these two? Is it worth it if they only stay for a year and a half?
  22. The Twins have been tied to Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas. What would it take to land one of these two? Is it worth it if they only stay for a year and a half? View full video
  23. The Twins have a lot more baseball to play and many more games to win. It’s too early to call them genuine contenders, but it’s never early enough to look at who may be available for them to make a move at the deadline. Let’s dive in! The Needs This changes weekly (or even daily) as injuries and ineffectiveness ebbs and flows throughout a season. Even then, every team can get better in any area. The 2019 Astros had a rotation fronted by Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, the No. 1 and 2 finishers in Cy Young voting. That didn’t stop them from trading with Arizona for Zack Greinke, who had pitched to a 2.90 ERA in 146 innings for the Diamondbacks. You can *always* get better. Knowing this, here are the needs I’ve identified for the 2022 Twins. 1. Frontline starter Nothing has changed here. As well as Twins starters have fared, they could use another frontline starter to pair with Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan. This starter doesn’t necessarily have to cost a ton, nor do they have to be team-controlled beyond this season. Enter Nathan Eovaldi: The Red Sox are off to a plodding start. The rotation has been shaky, the bullpen shakier, and the looming threat of Xander Bogaerts’ impending free agency is hovering above it all. Not only is Bogaerts likely to opt out of his contract, their No. 1 starter, Nathan Eovaldi, is nearing the end of his four-year, $68 million contract. Eovaldi, 32, is emerging as a prime trade candidate as the Red Sox fall behind in a tough division. The American League East is a gauntlet, and someone has to finish fourth. Eovaldi has coughed up an MLB-leading 14 home runs in eight starts, including five in the 2nd inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Astros. It’s been a rough go, but one need not look far to find the appeal in the right-hander. He pairs an upper-90s fastball with a slider that produced a 35% whiff rate last season. His 2.95 FIP led the American League in 2021. Eovaldi is coming off two career years in one of the harshest pitching environments in baseball and he struck out eight Yankees in five-plus innings of one-run ball in the Wild Card Game. The Red Sox owe Eovaldi $17 million this summer, so any team he joins will take on the remaining salary (~$9 million at the deadline). The performances of both the Red Sox and Eovaldi over the next two months will dictate his trade value, but it’s hard to imagine him costing more than a few mid-level prospects. Eovaldi is a viable game one starter if he’s right and at least a mid-rotation starter if he’s who he was before 2021. Other Red Sox to watch: DH/OF J.D. Martinez: another impending free agent who continues to produce. Imagine a lineup with righties Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Martinez, flanked by Jorge Polanco, Luis Arraez, and a revamped Max Kepler. Sheesh. 2. High-leverage reliever Jhoan Duran has fully embraced his role in the bullpen and is currently must-watch TV. He’s a legitimate weapon, but who else back there is? Emilio Pagán, while posting solid numbers, continues to tightrope trouble. Griffin Jax is an exciting development, but his command is spotty enough to wonder if he could handle high-leverage situations. The Twins could use a high-octane, late-inning option. Let me introduce Jorge López, who you may remember from the rival Royals. López posted a 6.42 ERA in 158 ⅓ innings as a hybrid starter in Kansas City. The stuff has always been there for the Puerto Rican, and now he’s finally settled into a late-inning role for the Orioles. López, 29, averages 98 MPH with a turbo sinker, and opponents are having serious trouble hitting his high-spin curveball. He’s missing barrels and forcing opponents to beat balls straight into the ground. Like most unestablished flamethrowers, López sometimes battles his control. When he’s throwing strikes, López is shutting down both righties and lefties. Acquiring López would require a change in the Twins’ style. They rarely commit to relievers past one year, and they’ve never broken the bank for one via trade. López is under team control through 2024, so a trading team would essentially get 2.5 years of his services. López and Duran would give the Twins two fire-breathing right-handers, with Jax, Pagán, Caleb Thielbar, and Tyler Duffey all moved down in the pecking order. Other Orioles to watch: OF Anthony Santander: an underrated switch-hitter who has learned how to draw more walks. A free agent after the 2024 season, Santander is not a particularly great defensive outfielder, but not a complete butcher. 3. A big bat The Twins are benefitting from improved depth. Gilberto Celestino has been a pleasant surprise in the outfield, and Gary Sánchez is driving in runs as the backup catcher and part-time DH. Luis Arraez spends his time at first base as Gio Urshela and José Miranda man the hot corner. Oh, and Royce Lewis is simmering at Triple-A. The offense isn’t a weakness, but it could stand to get better. Nationals first baseman Josh Bell could be an excellent fit for the Twins. Bell, 29, traded to Washington in 2020, has been a solid contributor in more ways than one. Bell does a lot of things well. Through Friday, he’s hit .273/.360/.472 (133 OPS+) with 31 homers in 182 games for the Nats. He’s a switch-hitter who rakes from the left side. He’s a serviceable right-handed hitter, but Bell’s main utility for the Twins would be against right-handed pitchers. Bell has a career .845 OPS as a left-handed hitter, and his 2022 overall expected batting average ranks in the 93rd percentile. Bell is an average defensive first baseman and brings the experience the Twins are looking for at the position. Bell’s career strikeout rate is sub-20%. He hits for average, he hits for power, and he’s one of the more underrated players in baseball. He's an impending free agent, with the Nationals owing him $10 million in his final year of arbitration. This is a fun lineup to dream on for the second half: 1. Byron Buxton, CF 2. Carlos Correa, SS 3. Jorge Polanco (S), 2B 4. Josh Bell (S), 1B 5. Luis Arraez (L), DH 6. Royce Lewis, 3B 7. Max Kepler (L), RF 8. Ryan Jeffers/Gary Sánchez, C 9. Trevor Larnach (L), LF Other Nationals to watch: DH Nelson Cruz: Cruz could be hitting that 41-year-old sized wall, but his batted-ball data is still excellent. How about one final playoff chase with the Boomstick? What do you think about these trade options for the Twins? Comment below! View full article
  24. The Needs This changes weekly (or even daily) as injuries and ineffectiveness ebbs and flows throughout a season. Even then, every team can get better in any area. The 2019 Astros had a rotation fronted by Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, the No. 1 and 2 finishers in Cy Young voting. That didn’t stop them from trading with Arizona for Zack Greinke, who had pitched to a 2.90 ERA in 146 innings for the Diamondbacks. You can *always* get better. Knowing this, here are the needs I’ve identified for the 2022 Twins. 1. Frontline starter Nothing has changed here. As well as Twins starters have fared, they could use another frontline starter to pair with Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan. This starter doesn’t necessarily have to cost a ton, nor do they have to be team-controlled beyond this season. Enter Nathan Eovaldi: The Red Sox are off to a plodding start. The rotation has been shaky, the bullpen shakier, and the looming threat of Xander Bogaerts’ impending free agency is hovering above it all. Not only is Bogaerts likely to opt out of his contract, their No. 1 starter, Nathan Eovaldi, is nearing the end of his four-year, $68 million contract. Eovaldi, 32, is emerging as a prime trade candidate as the Red Sox fall behind in a tough division. The American League East is a gauntlet, and someone has to finish fourth. Eovaldi has coughed up an MLB-leading 14 home runs in eight starts, including five in the 2nd inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Astros. It’s been a rough go, but one need not look far to find the appeal in the right-hander. He pairs an upper-90s fastball with a slider that produced a 35% whiff rate last season. His 2.95 FIP led the American League in 2021. Eovaldi is coming off two career years in one of the harshest pitching environments in baseball and he struck out eight Yankees in five-plus innings of one-run ball in the Wild Card Game. The Red Sox owe Eovaldi $17 million this summer, so any team he joins will take on the remaining salary (~$9 million at the deadline). The performances of both the Red Sox and Eovaldi over the next two months will dictate his trade value, but it’s hard to imagine him costing more than a few mid-level prospects. Eovaldi is a viable game one starter if he’s right and at least a mid-rotation starter if he’s who he was before 2021. Other Red Sox to watch: DH/OF J.D. Martinez: another impending free agent who continues to produce. Imagine a lineup with righties Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Martinez, flanked by Jorge Polanco, Luis Arraez, and a revamped Max Kepler. Sheesh. 2. High-leverage reliever Jhoan Duran has fully embraced his role in the bullpen and is currently must-watch TV. He’s a legitimate weapon, but who else back there is? Emilio Pagán, while posting solid numbers, continues to tightrope trouble. Griffin Jax is an exciting development, but his command is spotty enough to wonder if he could handle high-leverage situations. The Twins could use a high-octane, late-inning option. Let me introduce Jorge López, who you may remember from the rival Royals. López posted a 6.42 ERA in 158 ⅓ innings as a hybrid starter in Kansas City. The stuff has always been there for the Puerto Rican, and now he’s finally settled into a late-inning role for the Orioles. López, 29, averages 98 MPH with a turbo sinker, and opponents are having serious trouble hitting his high-spin curveball. He’s missing barrels and forcing opponents to beat balls straight into the ground. Like most unestablished flamethrowers, López sometimes battles his control. When he’s throwing strikes, López is shutting down both righties and lefties. Acquiring López would require a change in the Twins’ style. They rarely commit to relievers past one year, and they’ve never broken the bank for one via trade. López is under team control through 2024, so a trading team would essentially get 2.5 years of his services. López and Duran would give the Twins two fire-breathing right-handers, with Jax, Pagán, Caleb Thielbar, and Tyler Duffey all moved down in the pecking order. Other Orioles to watch: OF Anthony Santander: an underrated switch-hitter who has learned how to draw more walks. A free agent after the 2024 season, Santander is not a particularly great defensive outfielder, but not a complete butcher. 3. A big bat The Twins are benefitting from improved depth. Gilberto Celestino has been a pleasant surprise in the outfield, and Gary Sánchez is driving in runs as the backup catcher and part-time DH. Luis Arraez spends his time at first base as Gio Urshela and José Miranda man the hot corner. Oh, and Royce Lewis is simmering at Triple-A. The offense isn’t a weakness, but it could stand to get better. Nationals first baseman Josh Bell could be an excellent fit for the Twins. Bell, 29, traded to Washington in 2020, has been a solid contributor in more ways than one. Bell does a lot of things well. Through Friday, he’s hit .273/.360/.472 (133 OPS+) with 31 homers in 182 games for the Nats. He’s a switch-hitter who rakes from the left side. He’s a serviceable right-handed hitter, but Bell’s main utility for the Twins would be against right-handed pitchers. Bell has a career .845 OPS as a left-handed hitter, and his 2022 overall expected batting average ranks in the 93rd percentile. Bell is an average defensive first baseman and brings the experience the Twins are looking for at the position. Bell’s career strikeout rate is sub-20%. He hits for average, he hits for power, and he’s one of the more underrated players in baseball. He's an impending free agent, with the Nationals owing him $10 million in his final year of arbitration. This is a fun lineup to dream on for the second half: 1. Byron Buxton, CF 2. Carlos Correa, SS 3. Jorge Polanco (S), 2B 4. Josh Bell (S), 1B 5. Luis Arraez (L), DH 6. Royce Lewis, 3B 7. Max Kepler (L), RF 8. Ryan Jeffers/Gary Sánchez, C 9. Trevor Larnach (L), LF Other Nationals to watch: DH Nelson Cruz: Cruz could be hitting that 41-year-old sized wall, but his batted-ball data is still excellent. How about one final playoff chase with the Boomstick? What do you think about these trade options for the Twins? Comment below!
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