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  1. Much has been made about the Minnesota Twins trading for Frankie Montas, Tyler Mahle or Kyle Gibson, but there is one pitcher who is better than all of them and might be attainable. It would just take a godfather offer. The Minnesota Twins’ need for a starting pitcher is undeniable. The duo of Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan have been rock solid for the Twins in 2022, but Minnesota needs another top-line starter to help them secure a division title and throw out in a playoff game. Frankie Montas has been talked about extensively as the top trade target, but there is another starting pitcher on a losing team who would be an even better target, right handed pitcher, Zac Gallen. Zac Gallen is a 26-year-old ace starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks who is in his fourth season in the Majors. In his Major League career, Gallen boasts a 3.35 ERA with a 10.1 K/9 and an excellent K/BB ratio of 3.01. In his best season, 2020, Gallen posted a 2.75 ERA and finished ninth in the National League Cy Young voting. As a young starting pitcher, Zac Gallen also brings with him years of control. The Arizona right-hander is currently in the last year of his rookie contract, of $745,600 heading into his first year of arbitration. This means that a team who would acquire him at the trade deadline would get him for the remainder of the 2022 season, along with three additional years of team control at an affordable arbitration cost. So, why might the Arizona Diamondbacks be looking to trade their young, talented, and controllable starting pitcher? Currently, Arizona finds themselves in fourth place, eight games below .500, in the best division in the national league. The Diamondbacks have not made the playoffs since 2017 and do not look poised to do so this year. While Gallen looks to be an ace starting pitcher, it’s fair to wonder just when Arizona might be ready to compete, and if their best course of action would be to cash in on their right-hander now, while his value is at its all-time peak. According to a Jon Heyman article in the New York Post earlier this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks plan to keep Zac Gallen, “unless they get an offer they can’t refuse.” This time of the year it’s always hard to tell how much to believe in these reports versus how much is posturing by teams and/or agents. But taking the post from the New York Post at face value, what would it take for the Twins to offer the Diamondbacks an offer that they couldn’t refuse? In my mind, a great offer like that would involve a Major League player right now, along with future assets. Something along the lines of Trevor Larnach, Austin Martin, Josh Winder and Jordan Balazovic could start the conversation and get the Diamondbacks interested in a potential deal with the Twins. Another piece of the Zac Gallen conversation that might make Twins fans nervous, but might also lessen the cost of Zac Gallen in a trade is his potential injury concerns. Earlier this season, Gallen was placed on the injured list with a UCL strain. Of course, this might bring back some bad memories from Chris Paddack and his UCL issues prior to the Twins trading for him and ultimately losing him to Tommy John surgery. At the same time, though, the injury concerns for both the Diamondbacks as well as other suitors might just lower the cost to the point that his cost of acquisition would be lower than what you would expect from an ace with three and a half years of team control. The Twins should absolutely explore trades for the Frankie Montases and Tyler Mahles of the world, but if Zac Gallen is on the market, the Twins should put together their best offer to bring him to the Twin Cities. Would you be excited about Zac Gallen coming to the Minnesota Twins? Do his elbow issues concern you? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  2. The Minnesota Twins’ need for a starting pitcher is undeniable. The duo of Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan have been rock solid for the Twins in 2022, but Minnesota needs another top-line starter to help them secure a division title and throw out in a playoff game. Frankie Montas has been talked about extensively as the top trade target, but there is another starting pitcher on a losing team who would be an even better target, right handed pitcher, Zac Gallen. Zac Gallen is a 26-year-old ace starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks who is in his fourth season in the Majors. In his Major League career, Gallen boasts a 3.35 ERA with a 10.1 K/9 and an excellent K/BB ratio of 3.01. In his best season, 2020, Gallen posted a 2.75 ERA and finished ninth in the National League Cy Young voting. As a young starting pitcher, Zac Gallen also brings with him years of control. The Arizona right-hander is currently in the last year of his rookie contract, of $745,600 heading into his first year of arbitration. This means that a team who would acquire him at the trade deadline would get him for the remainder of the 2022 season, along with three additional years of team control at an affordable arbitration cost. So, why might the Arizona Diamondbacks be looking to trade their young, talented, and controllable starting pitcher? Currently, Arizona finds themselves in fourth place, eight games below .500, in the best division in the national league. The Diamondbacks have not made the playoffs since 2017 and do not look poised to do so this year. While Gallen looks to be an ace starting pitcher, it’s fair to wonder just when Arizona might be ready to compete, and if their best course of action would be to cash in on their right-hander now, while his value is at its all-time peak. According to a Jon Heyman article in the New York Post earlier this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks plan to keep Zac Gallen, “unless they get an offer they can’t refuse.” This time of the year it’s always hard to tell how much to believe in these reports versus how much is posturing by teams and/or agents. But taking the post from the New York Post at face value, what would it take for the Twins to offer the Diamondbacks an offer that they couldn’t refuse? In my mind, a great offer like that would involve a Major League player right now, along with future assets. Something along the lines of Trevor Larnach, Austin Martin, Josh Winder and Jordan Balazovic could start the conversation and get the Diamondbacks interested in a potential deal with the Twins. Another piece of the Zac Gallen conversation that might make Twins fans nervous, but might also lessen the cost of Zac Gallen in a trade is his potential injury concerns. Earlier this season, Gallen was placed on the injured list with a UCL strain. Of course, this might bring back some bad memories from Chris Paddack and his UCL issues prior to the Twins trading for him and ultimately losing him to Tommy John surgery. At the same time, though, the injury concerns for both the Diamondbacks as well as other suitors might just lower the cost to the point that his cost of acquisition would be lower than what you would expect from an ace with three and a half years of team control. The Twins should absolutely explore trades for the Frankie Montases and Tyler Mahles of the world, but if Zac Gallen is on the market, the Twins should put together their best offer to bring him to the Twin Cities. Would you be excited about Zac Gallen coming to the Minnesota Twins? Do his elbow issues concern you? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  3. Thursday night, we watched as the Twins imploded late in the game against the Yankees. The depleted pitching staff struggled to keep the Yankees off the board and ultimately cost the Twins a win. The offense is on a trajectory for postseason action, but the pitching rotation and bullpen aren't even close. With the trade deadline coming in just under two months, the Twins need to capitalize on trades for available starting and back-end bullpen help. With several recent graduations, the Twins’ farm system is middle of the pack in the league. Sitting at 15 on Bleacher Report’s organizational, the Twins' depth has three top 100 players and more with the capability to get there. The Twins have acquired a lot of talent through the draft but also in some quality trades. Last year's Jose Berrios trade with the Blue Jays left many in the Twins community unhappy. He was an All-Star caliber pitcher for the Twins, the best one they had at the time. Berrios pitched one of his best games against the Twins last week reminding fans how much his arm is missed. At that time, many fans thought that was the most painful trade and left a sinking hole in people's hearts, but not as much as the trade with Tampa sending the fan and clubhouse favorite Nelson Cruz to the Rays. Those trades brought pitchers Joe Ryan, Drew Strotman, and Simeon Woods Richardson, as well as consensus Top 100 prospect, Austin Martin. To this point, only Joe Ryan has made a significant impact on the big-league club and bolstered them to where they are now. The Twins have an above .500 record, first place in the division, and three games ahead of the second-place Guardians. If it weren't for the trades, the team may not be stacked like it is. The only place the Twins seem to be struggling is the pitching, which is a nice change for the club, which seemed to struggle in all aspects of the game last year. This season though, it’s starting rotation has taken a huge hit. Even with the extra few roster spots and time to stretch out, we have seen several pitchers lose time due to injury. Josh Winder is out with a shoulder impingement, Sonny Gray is on the IL with a pectoral strain after making a comeback from a previous trip to the IL with a leg injury. Bailey Ober is back on the IL with the groin injury that cost him three weeks earlier this season. Joe Ryan is rehabbing after missing time on the COVID-IL. Chris Paddack had Tommy John surgery last month, and Cody Stashak needs season-ending biceps/shoulder surgery. Even if they get healthy, having another starting pitcher makes all the sense. At the end of the lockout, the Twins started by making some strong trades to bolster their roster, but at the end of all of the amazing acquisitions, the fan base was left wondering one question: "Where Frankie?” Frankie Montas, the right-handed starter from Oakland, is still there, beefing up his trade value and becoming one of the most significant assets at the trade deadline. To make this deal, the Twins would have to give the A's several players that would bolster their talent base and, hopefully, their fan base. Last week, Montas had a strong appearance, a win against the Astros, something the Twins lacked early on in the season. Montas has been doing his work to keep his trade value up. He has posted a 3.20 ERA and a 0.99 WHiP in his 64 2/3 innings entering Friday, striking out 71 batters with 15 walks. The Athletics know that he is a substantial piece of everyone's puzzle and will be looking for the best trade pieces to deal him. The A's spent the offseason cutting payroll, again. They traded Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays, Matt Olson to Atlanta, and Sean Manaea to the Padres. First-year manager Mark Kotsay has done a nice job working with the team in what is clearly a rebuilding phase. They acquired a lot of talent for those players, and will expect a ton in return for Montas. Keeping in mind that the Twins also need to acquire at least two relief pitchers without giving away the farm for Montas, the best trade pieces for the right-hander are Alex Kirilloff, José Miranda and Jovani Moran. Kirilloff and Miranda have quickly settled into the majors. Kirilloff struggled at the beginning of the season with an injury, but the outfielder has been cleaning up in St. Paul. He could be a home run hitter for the West Coast team. He has a good trade value. With all the depth in the Minnesota outfield with players like Trevor Larnach, Kyle Garlick, Gilberto Celestino, Nick Gordon, and Max Kepler, to name a few. Miranda, who looked a little shaky early in his big-league time, has grown into his swing. The corner infielder has been a surprising member of the home run club that the Twins have this season, and while it's not all the time, his batting certainly has come in clutch several times. Because the Athletics are struggling this season with pitching, giving them a player like Jovani Moran would give them another arm to fall back on. While The Twins are seemingly struggling with their bullpen, the pitchers there, given the ability to rest, can be effective for the team. Moran has a low ERA, and 13 strikeouts in his eight innings pitched. He hasn't been a massive contributor to the Twins’ bullpen and could easily be part of a package deal. Adding one more starting pitcher to the rotation, along with getting their starters healthy, would be good for the Twins. Another option might come from Cincinnati, like Sonny Gray did. Or, maybe both? Tyler Mahle has had a tough season for the Reds. He is 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 13 starts. The starting pitcher has not impacted the Reds' losses or wins, and they are several years from competing, so Mahle (and Luis Castillo) should be available. The Twins could easily trade for Montas and Mahle and still have a solid chance at making the postseason. Mahle has gone strong in six innings in his most recent appearances with a .193 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 18 innings. Most of the Twins pitching staff are just now working up to pitching six innings, Chris Archer just recently pitched five. While the trade with the Reds would not be as costly as the trade with the Athletics, Mahle would still carry a high enough price that Twins fans would have to understand another significant asset from the organization would be a part of a trade. Austin Martin is a great piece to make a trade. When acquired in the trade of Berríos, Martin was a top prospect and looked promising coming into the organization. Since arriving at the Twins, however, Martin’s trade value has declined some as his power has not yet developed in-game. He is not a bad player and is hitting .244 with a .366 OBP at Double-A Wichita. Like Gary Sánchez, a change of scenery may do him well. The Twins have plenty of depth at shortstop and can afford to part with Martin as part of a package deal with Noah Miller. Noah Miller, a shortstop with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, was a 2021 draftee in the first round (36th overall) from Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, Wisconsin. With a similar batting average to Martin, and since the Twins have Carlos Correa and Jermaine Palacios and hopefully Royce Lewis, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear will bounce back and get healthy. There wouldn't be any logistical reasoning to keep Miller and Martin as players in the system. Making these two pitching acquisitions would allow the Twins to bring on at least one or two more bullpen acquisitions or give a player like Jharel Cotton more growth opportunities. The bullpen would be more successful with a solid, healthy starting rotation. Forcing the bullpen to pitch as much as they have will end their season sooner than fans and the team want. With the offense as solid as it is, the organization and the fans deserve pitching that is just as solid. Everyone is looking at Mahle and Montas, so the Twins and the fans need to be ready to wheel and deal. What do you think the Twins should do about pitching? Are you willing to trade your favorite player? Who are other pitchers you think the Twins should look at getting before the deadline? View full article
  4. With several recent graduations, the Twins’ farm system is middle of the pack in the league. Sitting at 15 on Bleacher Report’s organizational, the Twins' depth has three top 100 players and more with the capability to get there. The Twins have acquired a lot of talent through the draft but also in some quality trades. Last year's Jose Berrios trade with the Blue Jays left many in the Twins community unhappy. He was an All-Star caliber pitcher for the Twins, the best one they had at the time. Berrios pitched one of his best games against the Twins last week reminding fans how much his arm is missed. At that time, many fans thought that was the most painful trade and left a sinking hole in people's hearts, but not as much as the trade with Tampa sending the fan and clubhouse favorite Nelson Cruz to the Rays. Those trades brought pitchers Joe Ryan, Drew Strotman, and Simeon Woods Richardson, as well as consensus Top 100 prospect, Austin Martin. To this point, only Joe Ryan has made a significant impact on the big-league club and bolstered them to where they are now. The Twins have an above .500 record, first place in the division, and three games ahead of the second-place Guardians. If it weren't for the trades, the team may not be stacked like it is. The only place the Twins seem to be struggling is the pitching, which is a nice change for the club, which seemed to struggle in all aspects of the game last year. This season though, it’s starting rotation has taken a huge hit. Even with the extra few roster spots and time to stretch out, we have seen several pitchers lose time due to injury. Josh Winder is out with a shoulder impingement, Sonny Gray is on the IL with a pectoral strain after making a comeback from a previous trip to the IL with a leg injury. Bailey Ober is back on the IL with the groin injury that cost him three weeks earlier this season. Joe Ryan is rehabbing after missing time on the COVID-IL. Chris Paddack had Tommy John surgery last month, and Cody Stashak needs season-ending biceps/shoulder surgery. Even if they get healthy, having another starting pitcher makes all the sense. At the end of the lockout, the Twins started by making some strong trades to bolster their roster, but at the end of all of the amazing acquisitions, the fan base was left wondering one question: "Where Frankie?” Frankie Montas, the right-handed starter from Oakland, is still there, beefing up his trade value and becoming one of the most significant assets at the trade deadline. To make this deal, the Twins would have to give the A's several players that would bolster their talent base and, hopefully, their fan base. Last week, Montas had a strong appearance, a win against the Astros, something the Twins lacked early on in the season. Montas has been doing his work to keep his trade value up. He has posted a 3.20 ERA and a 0.99 WHiP in his 64 2/3 innings entering Friday, striking out 71 batters with 15 walks. The Athletics know that he is a substantial piece of everyone's puzzle and will be looking for the best trade pieces to deal him. The A's spent the offseason cutting payroll, again. They traded Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays, Matt Olson to Atlanta, and Sean Manaea to the Padres. First-year manager Mark Kotsay has done a nice job working with the team in what is clearly a rebuilding phase. They acquired a lot of talent for those players, and will expect a ton in return for Montas. Keeping in mind that the Twins also need to acquire at least two relief pitchers without giving away the farm for Montas, the best trade pieces for the right-hander are Alex Kirilloff, José Miranda and Jovani Moran. Kirilloff and Miranda have quickly settled into the majors. Kirilloff struggled at the beginning of the season with an injury, but the outfielder has been cleaning up in St. Paul. He could be a home run hitter for the West Coast team. He has a good trade value. With all the depth in the Minnesota outfield with players like Trevor Larnach, Kyle Garlick, Gilberto Celestino, Nick Gordon, and Max Kepler, to name a few. Miranda, who looked a little shaky early in his big-league time, has grown into his swing. The corner infielder has been a surprising member of the home run club that the Twins have this season, and while it's not all the time, his batting certainly has come in clutch several times. Because the Athletics are struggling this season with pitching, giving them a player like Jovani Moran would give them another arm to fall back on. While The Twins are seemingly struggling with their bullpen, the pitchers there, given the ability to rest, can be effective for the team. Moran has a low ERA, and 13 strikeouts in his eight innings pitched. He hasn't been a massive contributor to the Twins’ bullpen and could easily be part of a package deal. Adding one more starting pitcher to the rotation, along with getting their starters healthy, would be good for the Twins. Another option might come from Cincinnati, like Sonny Gray did. Or, maybe both? Tyler Mahle has had a tough season for the Reds. He is 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 13 starts. The starting pitcher has not impacted the Reds' losses or wins, and they are several years from competing, so Mahle (and Luis Castillo) should be available. The Twins could easily trade for Montas and Mahle and still have a solid chance at making the postseason. Mahle has gone strong in six innings in his most recent appearances with a .193 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 18 innings. Most of the Twins pitching staff are just now working up to pitching six innings, Chris Archer just recently pitched five. While the trade with the Reds would not be as costly as the trade with the Athletics, Mahle would still carry a high enough price that Twins fans would have to understand another significant asset from the organization would be a part of a trade. Austin Martin is a great piece to make a trade. When acquired in the trade of Berríos, Martin was a top prospect and looked promising coming into the organization. Since arriving at the Twins, however, Martin’s trade value has declined some as his power has not yet developed in-game. He is not a bad player and is hitting .244 with a .366 OBP at Double-A Wichita. Like Gary Sánchez, a change of scenery may do him well. The Twins have plenty of depth at shortstop and can afford to part with Martin as part of a package deal with Noah Miller. Noah Miller, a shortstop with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, was a 2021 draftee in the first round (36th overall) from Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, Wisconsin. With a similar batting average to Martin, and since the Twins have Carlos Correa and Jermaine Palacios and hopefully Royce Lewis, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear will bounce back and get healthy. There wouldn't be any logistical reasoning to keep Miller and Martin as players in the system. Making these two pitching acquisitions would allow the Twins to bring on at least one or two more bullpen acquisitions or give a player like Jharel Cotton more growth opportunities. The bullpen would be more successful with a solid, healthy starting rotation. Forcing the bullpen to pitch as much as they have will end their season sooner than fans and the team want. With the offense as solid as it is, the organization and the fans deserve pitching that is just as solid. Everyone is looking at Mahle and Montas, so the Twins and the fans need to be ready to wheel and deal. What do you think the Twins should do about pitching? Are you willing to trade your favorite player? Who are other pitchers you think the Twins should look at getting before the deadline?
  5. Minnesota's starting pitching started the year strong, but some poor performances and injury concerns have raised questions about the rotation. Do the Twins need to look into available starting pitchers on the trade market? Earlier this week, Peter Gammons checked in on starting pitchers from multiple non-contending teams, and these teams are open for business if the right offer is on the table. Some of these players will take quite the package to acquire, so let's analyze the players available for trade. RHP Luis Castillo Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season Minnesota traded for one of Cincinnati's starting pitchers this winter, but it would take more than one prospect to acquire Castillo. He is under team control through next season, but he has a small body of work in 2022. He didn't make his season debut until May 10 after dealing with shoulder soreness during spring training. Teams interested in trading for Castillo will want a good look at his medicals before dealing away multiple top prospects to acquire him. It seems more likely for him to be dealt at the deadline if he can prove he is healthy over the next three months. RHP Tyler Mahle Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season Mahle is another Reds pitcher with a chance to be dealt, but he is a name that hasn't been frequently mentioned in trade talks. Like Castillo, he is under team control through the end of next season. In 2022, Mahle has a 6.46 ERA with a 1.57 WHIP and 32 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. From 2020-21, he posted a 128 ERA+ while posting a 10.7 K/9. Some of his Statcast numbers point to him turning it around as his Chase Rate and Barrel% are in the 68th percentile or higher. Teams trading for Mahle are hoping to get the version of Mahle from the previous two seasons instead of the one so far in 2022. LHP David Price Free Agent: Following the 2022 Season Gammons mentioned the Dodgers are willing to trade Price so he can start for another club. He has been limited to one start and five appearances this season because he tested positive for COVID-19. Last season, Price made 39 appearances, but only 11 were in a starting role. Can a team still utilize him as a starter, or is the 36-year-old only a bullpen option? He is also making $32 million this season, but the Red Sox are on the hook for half of that total. Maybe he has something left in the tank that can help a contending team, but he hasn't made 30 starts or more since the 2018 season. RHP Frankie Montas Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season Where's Frankie? Well, he's still waiting for a team to rescue him from Oakland's pitching staff. Gammons heard the Athletics are waiting until closer to the deadline to deal Montas because they feel like it will result in a bidding war. Last season, he finished in the top-10 for the AL Cy Young, and he is off to a strong start so far in 2022. Minnesota had conversations with multiple teams this offseason about starting pitching, so the Twins and A's have likely discussed Montas. Out of the players on this list, he is performing well, which likely means it will take a decent trade package to acquire him. Do the Twins need to trade for one of these players? Which player stands out to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  6. Earlier this week, Peter Gammons checked in on starting pitchers from multiple non-contending teams, and these teams are open for business if the right offer is on the table. Some of these players will take quite the package to acquire, so let's analyze the players available for trade. RHP Luis Castillo Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season Minnesota traded for one of Cincinnati's starting pitchers this winter, but it would take more than one prospect to acquire Castillo. He is under team control through next season, but he has a small body of work in 2022. He didn't make his season debut until May 10 after dealing with shoulder soreness during spring training. Teams interested in trading for Castillo will want a good look at his medicals before dealing away multiple top prospects to acquire him. It seems more likely for him to be dealt at the deadline if he can prove he is healthy over the next three months. RHP Tyler Mahle Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season Mahle is another Reds pitcher with a chance to be dealt, but he is a name that hasn't been frequently mentioned in trade talks. Like Castillo, he is under team control through the end of next season. In 2022, Mahle has a 6.46 ERA with a 1.57 WHIP and 32 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. From 2020-21, he posted a 128 ERA+ while posting a 10.7 K/9. Some of his Statcast numbers point to him turning it around as his Chase Rate and Barrel% are in the 68th percentile or higher. Teams trading for Mahle are hoping to get the version of Mahle from the previous two seasons instead of the one so far in 2022. LHP David Price Free Agent: Following the 2022 Season Gammons mentioned the Dodgers are willing to trade Price so he can start for another club. He has been limited to one start and five appearances this season because he tested positive for COVID-19. Last season, Price made 39 appearances, but only 11 were in a starting role. Can a team still utilize him as a starter, or is the 36-year-old only a bullpen option? He is also making $32 million this season, but the Red Sox are on the hook for half of that total. Maybe he has something left in the tank that can help a contending team, but he hasn't made 30 starts or more since the 2018 season. RHP Frankie Montas Free Agent: Following the 2023 Season Where's Frankie? Well, he's still waiting for a team to rescue him from Oakland's pitching staff. Gammons heard the Athletics are waiting until closer to the deadline to deal Montas because they feel like it will result in a bidding war. Last season, he finished in the top-10 for the AL Cy Young, and he is off to a strong start so far in 2022. Minnesota had conversations with multiple teams this offseason about starting pitching, so the Twins and A's have likely discussed Montas. Out of the players on this list, he is performing well, which likely means it will take a decent trade package to acquire him. Do the Twins need to trade for one of these players? Which player stands out to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  7. Given how things have played out, with the lockout causing a major overlap between Hot Stove season and spring training, it's only fitting that our last offseason status update comes just four days ahead of the season opener. Read on for a rundown of the front office's final (we think?) moves and a look ahead at the projected 2022 Twins roster and payroll. Around the time of our last check-in, anticipation was building for a big move to round out the rotation after the splashy addition of Carlos Correa. Such a bold showing of intention had to be followed by a similarly decisive pitching acquisition, right? It turns out, no. The Twins were evidently shut out in the trade market and so they pivoted to fill the last spot in their rotation with a fairly low-wattage signing. The bullpen received a bit more veteran depth with a couple of minor-league signings, but for the most part, it looks like this is the pitching staff Minnesota will roll with. Let's take a look at the last few players brought into this mix. Twins Make a Volatile Upside Play with Chris Archer Signing At one point, Chris Archer ranked among the best and most durable young pitchers in baseball. From 2013 through 2017 in Tampa, he almost never missed a start, piling up nearly 1,000 innings in 156 starts with a 3.60 ERA and 9.7 K/9 rate. Those days are now in the distant past. In four seasons since, the righty has thrown 287 innings with a 4.70 ERA, although the strikeout ability has remained (10.3 K/9). He didn't pitch in 2020 due to thoracic outlet surgery, and was limited to just six appearances last year in his reunion with the Rays. So, obviously a longshot. But that's why he was still available this late in the game, and why he came with such a low guaranteed price tag ($3.5M). Archer will be able to significantly increase his 2022 salary by reaching productivity thresholds, in a deal that is somewhat similar in structure to the one Rich Hill signed with Minnesota two years ago – a "pay-as-you-play" approach, as JD Cameron puts it. It's been a while since we've seen it materialize, but Archer's upside remains, and his debut in a Twins uniform on Friday offered some encouraging signs in terms of his velocity and stuff. Two More Veteran Relievers Join the Bullpen Picture A couple names you might recognize joined the Twins on minor-league deals last week: Jake Petricka and JC Ramirez. Both right-handers have thrown more than 200 innings in the majors and pitched most recently for the Angels. Neither pitcher has a significant recent track record in the majors – Ramirez hasn't appeared since 2019 and Petricka has thrown just 14 total innings since 2018. But the experience could give them a leg up on the depth chart, and Ramirez in particular is interesting because he could become a bridge-type guy capable of providing multiple innings. No More Trades for Pitching? The Twins kept on pushing for one of Oakland's two top starting pitchers known to be available. After the team signed Archer, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reported that "They also have spent the past 2 1/2 weeks attempting to pry either Frankie Montas or Sean Manaea away from Oakland without success. While the Twins have made it clear they’d like to complete a deal — and still have interest in one — the previously wheeling-and-dealing A’s haven’t recently engaged them." On Sunday, the A's finally pulled the trigger on one of these two starters – Manaea, who they were always much more motivated to deal due to his salary and expiring team control. Oakland sent the left-hander to San Diego for a fairly underwhelming return, suggesting there wasn't much of a market for him despite many teams still looking to add starters. It remains possible that the Twins could strike an 11th-hour deal for Montas or another starter. But in all likelihood, the current group is the one they're going to roll into the season with. So let's take a look at how that group shakes out. Twins 2022 Roster & Payroll Projection The team has made a bunch of cuts, narrowing down the final field of players in camp and leaving only a few decisions to be made on the bullpen and bench. Below you can find my stab at projecting the Opening Day roster. A few notes: I've got Brent Rooker filling the fourth outfield spot, if only because it's the most convenient and easy course of action. I actually have a sneaking suspicion that the Twins will choose to go with Kyle Garlick in that spot, possibly DFA-ing Rooker to make room on the 40-man roster. But we'll see. All major-league teams will have two extra roster spots for the month of April, to help offset the shortened spring ramp-up. I'm assuming the Twins will use both on pitchers and carry a 15-man staff (in fact I wouldn't be surprised if they go with 16). I've plugged in Griffin Jax and Josh Winder. I didn't account for those additional fractional salaries in the total payroll. They would increase it modestly. (At the league minimum, paying two extra players for one month equates to about $233K – a little less than Correa will earn for each game. I have the total payroll projected at $128M, which is roughly in line with last year's figure. It's worth noting that the payroll is fluid and can easily rise if Archer or Byron Buxton trigger portions of their ample incentives. Barring something unexpected, the "offseason" is complete and the Twins have assembled their forces for the 2022 campaign. We'll gain clarity on the final roster in the coming days, but it should resemble the above fairly closely. How are you feeling about the state of affairs as we await the impending start of the season? View full article
  8. Around the time of our last check-in, anticipation was building for a big move to round out the rotation after the splashy addition of Carlos Correa. Such a bold showing of intention had to be followed by a similarly decisive pitching acquisition, right? It turns out, no. The Twins were evidently shut out in the trade market and so they pivoted to fill the last spot in their rotation with a fairly low-wattage signing. The bullpen received a bit more veteran depth with a couple of minor-league signings, but for the most part, it looks like this is the pitching staff Minnesota will roll with. Let's take a look at the last few players brought into this mix. Twins Make a Volatile Upside Play with Chris Archer Signing At one point, Chris Archer ranked among the best and most durable young pitchers in baseball. From 2013 through 2017 in Tampa, he almost never missed a start, piling up nearly 1,000 innings in 156 starts with a 3.60 ERA and 9.7 K/9 rate. Those days are now in the distant past. In four seasons since, the righty has thrown 287 innings with a 4.70 ERA, although the strikeout ability has remained (10.3 K/9). He didn't pitch in 2020 due to thoracic outlet surgery, and was limited to just six appearances last year in his reunion with the Rays. So, obviously a longshot. But that's why he was still available this late in the game, and why he came with such a low guaranteed price tag ($3.5M). Archer will be able to significantly increase his 2022 salary by reaching productivity thresholds, in a deal that is somewhat similar in structure to the one Rich Hill signed with Minnesota two years ago – a "pay-as-you-play" approach, as JD Cameron puts it. It's been a while since we've seen it materialize, but Archer's upside remains, and his debut in a Twins uniform on Friday offered some encouraging signs in terms of his velocity and stuff. Two More Veteran Relievers Join the Bullpen Picture A couple names you might recognize joined the Twins on minor-league deals last week: Jake Petricka and JC Ramirez. Both right-handers have thrown more than 200 innings in the majors and pitched most recently for the Angels. Neither pitcher has a significant recent track record in the majors – Ramirez hasn't appeared since 2019 and Petricka has thrown just 14 total innings since 2018. But the experience could give them a leg up on the depth chart, and Ramirez in particular is interesting because he could become a bridge-type guy capable of providing multiple innings. No More Trades for Pitching? The Twins kept on pushing for one of Oakland's two top starting pitchers known to be available. After the team signed Archer, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reported that "They also have spent the past 2 1/2 weeks attempting to pry either Frankie Montas or Sean Manaea away from Oakland without success. While the Twins have made it clear they’d like to complete a deal — and still have interest in one — the previously wheeling-and-dealing A’s haven’t recently engaged them." On Sunday, the A's finally pulled the trigger on one of these two starters – Manaea, who they were always much more motivated to deal due to his salary and expiring team control. Oakland sent the left-hander to San Diego for a fairly underwhelming return, suggesting there wasn't much of a market for him despite many teams still looking to add starters. It remains possible that the Twins could strike an 11th-hour deal for Montas or another starter. But in all likelihood, the current group is the one they're going to roll into the season with. So let's take a look at how that group shakes out. Twins 2022 Roster & Payroll Projection The team has made a bunch of cuts, narrowing down the final field of players in camp and leaving only a few decisions to be made on the bullpen and bench. Below you can find my stab at projecting the Opening Day roster. A few notes: I've got Brent Rooker filling the fourth outfield spot, if only because it's the most convenient and easy course of action. I actually have a sneaking suspicion that the Twins will choose to go with Kyle Garlick in that spot, possibly DFA-ing Rooker to make room on the 40-man roster. But we'll see. All major-league teams will have two extra roster spots for the month of April, to help offset the shortened spring ramp-up. I'm assuming the Twins will use both on pitchers and carry a 15-man staff (in fact I wouldn't be surprised if they go with 16). I've plugged in Griffin Jax and Josh Winder. I didn't account for those additional fractional salaries in the total payroll. They would increase it modestly. (At the league minimum, paying two extra players for one month equates to about $233K – a little less than Correa will earn for each game. I have the total payroll projected at $128M, which is roughly in line with last year's figure. It's worth noting that the payroll is fluid and can easily rise if Archer or Byron Buxton trigger portions of their ample incentives. Barring something unexpected, the "offseason" is complete and the Twins have assembled their forces for the 2022 campaign. We'll gain clarity on the final roster in the coming days, but it should resemble the above fairly closely. How are you feeling about the state of affairs as we await the impending start of the season?
  9. It's hard to erase the mess that was the 2021 Minnesota Twins from our collective memories. It was bad. The 2022 Minnesota Twins have a chance to be great. In this piece, we lay out some pathways for the Twins to finish their roster construction ahead of a new season and the outcomes they might produce. The availability heuristic is humanities’ tendency to use information that comes to mind quickly when making decisions, inferences, or predictions. Also known as recency bias, the concept is pervasive in sports. Try, for example, convincing yourself that the Vikings could do anything except sign a defensive tackle the minute free agency opens, it’s almost impossible. Baseball is no different than other sports in this regard. Consider the Twins' win-loss record over the last decade and it's easy to see why fans take a ‘what have you done for me lately’ approach to the team. This applies in numerous ways to Minnesota. It’s easy to assume that the White Sox will run away with a poor AL Central in 2022 after the Twins collapse in 2021, and they might. Take a peek under the hood, however, and the Twins are poised to compete. Let’s dig in. Baseball Prospectus dropped its initial PECOTA standings on Tuesday. If you’re not familiar, PECOTA is Baseball Prospectus’ projection system, that is used to simulate end-of-season records for all 30 teams. As of March 15th, PECOTA has the Twins finishing second in the Central at 84-78, not so terribly far behind the 91-71 White Sox. First of all, wow. I am deep in the weeds on Twins Twitter. It’s been understandably sour this offseason. Let’s ground ourselves in the fact that this team, as currently constructed, is a .500 team. Even though a large part of this stems from the Twins getting to play a lot of games against pretty bad teams, it still feels pretty hard to accept, given the Twins have just traded their best two right-handed hitters in Josh Donaldson and Mitch Garver. Garver was a fan favorite and will be sorely missed. Donaldson was divisive and is probably undergoing mediation with Gerritt Cole in the parking lot of the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa. Jokes aside, we know the Twins still have plenty of work to do this offseason. I wrote this winter about the Twins' pursuit of a 40-WAR team in 2022, so let’s look at some possible remaining paths and what outcomes they might result in. The Twins currently sit in 16th with a cumulative fWAR of 36.3 (although this is changing by minute). Let’s examine some possible next steps for the Twins and how they might us towards that magical 40 fWAR mark. For the purposes of these pathways, I’m ignoring the bullpen for a couple of reasons; relief pitching doesn’t lend itself well to fWAR, and I ain’t got time for that. So, here goes. Pathway 1: Acquire an Elite Shortstop and an Elite Starting Pitcher Twins sign SS Trevor Story: 4.5 fWAR Twins trade for SP Frankie Montas: 3.2 fWAR This would net the Twins around 7 additional fWAR and bring them to around a 43 fWAR projection. That’s well within playoff range, but also still a distance from the White Sox mark of 47 fWAR. This is a team ready to challenge for the division and certainly compete for a wild card spot. Pathway 2: Acquire an Elite Starting Pitcher and Mediocre Shortstop Twins trade for SP Frankie Montas: 3.2 fWAR Twins trade for SS Elvis Andrus: 0.9 fWAR In this package trade, the Twins acquire Montas and Andrus together, Andrus as a salary dump for Oakland. This would bring the Twins to a 40.5 fWAR and they likely compete for a wild card spot. Pathway 3: Acquire a Mediocre Starting Pitcher and Elite Shortstop The Twins sign SP Michael Pineda: 1.8 fWAR The Twins sign SS Trevor Story: 4.5 fWAR This is where we see the value of potentially adding Story for the Twins. This path would bring the Twins to a projection of 42.6 fWAR before any additional outfield, right-handed bat, and bullpen enhancements. In short, Trevor Story is by far the highest leverage player the Twins have a realistic chance of adding. Pathway 4: Mediocre Everything The Twins sign SP Michael Pineda: 1.8 fWAR The Twins trade for SS Elvis Andrus: 0.9 fWAR I’m not suggesting the Twins would or should do this, I’m merely using it as an example as Andrus offers very little for 2022. In the ‘bare minimum’ pathway, the Twins get to 39.0 fWAR. After the tumult of trading Garver, flipping Kiner-Falefa to the Yankees, and trading away Donaldson, combined with the acquisition of Gray, this would be a brutal disappointment. Again, it’s just an example to underscore the divergence of the paths ahead for the Twins. The Twins are in a much better spot for 2022 than we are conditioned to think. How much they are willing to risk moving forwards will determine if this years’ team is likely to be average, or has a chance to be great. View full article
  10. The availability heuristic is humanities’ tendency to use information that comes to mind quickly when making decisions, inferences, or predictions. Also known as recency bias, the concept is pervasive in sports. Try, for example, convincing yourself that the Vikings could do anything except sign a defensive tackle the minute free agency opens, it’s almost impossible. Baseball is no different than other sports in this regard. Consider the Twins' win-loss record over the last decade and it's easy to see why fans take a ‘what have you done for me lately’ approach to the team. This applies in numerous ways to Minnesota. It’s easy to assume that the White Sox will run away with a poor AL Central in 2022 after the Twins collapse in 2021, and they might. Take a peek under the hood, however, and the Twins are poised to compete. Let’s dig in. Baseball Prospectus dropped its initial PECOTA standings on Tuesday. If you’re not familiar, PECOTA is Baseball Prospectus’ projection system, that is used to simulate end-of-season records for all 30 teams. As of March 15th, PECOTA has the Twins finishing second in the Central at 84-78, not so terribly far behind the 91-71 White Sox. First of all, wow. I am deep in the weeds on Twins Twitter. It’s been understandably sour this offseason. Let’s ground ourselves in the fact that this team, as currently constructed, is a .500 team. Even though a large part of this stems from the Twins getting to play a lot of games against pretty bad teams, it still feels pretty hard to accept, given the Twins have just traded their best two right-handed hitters in Josh Donaldson and Mitch Garver. Garver was a fan favorite and will be sorely missed. Donaldson was divisive and is probably undergoing mediation with Gerritt Cole in the parking lot of the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa. Jokes aside, we know the Twins still have plenty of work to do this offseason. I wrote this winter about the Twins' pursuit of a 40-WAR team in 2022, so let’s look at some possible remaining paths and what outcomes they might result in. The Twins currently sit in 16th with a cumulative fWAR of 36.3 (although this is changing by minute). Let’s examine some possible next steps for the Twins and how they might us towards that magical 40 fWAR mark. For the purposes of these pathways, I’m ignoring the bullpen for a couple of reasons; relief pitching doesn’t lend itself well to fWAR, and I ain’t got time for that. So, here goes. Pathway 1: Acquire an Elite Shortstop and an Elite Starting Pitcher Twins sign SS Trevor Story: 4.5 fWAR Twins trade for SP Frankie Montas: 3.2 fWAR This would net the Twins around 7 additional fWAR and bring them to around a 43 fWAR projection. That’s well within playoff range, but also still a distance from the White Sox mark of 47 fWAR. This is a team ready to challenge for the division and certainly compete for a wild card spot. Pathway 2: Acquire an Elite Starting Pitcher and Mediocre Shortstop Twins trade for SP Frankie Montas: 3.2 fWAR Twins trade for SS Elvis Andrus: 0.9 fWAR In this package trade, the Twins acquire Montas and Andrus together, Andrus as a salary dump for Oakland. This would bring the Twins to a 40.5 fWAR and they likely compete for a wild card spot. Pathway 3: Acquire a Mediocre Starting Pitcher and Elite Shortstop The Twins sign SP Michael Pineda: 1.8 fWAR The Twins sign SS Trevor Story: 4.5 fWAR This is where we see the value of potentially adding Story for the Twins. This path would bring the Twins to a projection of 42.6 fWAR before any additional outfield, right-handed bat, and bullpen enhancements. In short, Trevor Story is by far the highest leverage player the Twins have a realistic chance of adding. Pathway 4: Mediocre Everything The Twins sign SP Michael Pineda: 1.8 fWAR The Twins trade for SS Elvis Andrus: 0.9 fWAR I’m not suggesting the Twins would or should do this, I’m merely using it as an example as Andrus offers very little for 2022. In the ‘bare minimum’ pathway, the Twins get to 39.0 fWAR. After the tumult of trading Garver, flipping Kiner-Falefa to the Yankees, and trading away Donaldson, combined with the acquisition of Gray, this would be a brutal disappointment. Again, it’s just an example to underscore the divergence of the paths ahead for the Twins. The Twins are in a much better spot for 2022 than we are conditioned to think. How much they are willing to risk moving forwards will determine if this years’ team is likely to be average, or has a chance to be great.
  11. The vacancies in the Twins rotation has fans hoping for a huge trade to bolster the starting staff before the season opens, and it’s easy to understand why. I’d argue however that now would be a terrible time to push all of the chips in. Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober… Dylan Bundy… Folks, that’s your Minnesota Twins rotation at the time of this writing. After trading Jose Berrios and losing Kenta Maeda to injury, the starting pitching lacks depth, high-end talent, floor, etc. Despite this fact, 14 of the top 15 starting pitchers on the free-agent market signed with teams before the lockout without a single whisper of interest from the Twins front office. This development led some to call shenanigans on the organization's statement that they plan on competing in 2022. Plenty of fans still hold out hope however that the Twins have some enormous splashes left to make that will push the Twins back into the driver’s seat of the AL Central. There are several starting pitchers on the trade market that would instantly become the leaders of the Twins rotation. Luis Castillo, Chris Bassitt, and Frankie Montas to name a few that have been thrown around in hypotheticals. One such hypothetical was just recently proposed by TwinsDaily’s own Nash Walker: The package here is steep but fair, as right-hander Frankie Montas has two years of control and finished 6th in AL Cy Young voting in 2021. In acquiring Montas, the Twins would part with Luis Arraez who is controlled through 2026 in addition to recently acquired Drew Strotman, former 1st round pick Keoni Kavaco, and Jhoan Duran whose triple-digit arm suffered an injury in 2021 but made it to AAA. Such a deal would cost the Twins in the present while leaving them open to get burned in the future, as these trades are often composed. Such a deal should raise questions, the first of which being “Does this move push the Twins over the top?”. To which I would argue “not even close”. The Twins had two front-end starters in 2021 in Berrios and Kenta Maeda for most of the season and finished in dead last place in the worst division in baseball. With a similar returning lineup (without Nelson Cruz) and a bullpen that likely won’t have any significant additions, it could be argued that the Twins are paying top dollar just to get halfway to where they were at the beginning of a disastrous 2021. Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan will certainly have a huge role in how the rotation performs, but to push the chips in while leaning so heavily on two rookies totaling well under 200 career innings would be quite the gamble. The pair would need to replicate their 2021 performances if not improve upon them to set the foundation of the Twins 2022 rotation. It’s certainly possible both are up to the task, but with such little track record and an offseason of scouting reports, it’s fair to expect some turbulence from the two rookies. It may be more realistic and fair to expect these two to perform closer to #4 starting pitchers than the rotation leaders the Twins need to make a Frankie Montas pairing worth their while. The other consideration in regards to acquiring Frankie Montas is that he’s exactly where Jose Berrios was before 2021 with two years left under contract. What would stop the Twins from similarly shipping him out at the trade deadline if the team is struggling again come July? The return would certainly be less than the price they paid in the preseason. If the Twins do in fact struggle in 2022 and hold onto Montas for the following year, he could definitely become a huge piece of the rotation in 2023 where it’s much easier to see the Twins returning to contention. That being said, they’ll have paid top dollar for two years of a premier arm and only get one meaningful season from him. In short, the Twins have a ton of question marks heading into 2022. In order to truly feel good about the rotation they probably needed at least two legitimate starting pitching additions. There are few impact options left in free agency and it’s hard to imagine them swinging two enormous trades to make up for it. What the Twins have now is a rotation problem that doesn’t come close to being solved by one big move. There are moves to be made in free agency and admittedly they could very well hit on some lower-profile additions. The lineup and bullpen could also shine bright enough to pick up some slack from the rotation. It’s hard to look at the roster and say this is the likelier scenario, however. Given the hoops we have to jump through to imagine a contender in 2022, wouldn’t it make more sense to be prudent before Opening Day and respond accordingly at the July trade deadline? It may be the anti-fun stance, but it would be a shame to see the Twins mortgage their future for a huge addition that doesn’t pay off. Especially with so many high-end prospects nearing the Major Leagues. Of all the times to acquire a huge starting pitcher the last few years, right now may be riskiest with the least amount of possible payoff. The Twins shouldn’t be looking to go all-in on an ace. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  12. Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober… Dylan Bundy… Folks, that’s your Minnesota Twins rotation at the time of this writing. After trading Jose Berrios and losing Kenta Maeda to injury, the starting pitching lacks depth, high-end talent, floor, etc. Despite this fact, 14 of the top 15 starting pitchers on the free-agent market signed with teams before the lockout without a single whisper of interest from the Twins front office. This development led some to call shenanigans on the organization's statement that they plan on competing in 2022. Plenty of fans still hold out hope however that the Twins have some enormous splashes left to make that will push the Twins back into the driver’s seat of the AL Central. There are several starting pitchers on the trade market that would instantly become the leaders of the Twins rotation. Luis Castillo, Chris Bassitt, and Frankie Montas to name a few that have been thrown around in hypotheticals. One such hypothetical was just recently proposed by TwinsDaily’s own Nash Walker: The package here is steep but fair, as right-hander Frankie Montas has two years of control and finished 6th in AL Cy Young voting in 2021. In acquiring Montas, the Twins would part with Luis Arraez who is controlled through 2026 in addition to recently acquired Drew Strotman, former 1st round pick Keoni Kavaco, and Jhoan Duran whose triple-digit arm suffered an injury in 2021 but made it to AAA. Such a deal would cost the Twins in the present while leaving them open to get burned in the future, as these trades are often composed. Such a deal should raise questions, the first of which being “Does this move push the Twins over the top?”. To which I would argue “not even close”. The Twins had two front-end starters in 2021 in Berrios and Kenta Maeda for most of the season and finished in dead last place in the worst division in baseball. With a similar returning lineup (without Nelson Cruz) and a bullpen that likely won’t have any significant additions, it could be argued that the Twins are paying top dollar just to get halfway to where they were at the beginning of a disastrous 2021. Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan will certainly have a huge role in how the rotation performs, but to push the chips in while leaning so heavily on two rookies totaling well under 200 career innings would be quite the gamble. The pair would need to replicate their 2021 performances if not improve upon them to set the foundation of the Twins 2022 rotation. It’s certainly possible both are up to the task, but with such little track record and an offseason of scouting reports, it’s fair to expect some turbulence from the two rookies. It may be more realistic and fair to expect these two to perform closer to #4 starting pitchers than the rotation leaders the Twins need to make a Frankie Montas pairing worth their while. The other consideration in regards to acquiring Frankie Montas is that he’s exactly where Jose Berrios was before 2021 with two years left under contract. What would stop the Twins from similarly shipping him out at the trade deadline if the team is struggling again come July? The return would certainly be less than the price they paid in the preseason. If the Twins do in fact struggle in 2022 and hold onto Montas for the following year, he could definitely become a huge piece of the rotation in 2023 where it’s much easier to see the Twins returning to contention. That being said, they’ll have paid top dollar for two years of a premier arm and only get one meaningful season from him. In short, the Twins have a ton of question marks heading into 2022. In order to truly feel good about the rotation they probably needed at least two legitimate starting pitching additions. There are few impact options left in free agency and it’s hard to imagine them swinging two enormous trades to make up for it. What the Twins have now is a rotation problem that doesn’t come close to being solved by one big move. There are moves to be made in free agency and admittedly they could very well hit on some lower-profile additions. The lineup and bullpen could also shine bright enough to pick up some slack from the rotation. It’s hard to look at the roster and say this is the likelier scenario, however. Given the hoops we have to jump through to imagine a contender in 2022, wouldn’t it make more sense to be prudent before Opening Day and respond accordingly at the July trade deadline? It may be the anti-fun stance, but it would be a shame to see the Twins mortgage their future for a huge addition that doesn’t pay off. Especially with so many high-end prospects nearing the Major Leagues. Of all the times to acquire a huge starting pitcher the last few years, right now may be riskiest with the least amount of possible payoff. The Twins shouldn’t be looking to go all-in on an ace. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  13. One of three intriguing starting pitcher trade options on the Athletics, Frankie Montas may be the clear target. He’s young, electric and under control for two more seasons. View full video
  14. One of three intriguing starting pitcher trade options on the Athletics, Frankie Montas may be the clear target. He’s young, electric and under control for two more seasons.
  15. 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
  16. 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
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