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  1. The midseason hot stove got even hotter on Thursday, and a José Berríos trade appears to be turning from an "if" into a "when". Come read about all the latest news and rumors. Friday News and Rumors: Morosi: José Berríos WILL be traded today. Trade Deadline Intel from Aaron Gleeman We could be in for a busy day... Kyle Gibson Likely on the Move With this report, it certainly sounds like the San Diego Padres are MAJOR players in the José Berríos sweepstakes. The interesting angle with Gibson is that the Twins might not want to wait too long on a Berríos trade. If the Padres don't want to get left without a chair and pull the trigger on Gibson, the Twins could lose out on a potentially exciting offer from San Diego. Thursday News and Rumors: Chicago White Sox Trade For Cesar Hernandez and Ryan Tepera The first pair of trades of the day on Thursday came from the Minnesota Twins’ biggest rivals, the Chicago White Sox who traded for reigning gold glove second baseman, Cesar Hernandez and right-handed reliever, Ryan Tepera. While these moves didn’t have a direct impact on the Minnesota Twins in 2022, Hernandez has a club option for 2023 at $6M, so the Twins could be seeing plenty of Hernandez over the next year and a half should the Sox pick up that option. In acquiring reliever Ryan Tepera, the White Sox gave up their 23rd ranked prospect. Tepara owns a 3.23 ERA since the start of 2020 and is also on an expiring deal, so Twins fans shouldn’t expect the Twins to get a top prospect for Hansel Robles or Alexander Colomé should they choose to move either of them. New York Yankees Trade For Anthony Rizzo Just a day after trading for left handed slugger Joey Gallo, the New York Yankees stayed aggressive in adding another lefty in Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo owns a .792 OPS this season, but his left handed bat figures to play well in Yankee Stadium. From a Twins perspective, the biggest takeaway from the Yankees acquiring Rizzo is that the Yankees are looking to be aggressive at the trade deadline. They have been linked to José Berríos this week, but they could also have interest in other players such as Michael Pineda or Kenta Maeda as they sure look like they want to push for the playoffs this season. Los Angeles Dodgers Trade For Max Scherzer and Trea Turner The headliner deal of the day in the baseball world occurred when the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a blockbuster in acquiring multi-time Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, along with all-star shortstop Trea Turner for a massive haul of prospects including Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray. After initial reports stated that Scherzer was going to be headed to San Diego, the Dodgers swooped in at the last minute to acquire the pair of stars from the Nationals. With Max Scherzer now off the trade market, José Berríos is far and away the biggest pitcher name left on the trade market. Additionally, with the Padres losing out on Max Scherzer and instead him signing with their division rivals, the Padres now figure to be extremely interested in Berríos and now under some pressure to perhaps overpay for him. Boston Red Sox Trade For Kyle Schwarber The trades kept coming on Thursday evening, when the Boston Red Sox traded for Nationals’ outfielder, Kyle Schwarber. This was a big acquisition for the Red Sox who are trying to maintain their lead in the loaded American League East. Similar to the Yankees, this move signaled to the baseball world that the Red Sox are all in, and has also been linked to the Minnesota Twins and José Berríos. Just how aggressive are the Red Sox going to be? San Diego Padres Trade For Daniel Hudson The final trade of the night came when the Nationals continued their sell off and traded reliever Daniel Hudson to the Padres for a low-end pitching prospect. More than 5 Teams are Interested in José Berríos Berríos has become THE name of the MLB trade deadline, with Ken Rosenthal reporting that at least 5 of MLB's contenders are interested in trading for the 2-time all-star. Seattle Mariners Pursued Trade for Berríos In addition to the 5 teams listed above, today we learned that the Seattle Mariners have pursued a trade for Berríos. Also included in the report is that Minnesota is asking for a top young starter. The headliner included in the report is Emerson Hancock who is MLB.com's #23 prospect. New York Mets Appear to Be OUT on Berríos Sweepstakes Many teams were reported to join the José Berríos sweepstakes today, but the reports made it sound as if the New York Mets are not in the mix for a Berríos trade. The New York Mets have a talented farm system with intriguing prospects such as Ronny Mauricio, but for now it appears they are not going to make a push. That can always change, though... What trades do you think will go down on deadline day? Leave a comment and start the conversation! 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
  2. Friday News and Rumors: Morosi: José Berríos WILL be traded today. Trade Deadline Intel from Aaron Gleeman We could be in for a busy day... Kyle Gibson Likely on the Move With this report, it certainly sounds like the San Diego Padres are MAJOR players in the José Berríos sweepstakes. The interesting angle with Gibson is that the Twins might not want to wait too long on a Berríos trade. If the Padres don't want to get left without a chair and pull the trigger on Gibson, the Twins could lose out on a potentially exciting offer from San Diego. Thursday News and Rumors: Chicago White Sox Trade For Cesar Hernandez and Ryan Tepera The first pair of trades of the day on Thursday came from the Minnesota Twins’ biggest rivals, the Chicago White Sox who traded for reigning gold glove second baseman, Cesar Hernandez and right-handed reliever, Ryan Tepera. While these moves didn’t have a direct impact on the Minnesota Twins in 2022, Hernandez has a club option for 2023 at $6M, so the Twins could be seeing plenty of Hernandez over the next year and a half should the Sox pick up that option. In acquiring reliever Ryan Tepera, the White Sox gave up their 23rd ranked prospect. Tepara owns a 3.23 ERA since the start of 2020 and is also on an expiring deal, so Twins fans shouldn’t expect the Twins to get a top prospect for Hansel Robles or Alexander Colomé should they choose to move either of them. New York Yankees Trade For Anthony Rizzo Just a day after trading for left handed slugger Joey Gallo, the New York Yankees stayed aggressive in adding another lefty in Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo owns a .792 OPS this season, but his left handed bat figures to play well in Yankee Stadium. From a Twins perspective, the biggest takeaway from the Yankees acquiring Rizzo is that the Yankees are looking to be aggressive at the trade deadline. They have been linked to José Berríos this week, but they could also have interest in other players such as Michael Pineda or Kenta Maeda as they sure look like they want to push for the playoffs this season. Los Angeles Dodgers Trade For Max Scherzer and Trea Turner The headliner deal of the day in the baseball world occurred when the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a blockbuster in acquiring multi-time Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, along with all-star shortstop Trea Turner for a massive haul of prospects including Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray. After initial reports stated that Scherzer was going to be headed to San Diego, the Dodgers swooped in at the last minute to acquire the pair of stars from the Nationals. With Max Scherzer now off the trade market, José Berríos is far and away the biggest pitcher name left on the trade market. Additionally, with the Padres losing out on Max Scherzer and instead him signing with their division rivals, the Padres now figure to be extremely interested in Berríos and now under some pressure to perhaps overpay for him. Boston Red Sox Trade For Kyle Schwarber The trades kept coming on Thursday evening, when the Boston Red Sox traded for Nationals’ outfielder, Kyle Schwarber. This was a big acquisition for the Red Sox who are trying to maintain their lead in the loaded American League East. Similar to the Yankees, this move signaled to the baseball world that the Red Sox are all in, and has also been linked to the Minnesota Twins and José Berríos. Just how aggressive are the Red Sox going to be? San Diego Padres Trade For Daniel Hudson The final trade of the night came when the Nationals continued their sell off and traded reliever Daniel Hudson to the Padres for a low-end pitching prospect. More than 5 Teams are Interested in José Berríos Berríos has become THE name of the MLB trade deadline, with Ken Rosenthal reporting that at least 5 of MLB's contenders are interested in trading for the 2-time all-star. Seattle Mariners Pursued Trade for Berríos In addition to the 5 teams listed above, today we learned that the Seattle Mariners have pursued a trade for Berríos. Also included in the report is that Minnesota is asking for a top young starter. The headliner included in the report is Emerson Hancock who is MLB.com's #23 prospect. New York Mets Appear to Be OUT on Berríos Sweepstakes Many teams were reported to join the José Berríos sweepstakes today, but the reports made it sound as if the New York Mets are not in the mix for a Berríos trade. The New York Mets have a talented farm system with intriguing prospects such as Ronny Mauricio, but for now it appears they are not going to make a push. That can always change, though... What trades do you think will go down on deadline day? Leave a comment and start the conversation! 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. Only two short seasons ago, Kepler exploded at Double-A on his way to winning Southern League MVP honors. He hit .322/.416/.531 with 56 extra-base hits across 431 at-bats. These numbers were an improvement from his career totals in the minor leagues (.281/.363/.446) and many prospect followers believed he had put it all together. Following a brief September call-up in 2015, Kepler became a mainstay in the Twins line-up during 2016. He struggled through his rookie campaign by hitting .235/.309/.424 with 17 home runs and 20 doubles. Hitting isn't the only part of his game as he provided 4.4 runs on the bases according to BsR (FanGraphs' base running statistic and the base running component of their WAR) and six defensive runs saved. Kepler has made measurable strides in his second full MLB season. Compared to 2016, he's raised his batting average over 30 points and this has helped him to get on base almost 34% of the time. He has improved his wRC+ from 93 in 2016 to 108 in 2017. According to both Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, the only Twins position player worth more WAR this season is Miguel Sano. He's hitting the ball hard as well. Last season, Kepler hit the ball at an average exit velocity of 89.4 mph. He ranked 81st among 225 hitters with a minimum of 250 balls in play which ranked him higher than the likes of Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado. This season, his average exit velocity has dipped to 88.4 but he ranks 64th among 147 players with 200 at-bats. He's hitting the ball harder than Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto, and Evan Longoria. Earlier this season, I identified Kepler as one of a trio of players who was helping to spur Minnesota's defensive turnaround. He ranks in the top-12 among AL outfielders in defensive runs saved. This spring MLB Advanced Media introduced a new Statcast metric called Catch Probability, which measures how likely a fielder is to catch a given ball in play based on its distance and hang time. Kepler leads MLB in "three-star outs" as he has gone 15-for-17 in those opportunities. Three-star outs have a 51-75% chance of being caught. To stay in the hunt for a division title, the Twins need young core players to perform at a high level. Jacque Jones was one of those players for the Twins in the early 2000s. He didn't have a season worth more than 2.0 WAR until he was 27-years old. Kepler has managed that in each of his first two seasons and he won't be 25 until next February. Kepler may never be an all-star like Miguel Sano or track down fly-balls as well as Byron Buxton but he is slowly improving. His offense and defense continue to improve and he is part of the team's long-term plans. Fans should appreciate the value he has brought to the 2017 version of the Twins. Show your appreciation for Kepler in the COMMENTS.
  4. With the Twins expected to officially announce the hiring of Derek Falvey as President of Baseball Opportunities any day now, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look back at how the Cubs' rebuild got started. Now the envy of the baseball world, the Cubs had fallen on hard times prior to hiring their current PBO, Theo Epstein. Epstein took over in October 2011 and his first move was to hire Jed Hoyer, his former right-hand man in Boston, to serve as his general manager. And it was all butterflies and rainbows in Wrigleyville from there, right? Well ... not so much.The first major league signing under the new regime was, drum roll please, David DeJesus! Not exactly a big splash, franchise-defining move. Their first trade didn't work out so well, either. They sent future All-Star, Gold Glover and possible 2016 NL batting champ D.J. LaMahieu to Colorado with Tyler Colvin for Ian Stewart (who hit .210/.292/.335 in one season for the Cubs) and Casey Weathers (who never made it out of the minors). Ooops. Luckily for the Cubbie faithful, they didn't misfire on another big trade they made that winter. On Jan. 6, 2012, the new-look Cubs front office, just a few months on the job, made a franchise-altering trade, though it didn't appear to be that impactful at the time. Despite the old adage that pitching wins championships, the Cubs sent young fireballer Andrew Cashner, the organization's first-round pick in '08, to the Padres for Anthony Rizzo. It was essentially a challenge trade, swapping two young players, one of whom (Cashner) Epstein and Hoyer couldn't have known too well, for one whom they were extremely familiar with. Epstein was the general manager of the Red Sox when they drafted Rizzo and Hoyer was the GM of the Padres when they traded for him. He was their guy. It wasn't exactly a popular trade at the time, seeing as Rizzo had just hit .141/.281/.242 in 49 games with San Diego, but it has turned out to be one of the better trades of the past 20 years. Over the past three seasons, only Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson have accumulated more fWAR than Rizzo's 16.3. Cashner never lived up to his lofty expectations. But it's not like it was all smooth sailing even after the Rizzo trade. The next offseason, Epstein handed out his first big money free agent contract with the Cubs. In Jan. '13, the Cubs signed Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52 million deal and he rewarded them with a 5.37 ERA. To Twins fans, that deal looks eerily similar to the Ricky Nolasco contract. The Epstein-run front office had also struggled to find a manager. Only a couple of weeks after the new regime took over they fired Mike Quade (current Rochester Red Wings skipper) despite the fact he was under contract for the 2012 season. They brought in Dale Sveum as their hand-picked replacement, but his .392 winning percentage over two seasons didn't cut it. In 2014 they replaced Sveum with Rick Renteria, who served only one year on the job after some odd circumstances led Joe Maddon to take the reins. Chicago's love affair with Maddon started on Day 1, as he famously offered to buy everyone shots at his hiring press conference. The .619 winning percentage the team has posted since doesn't hurt either. To summarize, thing's didn't just turn over for the Epstein-led Cubs at the flip of (GM) switch, and their record was indicative of that. In the first season under the new regime, the Cubs actually lost 101 games. They didn't post a winning record until just last season, which was the fourth under Epstein's leadership. But ask any Cubs fan and they'll tell you it doesn't matter how long it took to get here. It was well worth the wait. Along with making improvements to Wrigley Field to ensure it will be a viable ballpark for the future, the Cubs have built both an elite roster and farm system. And best of all, this team appears to have a window of contention about as large as the windows that open up on the Vikings' new stadium. The Cubs have baseball's best record, but even if they can't break their 107-year World Series drought this season, when the bleacher bums say "there's always next year" instead of it being a sheepish rallying cry, they can really mean it this time. They appear to be well equipped for an extended stay atop the NL. For their efforts, the Cubs just gave extensions to Epstein, Hoyer and player development guru Jason McLeod. Looking at the Cubs' turnaround, the first thing that stands out to me is how little it mattered that the new regime was able to hire their own manager. They didn't really get their guy (Maddon) until the team was ready for contention. Many have argued that Jim Pohlad's insistence that Paul Molitor remain as manager is a cataclysmic mistake. It probably isn't the wisest move, but at the same time it probably won't really matter. It seems there's a very good chance Falvey will able to hire his manager for the 2018 season, at the latest. Of course, every team and every front office is different, and Twins fans shouldn't expect Falvey to take the Cubs rebuild as a blueprint. It is, however, worthwhile to note that what may eventually go down as one of the greatest turnarounds and front office tenures in baseball history took three years to get off the ground. Given the year we've suffered through, it may be painful to accept the fact the Twins may have a few more lean years ahead. But, if Falvey and company (whoever that may be) can deliver an extended run of championship-caliber teams it will be well worth the wait, however long it may be. That should be the ultimate goal, regardless of what it means for the 2017 season. Click here to view the article
  5. The first major league signing under the new regime was, drum roll please, David DeJesus! Not exactly a big splash, franchise-defining move. Their first trade didn't work out so well, either. They sent future All-Star, Gold Glover and possible 2016 NL batting champ D.J. LaMahieu to Colorado with Tyler Colvin for Ian Stewart (who hit .210/.292/.335 in one season for the Cubs) and Casey Weathers (who never made it out of the minors). Ooops. Luckily for the Cubbie faithful, they didn't misfire on another big trade they made that winter. On Jan. 6, 2012, the new-look Cubs front office, just a few months on the job, made a franchise-altering trade, though it didn't appear to be that impactful at the time. Despite the old adage that pitching wins championships, the Cubs sent young fireballer Andrew Cashner, the organization's first-round pick in '08, to the Padres for Anthony Rizzo. It was essentially a challenge trade, swapping two young players, one of whom (Cashner) Epstein and Hoyer couldn't have known too well, for one whom they were extremely familiar with. Epstein was the general manager of the Red Sox when they drafted Rizzo and Hoyer was the GM of the Padres when they traded for him. He was their guy. It wasn't exactly a popular trade at the time, seeing as Rizzo had just hit .141/.281/.242 in 49 games with San Diego, but it has turned out to be one of the better trades of the past 20 years. Over the past three seasons, only Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson have accumulated more fWAR than Rizzo's 16.3. Cashner never lived up to his lofty expectations. But it's not like it was all smooth sailing even after the Rizzo trade. The next offseason, Epstein handed out his first big money free agent contract with the Cubs. In Jan. '13, the Cubs signed Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52 million deal and he rewarded them with a 5.37 ERA. To Twins fans, that deal looks eerily similar to the Ricky Nolasco contract. The Epstein-run front office had also struggled to find a manager. Only a couple of weeks after the new regime took over they fired Mike Quade (current Rochester Red Wings skipper) despite the fact he was under contract for the 2012 season. They brought in Dale Sveum as their hand-picked replacement, but his .392 winning percentage over two seasons didn't cut it. In 2014 they replaced Sveum with Rick Renteria, who served only one year on the job after some odd circumstances led Joe Maddon to take the reins. Chicago's love affair with Maddon started on Day 1, as he famously offered to buy everyone shots at his hiring press conference. The .619 winning percentage the team has posted since doesn't hurt either. To summarize, thing's didn't just turn over for the Epstein-led Cubs at the flip of (GM) switch, and their record was indicative of that. In the first season under the new regime, the Cubs actually lost 101 games. They didn't post a winning record until just last season, which was the fourth under Epstein's leadership. But ask any Cubs fan and they'll tell you it doesn't matter how long it took to get here. It was well worth the wait. Along with making improvements to Wrigley Field to ensure it will be a viable ballpark for the future, the Cubs have built both an elite roster and farm system. And best of all, this team appears to have a window of contention about as large as the windows that open up on the Vikings' new stadium. The Cubs have baseball's best record, but even if they can't break their 107-year World Series drought this season, when the bleacher bums say "there's always next year" instead of it being a sheepish rallying cry, they can really mean it this time. They appear to be well equipped for an extended stay atop the NL. For their efforts, the Cubs just gave extensions to Epstein, Hoyer and player development guru Jason McLeod. Looking at the Cubs' turnaround, the first thing that stands out to me is how little it mattered that the new regime was able to hire their own manager. They didn't really get their guy (Maddon) until the team was ready for contention. Many have argued that Jim Pohlad's insistence that Paul Molitor remain as manager is a cataclysmic mistake. It probably isn't the wisest move, but at the same time it probably won't really matter. It seems there's a very good chance Falvey will able to hire his manager for the 2018 season, at the latest. Of course, every team and every front office is different, and Twins fans shouldn't expect Falvey to take the Cubs rebuild as a blueprint. It is, however, worthwhile to note that what may eventually go down as one of the greatest turnarounds and front office tenures in baseball history took three years to get off the ground. Given the year we've suffered through, it may be painful to accept the fact the Twins may have a few more lean years ahead. But, if Falvey and company (whoever that may be) can deliver an extended run of championship-caliber teams it will be well worth the wait, however long it may be. That should be the ultimate goal, regardless of what it means for the 2017 season.
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