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  1. Byron Buxton is quite arguably the most talented player in Minnesota Twins history. His athleticism is unmatched, and his production is unparalleled. Then there’s the caveat, when healthy. With the hometown nine looking at the doldrums of the division, and the 2021 Major League Baseball trade deadline looming, plenty of storms are brewing on the roster construction front. One of the most reported is that of Minnesota’s failed attempts at a contract extension with their star centerfielder. Currently shelved after being hit by a pitch, Buxton had rebuffed the latest seven-year, $80 million pact that would add addition earning opportunity through incentives. That deal was just a $7 million increase over the previous offer, and still nearly $20 million shy of where this front office paid another oft-injured 3rd basemen (who is five years older) just two seasons ago. The refrain regarding Buxton’s availability is a common one, he has been shelved often throughout his career. The reality though, is that it is through the injury history where the Twins find themselves offered grace. Because he’s been unavailable, Buxton’s $200 million or more payday is not going to happen. He would command plenty on the open market with more competition bidding on his services, but it’s the Twins who have the table and the realistic opportunity because of how his career has played out. Coming into 2021 the team was expected to be good. Unfortunately, the front office has watched each of its offseason acquisitions tie together career-worst seasons, as well as regression from plenty of holdover talents. Unless there’s an admittance of poor talent assessment virtually across the whole roster, then there should be reason to look at this season as an outlier. 2022 represents an opportunity to reload. If the core of this club was seen as competitive before, and that’s been proven through their track record of winning, an alteration of that belief shouldn’t be so swift. To suggest there’s an attempt at competing in the year ahead while dealing the team’s best player would be hollow at best. Certainly, both Jose Berrios and Buxton should command a haul when it comes to prospect capital in exchange for their services. The volatility of those players will always be high however, and you’d need at least two reaching something like the 95th percentile of their hopefully outcomes to feel good about what you gave up. Berrios would love a gaping hole in an already poor rotation, and Buxton’s presence would be missed on a nightly basis. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have put in an infrastructure of sustainability and competitiveness. They should be commended for that. Bailing on that process at the Major League level rather than supplementing what they have fostered would be a hard pill to swallow, and one worthy of substantial criticism. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  2. Every trade deadline, teams are declared winners or losers. So, how did the Twins fare on a whirlwind day? DH Nelson Cruz to Rays for RHPs Joe Ryan and Drew Stotman Many of the Twins' moves project to have positive results. On an expiring contract, Nelson Cruz was dealt for two pitchers that are close to big-league ready. There are plenty of questions about the team’s rotation for 2022, so adding two more pitchers to the mix can only help the organization’s pitching depth. The Cruz deal was far from the only one that made headlines. RHP Jose Berrios to Blue Jays for SS/OF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson José Berríos was dealt for a pair of top-100 prospects, which seems like a high price to pay for just over a year of Berríos. The Dodgers traded for starting pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner and received a similar trade package in return. Even the website, Baseball Trade Values believes the Blue Jays overpaid. LHP J.A. Happ to Cardinals for RHP John Gant and LHP Evan Sisk Speaking of teams that overpaid, the Twins found a taker for JA Happ, as the Cardinals were willing to trade for him. He’s been bad for most of the season, and his recent numbers don’t point to him improving. It seemed more likely for the Twins to designated him for assignment instead of finding a trade partner, but it was a crazy trade deadline, to say the least. RHP Hansel Robles to Red Sox for RHP Alex Scherff Robles, like Cruz, was on an expiring contract and plenty of contenders were looking for relief help. Minnesota signed Robles for $2 million this off-season and he's had some up-and-down moments as part of a Twins bullpen that has struggled for the majority of the season. Relief pitching can be fickle and Boston hopes Robles can find some of his previous successes. From Minnesota's perspective, the front office has to be happy to get any value back for a player that wasn't part of the team's long-term plans. Who Wasn't Traded? Not every part of the trade deadline was positive for the Twins. Minnesota had multiple players on expiring contracts that stayed with the team, including Michael Pineda and Andrelton Simmons. Pineda is the biggest head-scratcher as the trade market seemed hot for starting pitching. As the smoke cleared, the front office said the right things, but there doesn’t seem to be much value in keeping him around until season’s end. There were plenty of other rumors circulating on Friday, including some big names for the Twins. There was a chance of a Byron Buxton deal with multiple teams interested in the centerfielder. For good reasons, Minnesota’s price was likely high, and there will still be an opportunity to revisit trades this winter. There may also be a chance to revisit a contract extension with Buxton, especially with the young core the organization has built in the minor leagues. Another missed opportunity was parting ways with Josh Donaldson, as his name had been out in the rumor mill throughout the last few weeks. Minnesota signed Donaldson to his four-year deal, knowing that he may decline toward the backend of the contract. He has been relatively healthy this year and producing as one of the league’s best third basemen. This trade deadline might have been his peak trade value, especially since it’s tough to imagine the Twins contending in 2022. Overall, this might go down as a franchise-altering day in Twins history. However, there were some missed opportunities along the way. Now it might be a couple of years before fans know if the team indeed won or lost the 2021 trade deadline. Do you think the Twins were winners or losers at the trade deadline? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 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
  3. Multiple reports have confirmed that José Berríos has been traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson. Jose Berrios has been traded. There have been rumors and now there are confirmations. Jose Berrios will be joining the Toronto Blue Jays as they head back to Canada to play for the first time in a long time. No doubt Berrios will be missed. He is a leader, a two-time All Star, and competitor. In return, the Twins received highly-touted prospects, SS Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson. Martin was the #5 overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Vanderbilt. Martin is a consensus Top 25 overall prospect in baseball. He should soon join the Wichita Wind Surge. He is ranked #21 by Baseball America and #16 by MLB Pipeline. Martin made his professional debut this year, and he has played in 55 games for Double-A New Hampshire. He has hit .281/.424/.383 (.807) with ten doubles, two triples and two home runs. He also has nine stolen bases. Woods-Richardson was traded two years ago from the Mets to the Blue Jays in the Marcus Stroman deal. The hard-thrower is currently in Tokyo with fellow newly-acquired Twins prospect Joe Ryan at the Olympics. He is ranked #68 by MLB Pipeline. He was the Mets second-round pick in 2018 out of high school in Texas. The 20-year-old is also at Double-A New Hampshire. He is 2-4 with a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts. Over 11 starts and 45 1/3 innings, he has walked too many (26) and struck out a ton (67, 13.3 K/9). On MLB Network, former GM Dan O'Dowd said, "In surplus value, the Twins won this deal. In present value, the Blue Jays get what they need." Once the Washington Nationals traded Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers on Thursday night, Berrios became the best pitcher on the trade market, and the Twins took advantage. The Blue Jays are working to stay in playoff contention in a division currently led by the Red Sox and Rays. They are also trying to keep up with the Yankees who have added sluggers Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo the past two days. A two-time All Star, Berrios will certainly help Toronto down the stretch and, the reason they got such a big return, will help them in 2022 as well. Are the Twins done??? Don't count on it! Story will be updated as we learn more information. You can also add to the story in the comments below. View full article
  4. DH Nelson Cruz to Rays for RHPs Joe Ryan and Drew Stotman Many of the Twins' moves project to have positive results. On an expiring contract, Nelson Cruz was dealt for two pitchers that are close to big-league ready. There are plenty of questions about the team’s rotation for 2022, so adding two more pitchers to the mix can only help the organization’s pitching depth. The Cruz deal was far from the only one that made headlines. RHP Jose Berrios to Blue Jays for SS/OF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson José Berríos was dealt for a pair of top-100 prospects, which seems like a high price to pay for just over a year of Berríos. The Dodgers traded for starting pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner and received a similar trade package in return. Even the website, Baseball Trade Values believes the Blue Jays overpaid. LHP J.A. Happ to Cardinals for RHP John Gant and LHP Evan Sisk Speaking of teams that overpaid, the Twins found a taker for JA Happ, as the Cardinals were willing to trade for him. He’s been bad for most of the season, and his recent numbers don’t point to him improving. It seemed more likely for the Twins to designated him for assignment instead of finding a trade partner, but it was a crazy trade deadline, to say the least. RHP Hansel Robles to Red Sox for RHP Alex Scherff Robles, like Cruz, was on an expiring contract and plenty of contenders were looking for relief help. Minnesota signed Robles for $2 million this off-season and he's had some up-and-down moments as part of a Twins bullpen that has struggled for the majority of the season. Relief pitching can be fickle and Boston hopes Robles can find some of his previous successes. From Minnesota's perspective, the front office has to be happy to get any value back for a player that wasn't part of the team's long-term plans. Who Wasn't Traded? Not every part of the trade deadline was positive for the Twins. Minnesota had multiple players on expiring contracts that stayed with the team, including Michael Pineda and Andrelton Simmons. Pineda is the biggest head-scratcher as the trade market seemed hot for starting pitching. As the smoke cleared, the front office said the right things, but there doesn’t seem to be much value in keeping him around until season’s end. There were plenty of other rumors circulating on Friday, including some big names for the Twins. There was a chance of a Byron Buxton deal with multiple teams interested in the centerfielder. For good reasons, Minnesota’s price was likely high, and there will still be an opportunity to revisit trades this winter. There may also be a chance to revisit a contract extension with Buxton, especially with the young core the organization has built in the minor leagues. Another missed opportunity was parting ways with Josh Donaldson, as his name had been out in the rumor mill throughout the last few weeks. Minnesota signed Donaldson to his four-year deal, knowing that he may decline toward the backend of the contract. He has been relatively healthy this year and producing as one of the league’s best third basemen. This trade deadline might have been his peak trade value, especially since it’s tough to imagine the Twins contending in 2022. Overall, this might go down as a franchise-altering day in Twins history. However, there were some missed opportunities along the way. Now it might be a couple of years before fans know if the team indeed won or lost the 2021 trade deadline. Do you think the Twins were winners or losers at the trade deadline? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. Jose Berrios’ time with the Minnesota Twins has come to an end. After being made the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, he’ll have been with Minnesota for just shy of 10 years. Maybe this story ends differently had 2021 gone as planned, but the Twins saw Berrios go from prospect to All-Star from within their reach. With virtually every top prospect, the intrigue surrounds what they’ll become at the next level. Berrios was a wiry kid from Puerto Rico. He became a workout warrior known for posting videos of flipping tires and pulling cars during winters on the island. There was not a consensus view on what type of pitcher he’d slot in as in the big leagues, but it’s hard to say he’s been anything but a success story for the Twins. He finishes his time in Minnesota having pitched 781 ⅓ innings across 136 games. His 4.08 ERA is weighed down by the 8.02 mark he put up during his rookie campaign, but he racked up 779 strikeouts and recorded 55 wins. Berrios pitched for some terrible Twins teams and some outstanding ones. He drew some huge Postseason starts, and his last turn against the Houston Astros in 2020 may have been his best. During his Twins tenure Berrios made two All-Star teams and could’ve been in line for another had this season been more competitive. He’s shown Gold Glove-worthy fielding prowess, and he’s revamped that workout routine seen so often in tweets to sustain effectiveness and increase velocity. Jose has always been a humble human being, but he’s grown maturity wise as well handling interviews with increasing confidence. Both on and off the field, Berrios has embodied a consistent and commendable amount of transformation. It’s hard to fault a player like Berrios for wanting to see that massive payday. He’ll enter free agency as one of the premier talents available, and pitching is always something that gets paid for. After playing through arbitration to this point, maximizing his value makes a lot of sense and is also an avenue the Twins may be right in avoiding. Although Minnesota won’t see the end of Berrios’ team control, it’s hard not to look at the life cycle of this player as a big win for them. He was drafted, developed, performed at or above expectations, and now has become a transferable asset. The hope would be that Derek Falvey executes a move bringing back a pitching-laden haul to help the club compete in 2022 and beyond. Maybe Berrios never became the ace that the Twins had hoped for, but he has been their number one starter for virtually the entirety of his time as an established big league veteran. Maybe there’s another step for him to unlock in the years ahead, and this is absolutely a guy that Twins fans can cheer for well beyond his time in the hometown threads. 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
  6. Nick, Seth and Matthew break down a busy trade deadline, sharing thoughts on the José Berríos, J.A. Happ and Hansel Robles deals. You can catch future live streams by following our YouTube, Twitter and Facebook channels.
  7. Twins Daily writers live-streamed and reacted live as Friday afternoon's trade deadline arrived, interacting with fans in real-time as news broke. You can watch the full show below. Nick, Seth and Matthew break down a busy trade deadline, sharing thoughts on the José Berríos, J.A. Happ and Hansel Robles deals. You can catch future live streams by following our YouTube, Twitter and Facebook channels. View full article
  8. 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
  9. Jose Berrios has been traded. There have been rumors and now there are confirmations. Jose Berrios will be joining the Toronto Blue Jays as they head back to Canada to play for the first time in a long time. No doubt Berrios will be missed. He is a leader, a two-time All Star, and competitor. In return, the Twins received highly-touted prospects, SS Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson. Martin was the #5 overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Vanderbilt. Martin is a consensus Top 25 overall prospect in baseball. He should soon join the Wichita Wind Surge. He is ranked #21 by Baseball America and #16 by MLB Pipeline. Martin made his professional debut this year, and he has played in 55 games for Double-A New Hampshire. He has hit .281/.424/.383 (.807) with ten doubles, two triples and two home runs. He also has nine stolen bases. Woods-Richardson was traded two years ago from the Mets to the Blue Jays in the Marcus Stroman deal. The hard-thrower is currently in Tokyo with fellow newly-acquired Twins prospect Joe Ryan at the Olympics. He is ranked #68 by MLB Pipeline. He was the Mets second-round pick in 2018 out of high school in Texas. The 20-year-old is also at Double-A New Hampshire. He is 2-4 with a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts. Over 11 starts and 45 1/3 innings, he has walked too many (26) and struck out a ton (67, 13.3 K/9). On MLB Network, former GM Dan O'Dowd said, "In surplus value, the Twins won this deal. In present value, the Blue Jays get what they need." Once the Washington Nationals traded Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers on Thursday night, Berrios became the best pitcher on the trade market, and the Twins took advantage. The Blue Jays are working to stay in playoff contention in a division currently led by the Red Sox and Rays. They are also trying to keep up with the Yankees who have added sluggers Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo the past two days. A two-time All Star, Berrios will certainly help Toronto down the stretch and, the reason they got such a big return, will help them in 2022 as well. Are the Twins done??? Don't count on it! Story will be updated as we learn more information. You can also add to the story in the comments below.
  10. Please, calm down. I’m not at all saying Berríos is, today, similar to what Santana was when the Mets acquired him from Minnesota. Nor that he will be nearly as good as the Venezuelan. But bear with me, while I look at what those two deals have in common. Their role in the Twins After the 2007 season, Santana was already one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, if not the best one. Mentioning his accolades up until that moment has no use here. They couldn’t afford him, so they found themselves forced to trade him. Berríos, right now, may not be the ace Johan was, but he is certainly one of baseball’s most reliable arms. Especially, you know, health-wise. So far in his career, Berríos hasn’t had any serious injury that cost him relevant playing time. His injury history is immaculate. Minus 2016, the year he got called up for the first time, and 2020, the 60-game season, Berríos has logged at least 145 innings in each season of his career. He’s having career numbers this year, which indicates that he’s only getting better. So he may not be as talented as Santana, but he’s a solid piece of this rotation. A player who could easily be a number three starter for the vast majority of MLB teams. And, at 27, which is two years younger than Santana when he was dealt, you just have to assume he’s just entering his prime. What if they stayed? My main point here is this. What could’ve happened if the Twins could afford Santana and signed him to an extension? And what may happen if they decide to hold on to José now? Everything from now on will be hypothetical, so get ready for many ‘what ifs.’ When Minnesota traded Santana, they knowingly gave up on a two-time Cy Young Award winner, the best starter they had since… Blyleven? Viola in ‘91? Or the best one ever? You decide. If he had stayed, he would’ve made that phenomenal Twins team even better. After a disappointing 79-83 record in 2007, Minnesota went on to win at least 87 games in each of the following three seasons, including a 94-win season in 2010, capping a second consecutive AL Central title. However good they were, those teams could never get past the Yankees in their trips to the ALDS. How much closer to winning a World Series would that particular team be, had Santana stayed? No one will ever know. But I think it’s fair to assume they would have much, much better odds. In conclusion, trading away Johan, even though it was the only logical solution given the club’s financial reality at that point, undeniably made the Twins a worse team. With that being said, let’s shift to Berríos’ case now. Realistically speaking, the Twins are a much better team with him around. No pitcher within the organization brings to the table, today, the same productivity from Berríos. Kenta Maeda bounced back very nicely, but there’s no way he’s had a better season than José so far. If you’re not looking at the prospect of a two or three-year rebuilding process, there’s no way you trade Berríos now. Minnesota’s chances of having a competitive rotation in 2022 are not better at all with the absence of Berríos. Unless, of course, they pull a huge free agent signing during the winter, which is very unlikely. Let me repeat myself: Berríos is no ace (yet), and he doesn’t bring to the table the same as Santana 13 years ago. But if you keep him, adding one or two good free agent arms during the winter could turn this rotation around next year. If you don’t, you’re considerably further along. What is the big difference? Like I said before, the Twins had no alternatives but to trade Santana. Revenue wasn’t the same, so it’s understandable. What you can question is how bad the return for Santana was. That deal turned out to be one of the worst in club history. But, yeah, trading him was a must. On the other hand, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the same case with Berríos now. First, a contract extension to José wouldn’t be nearly as expensive. Twins Daily’s Ted Schwerzler believes that a Berríos contract would look similar to those of Luis Severino, Aaron Nola, and Lance McCullers, ranging around the $12-15M AAV and going for four or five years. We don’t know the complete picture of Minnesota’s financial reality, but that doesn’t seem like a very expensive ask. The aftermath While the return for Santana was suboptimal, sadly, the remainder of Santana’s career was severely affected by injuries. While still a fine pitcher and pitching an amazing 2008 season, he needed to go through two season-ending surgeries in 2009 and 2010, the latter one also removing him from the entirety of 2011. Again turning to hypotheticals, if he had been healthy in New York, watching him pitch at a high level for a different team could be somewhat similar to watch David Ortiz slug his way into the Hall of Fame in a Red Sox uniform. What aggravates Ortiz’s case is the fact that no one saw that coming, unlike Santana. Still, it wouldn’t feel nice. Thinking about the comparison with Berríos, how frustrating would it be to see him actually become an ace for a different team? Many Twins fans don’t consider him ace material up until now. But are you willing to bet money that this will never change? How certain are you that he won’t be one of the league’s top starters two or three years from now? Offering a more optimistic perspective: how amazing would it be if Berríos actually becomes an ace and the Twins had already locked him up long-term with a ‘bargain’ of $15M AAV? He would not only be the cornerstone of the Twins rotation, but he would also serve as a mentor to all the exciting arms coming up from the farm. Just picture, three years from now, a rotation containing Berríos and names like Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, Griffin Jax, and Bailey Ober. Assuming the financial aspect isn’t an issue, the only thing standing between Berríos and a future with the Twins is whether the club wants him around or not – unlike Santana. A haul in exchange for him would obviously look nice. But keeping him may potentially be even more profitable. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  11. We’re a few hours away from the 2021 trade deadline, and the Twins are on the verge of trading away José Berríos. ‘La Makina’ is, without a doubt, the greatest homegrown starting pitching talent Minnesota has developed in a long time. Is trading him similar, in any way, to trading Johan Santana back in 2008? Please, calm down. I’m not at all saying Berríos is, today, similar to what Santana was when the Mets acquired him from Minnesota. Nor that he will be nearly as good as the Venezuelan. But bear with me, while I look at what those two deals have in common. Their role in the Twins After the 2007 season, Santana was already one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, if not the best one. Mentioning his accolades up until that moment has no use here. They couldn’t afford him, so they found themselves forced to trade him. Berríos, right now, may not be the ace Johan was, but he is certainly one of baseball’s most reliable arms. Especially, you know, health-wise. So far in his career, Berríos hasn’t had any serious injury that cost him relevant playing time. His injury history is immaculate. Minus 2016, the year he got called up for the first time, and 2020, the 60-game season, Berríos has logged at least 145 innings in each season of his career. He’s having career numbers this year, which indicates that he’s only getting better. So he may not be as talented as Santana, but he’s a solid piece of this rotation. A player who could easily be a number three starter for the vast majority of MLB teams. And, at 27, which is two years younger than Santana when he was dealt, you just have to assume he’s just entering his prime. What if they stayed? My main point here is this. What could’ve happened if the Twins could afford Santana and signed him to an extension? And what may happen if they decide to hold on to José now? Everything from now on will be hypothetical, so get ready for many ‘what ifs.’ When Minnesota traded Santana, they knowingly gave up on a two-time Cy Young Award winner, the best starter they had since… Blyleven? Viola in ‘91? Or the best one ever? You decide. If he had stayed, he would’ve made that phenomenal Twins team even better. After a disappointing 79-83 record in 2007, Minnesota went on to win at least 87 games in each of the following three seasons, including a 94-win season in 2010, capping a second consecutive AL Central title. However good they were, those teams could never get past the Yankees in their trips to the ALDS. How much closer to winning a World Series would that particular team be, had Santana stayed? No one will ever know. But I think it’s fair to assume they would have much, much better odds. In conclusion, trading away Johan, even though it was the only logical solution given the club’s financial reality at that point, undeniably made the Twins a worse team. With that being said, let’s shift to Berríos’ case now. Realistically speaking, the Twins are a much better team with him around. No pitcher within the organization brings to the table, today, the same productivity from Berríos. Kenta Maeda bounced back very nicely, but there’s no way he’s had a better season than José so far. If you’re not looking at the prospect of a two or three-year rebuilding process, there’s no way you trade Berríos now. Minnesota’s chances of having a competitive rotation in 2022 are not better at all with the absence of Berríos. Unless, of course, they pull a huge free agent signing during the winter, which is very unlikely. Let me repeat myself: Berríos is no ace (yet), and he doesn’t bring to the table the same as Santana 13 years ago. But if you keep him, adding one or two good free agent arms during the winter could turn this rotation around next year. If you don’t, you’re considerably further along. What is the big difference? Like I said before, the Twins had no alternatives but to trade Santana. Revenue wasn’t the same, so it’s understandable. What you can question is how bad the return for Santana was. That deal turned out to be one of the worst in club history. But, yeah, trading him was a must. On the other hand, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the same case with Berríos now. First, a contract extension to José wouldn’t be nearly as expensive. Twins Daily’s Ted Schwerzler believes that a Berríos contract would look similar to those of Luis Severino, Aaron Nola, and Lance McCullers, ranging around the $12-15M AAV and going for four or five years. We don’t know the complete picture of Minnesota’s financial reality, but that doesn’t seem like a very expensive ask. The aftermath While the return for Santana was suboptimal, sadly, the remainder of Santana’s career was severely affected by injuries. While still a fine pitcher and pitching an amazing 2008 season, he needed to go through two season-ending surgeries in 2009 and 2010, the latter one also removing him from the entirety of 2011. Again turning to hypotheticals, if he had been healthy in New York, watching him pitch at a high level for a different team could be somewhat similar to watch David Ortiz slug his way into the Hall of Fame in a Red Sox uniform. What aggravates Ortiz’s case is the fact that no one saw that coming, unlike Santana. Still, it wouldn’t feel nice. Thinking about the comparison with Berríos, how frustrating would it be to see him actually become an ace for a different team? Many Twins fans don’t consider him ace material up until now. But are you willing to bet money that this will never change? How certain are you that he won’t be one of the league’s top starters two or three years from now? Offering a more optimistic perspective: how amazing would it be if Berríos actually becomes an ace and the Twins had already locked him up long-term with a ‘bargain’ of $15M AAV? He would not only be the cornerstone of the Twins rotation, but he would also serve as a mentor to all the exciting arms coming up from the farm. Just picture, three years from now, a rotation containing Berríos and names like Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, Griffin Jax, and Bailey Ober. Assuming the financial aspect isn’t an issue, the only thing standing between Berríos and a future with the Twins is whether the club wants him around or not – unlike Santana. A haul in exchange for him would obviously look nice. But keeping him may potentially be even more profitable. 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
  12. The Toronto Blue Jays entered the All-Star Break with a 45-42 record, 4.5 games back of the final American League Wild Card spot. The Jays reached the playoffs last season but otherwise haven't made the postseason since their back-to-back ALCS appearances in 2015 and 2016. Toronto is one of the teams most likely to make a move, and they could find an excellent trade partner in the Minnesota Twins. What's Their Situation? The Toronto Blue Jays entered the 2020 offseason with a clear goal in mind: return to the American League playoffs in 2021 and make some noise. The first step in attempting to accomplish this task was bringing in veteran offensive talent to complement young studs Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, so they went out and spent big on shortstop Marcus Semien (1-year, $18 million) and outfielder George Springer (6-years, $150 million). The next step was to shore up the starting rotation, so they brought back Robbie Ray on a 1-year, $8 million deal and consummated a trade with the New York Mets for Steven Matz. The final step was to bet that their aforementioned young core would take the next step in their development and become legitimate All-Star talent. To this point, the Jays' plan has gone exceptionally well. While Springer has only appeared in 20 games due to oblique and quadriceps injuries, and Matz has mainly been mediocre (4.72 ERA), Toronto finds themselves in third place in the AL East and within striking distance of an AL Wild Card spot with 75 games remaining on their schedule. For this reason, in addition to the fact that they are hoping to (conveniently) return to the Bold North by July 30, there is perhaps no team more compelled to make a significant trade or two in the coming weeks than Toronto. What Do They Need? The Jays' offense was among the most fearsome in baseball during the first half of the season as they ranked second overall in home runs (130), OPS (.776), and OPS+ (110). Guerrero has officially completed his metamorphosis into one of the game's most feared sluggers, leading the team with 28 bombs and an absurd 1.089 OPS. Semien's production isn't far behind with his 22 homers and 4.3 WAR, and neither is Bichette's 16 dingers and 3.0 WAR. In all, the three form the foundation of a lineup that will leave any opposing pitchers shaking in their cleats should they qualify for the playoffs. While it may not be their greatest need, Toronto would likely benefit greatly from adding a fourth outfielder or a super-utility player that can slot into one of the corner outfield spots on occasion. Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. all have nice pop and are deserving to be full-time starters, but they sometimes struggle with reaching base consistently. Jonathan Davis, the Jays' primary fourth outfielder as of this writing, and his -0.3 WAR leaves a lot to be desired. Additionally, adding someone who can spell Cavan Biggio and his mediocre production at third base (.699 OPS) would be all the more valuable for Toronto. One could also argue that Toronto could benefit from buying a pure DH-type bat, but doing so would be more of a luxury than addressing a glaring need. If they believe Guerrero can be a passable first baseman and there will be enough at-bats for everybody once Springer returns to the lineup, pursuing DH options becomes much more palatable. Otherwise, Toronto would likely be better off seeking to remedy more pressing needs. Speaking of which: What the Jays truly need is pitching, particularly in the bullpen. General manager Ross Atkins told reporters in mid-June that the team would focus on adding bullpen arms as the season progressed and, so far, he has kept to his word. Toronto has already swapped first baseman Rowdy Tellez and second baseman Joe Panik for Trevor Richards and Adam Cimber to shore up the pen. (The Jays also added outfielder Corey Dickerson, though he has yet to appear in a game due to injury and a return date remains murky at best.) Still, Toronto would benefit from adding another arm, particularly one that could slot in alongside standout closer Jordan Romano in save situations and close scores late in games. Additionally, it may behoove the Jays to add one more starting pitcher. Hyun Jin Ryu and Robbie Ray have performed like legitimate number one and two options to date, but some degree of regression is inevitable. Adding a true ace or a competent number four starter would put them in a position to improve their pitching unit significantly. As a team, Toronto ranks 12th in ERA (3.99), 11th in ERA+ (112), and 16th in FIP (4.28). Which Twins Are the Best Fit? It wouldn't surprise me if reports started popping up that the Jays are among the most aggressive teams trying to pry Taylor Rogers away from the Twins. The fit makes too much sense. Toronto needs a lockdown bullpen arm, and Rogers will likely be the best reliever on the market. Add that he is left-handed while Romano is right-handed, and the fit becomes even more apparent. Similarly, Toronto is one of the more obvious landing spots for José Berríos should the Twins choose to move him. They need a pitcher with ace-level potential who lines up with the timeline of their young core. They also have a great farm system when looking strictly at their top 10 prospects, making them an ideal trade partner for the Twins. Finally, Luis Arraez's emergence as a super-utility man this season makes him a fantastic fit for Toronto. His ability to get on base would have Guerrero and company salivating, while his defensive versatility would allow for off-days for most of the Jays' primary offensive contributors. He may not be great anywhere, but Arraez is serviceable almost everywhere, and that has value. Michael Pineda, Hansel Robles, and Caleb Thielbar are also potential targets for Toronto should they seek to make a big splash elsewhere or not at all. Who Could the Twins Get Back? The Jays boast six prospects inside MLB Pipeline's top 100, headlined by No. 9 RHP Nate Pearson and No. 16 UTIL Austin Martin. Both players, including No. 90 RHP Alek Manoah, who has performed well for Toronto since being called up, are likely off-limits, even in a trade involving Berríos. Perhaps the most exciting prospect they could pry away from Toronto is No. 68 RHP Simeon Woods Richardson. Woods Richardson, who is currently pitching in Double-A at 20-years-old, stands 6-foot-3-inches tall and possesses four pitches - a fastball, slider, curve, and changeup - that are considered plus offerings. He has reasonable control and fits the physical profile that the Twins like in their pitching prospects (i.e. tall and athletic). In a best-case scenario, Woods Richardson develops into a José Berríos-Esque pitcher, making losing him more palatable for the Twins. An intriguing name that may be included in a deal for any of the three players listed above is utility man Otto Lopez. He's young, versatile on defense, has good bat-to-ball skills, and some power potential. Thus far, his power has primarily presented itself as a propensity to hit doubles, but a tweak here or there could turn that double power into home run power. Other prospects the Twins could potentially ask for are SS Jordan Groshans, ARHP Adam Kloffenstein, and CRHP CJ Van Eyk. 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
  13. With virtually every top prospect, the intrigue surrounds what they’ll become at the next level. Berrios was a wiry kid from Puerto Rico. He became a workout warrior known for posting videos of flipping tires and pulling cars during winters on the island. There was not a consensus view on what type of pitcher he’d slot in as in the big leagues, but it’s hard to say he’s been anything but a success story for the Twins. He finishes his time in Minnesota having pitched 781 ⅓ innings across 136 games. His 4.08 ERA is weighed down by the 8.02 mark he put up during his rookie campaign, but he racked up 779 strikeouts and recorded 55 wins. Berrios pitched for some terrible Twins teams and some outstanding ones. He drew some huge Postseason starts, and his last turn against the Houston Astros in 2020 may have been his best. During his Twins tenure Berrios made two All-Star teams and could’ve been in line for another had this season been more competitive. He’s shown Gold Glove-worthy fielding prowess, and he’s revamped that workout routine seen so often in tweets to sustain effectiveness and increase velocity. Jose has always been a humble human being, but he’s grown maturity wise as well handling interviews with increasing confidence. Both on and off the field, Berrios has embodied a consistent and commendable amount of transformation. It’s hard to fault a player like Berrios for wanting to see that massive payday. He’ll enter free agency as one of the premier talents available, and pitching is always something that gets paid for. After playing through arbitration to this point, maximizing his value makes a lot of sense and is also an avenue the Twins may be right in avoiding. Although Minnesota won’t see the end of Berrios’ team control, it’s hard not to look at the life cycle of this player as a big win for them. He was drafted, developed, performed at or above expectations, and now has become a transferable asset. The hope would be that Derek Falvey executes a move bringing back a pitching-laden haul to help the club compete in 2022 and beyond. Maybe Berrios never became the ace that the Twins had hoped for, but he has been their number one starter for virtually the entirety of his time as an established big league veteran. Maybe there’s another step for him to unlock in the years ahead, and this is absolutely a guy that Twins fans can cheer for well beyond his time in the hometown threads. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  14. 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
  15. The midseason hot stove heated up in a big way on Wednesday with trades and rumors galore and the Minnesota Twins continue to stay in the news. Come read about the latest trade deadline news and rumors. Below we will review the trades from Wednesday and how (or if) they have any impact on the Minnesota Twins. Oakland Athletics Trade For Starling Marte The first trade of the day came from the Oakland Athletics who acquired outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins in exchange for former top-100 pitching prospect Jesús Luzardo. While Starling Marte is an excellent talent, the overwhelming reaction from experts was that the A’s paid a big price for Marte, who is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. This is a big development for the Minnesota Twins who appear open to moving both Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. If Marte, an impending free agent, was able to fetch a big-time pitching prospect, then Max Kepler and Byron Buxton would seem to be able to fetch even more. Milwaukee Brewers Sign Eduardo Escobar The next major deal to take place on Wednesday came from the Milwaukee Brewers when they acquired former Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar in exchange for AAA catcher Cooper Hummel. In addition to the obvious Twins connection with Escobar changing teams, the mid-afternoon deal impacted the Twins by removing a potential Josh Donaldson buyer from the trade market. Earlier this week, MLB insider Jon Heyman reported that the Milwaukee Brewers had checked in on Josh Donaldson. Now that the Brewers have acquired their third baseman in Escobar, finding a potential trade partner for the Twins third baseman might be more difficult. New York Yankees Sign Joey Gallo To cap off a trade-filled day, the New York Yankees made a big move on Wednesday night when they acquired outfielder Joey Gallo from the Texas Ranges in exchange for a hefty package of minor league prospects. The trade had big ripple effects for the Minnesota Twins, as earlier in the day there were multiple reports linking the New York Yankees as a potential trade partner for Twins’ outfielder Max Kepler. Now that the Yankees traded for another outfielder in Gallo, Max Kepler’s odds of remaining with the Twins for the balance of 2022 increased. Continued José Berríos Trade Rumor Steam The smoke around a José Berríos trade hasn’t slowed down a bit as MLB insiders continue to report on interest and talk between contending teams and the Minnesota Twins for their ace starting pitcher. The big report today came from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, reporting that the Padres lost out on Joey Gallo, but are prioritizing starting pitchers and speaking with the Twins regarding José Berríos. The list of teams interested in Berríos is long, but the Dodgers and Padres seem to be the teams most often linked to Berríos over the past couple of days. How do you think today's moves impacted the Minnesota Twins? Do you think José Berríos will be moved ahead of the deadline? How about other Twins players? Who will they trade? 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
  16. The trade deadline is fast approaching, and Twins Daily has explored many of the teams that the Twins could potentially trade with. Let's take a shot at putting all of those puzzle pieces together and preview what the organization could look like when the dust settles. The Twins made their first big move sending Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay in exchange for two pitching prospects. There were reports over the weekend that Byron Buxton won't be signing a contract extension with the club and rumors of willingness to listen on team-controlled players such as Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers, and Max Kepler. So, where do we go from here? We're going to start with the players on expiring contracts. Trade Andrelton Simmons to the Reds for SS Gus Steiger. Steiger, who is from Minnetonka and played collegiately at South Dakota State, signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and would provide organizational depth in Fort Myers. The Twins would send no cash in the deal, leaving the Reds on the hook for the remaining $3.5 million on Simmons' contract. Trade Michael Pineda to the Astros for P Misaell Tamarez. Tamarez has less than 75 professional innings under his belt and has a walk rate over six, but he also strikes out more than a hitter per inning and has some ceiling. Tamarez would join the Fort Myers staff, where he could start or relieve. The Twins would get all of next year to evaluate Tamarez before deciding whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster. Pineda has $3.4 million left on his contract, which the Astros would pick up. I'd also expect Big Mike to be back with the Twins on a two-year deal this offseason. Trade Hansel Robles to the Red Sox for RP Durbin Feltman. Boston will give up Feltman, who may help in a bullpen someday, for Robles, who will help them in the bullpen for the rest of the year. Robles is owed less than $700,000 for the remainder of the year. Feltman, who has seen his velocity dip since turning pro in 2018, is the type of prospect on who the Twins could take a chance. If they can unlock some of that lost velocity, there is a chance he could be added to the 40-man when first eligible this upcoming offseason. Trade J.A. Happ to the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash. Happ broke into the big leagues with Philadelphia in 2007 and can provide rotational depth. The return for Happ would likely be a little bit of cash to offset his contract. He's still owed just shy of $3 million. The Twins would stay on the hook for almost all of that. The only other impending free agent is Alex Colome, who has been bad this year. If there's a team interested, he could be had for a meager price. Even if the Twins pay the remainder of his salary, the return will be low… in fact, it would be a win if someone else would be responsible for buying out his option. Before going on to the next - and definitely more debatable - part, one thing that needs to be discussed (because it will get a lot of consideration) is the 40-man roster. Except for Drew Strotman, none of the actual or projected returns to this point include someone on the 40-man roster. The Twins also have five players on the 60-day IL that will need to be activated this offseason. Now, granted, the roster has several fringe-40-man players that can be removed, but the organization has to be very careful about the position they put themselves in with acquiring players. Part of the reason Tampa Bay was ok giving up two of their top prospects for Cruz likely had to do with the crunch they were going to face this offseason. (They probably would have lost Strotman on outright waivers.) Just by my quick estimation, there are eight players (seven pitchers!) that I think are more likely to get added to the 40-man than not either later this season or in the offseason. If the Twins are going to rebuild, they would be wise to acquire prospects who are at least a year away from needing to be added to the 40-man roster. Whatever Taylor Rogers did to his finger last night puts his status on the trade market in question. If healthy - and if I were calling the shots - I would have him very available. But for this exercise, he will remain with the Twins. I'm not going to trade Josh Donaldson either. My stance would be that I would make him available, but I want a fair prospect return. The money complicates that. The Twins, in my opinion, will move Donaldson if someone is willing to take on the remainder of his contract. That will minimize the return. Josh Donaldson is too good of a baseball player just to give away. I'll listen on Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, but I don't see either getting moved. Kenta Maeda as well. For an overpay, I'd move every one of them. Now for the big dogs… Not only do I think Byron Buxton will not be moved, I believe a whirlwind Trade Deadline Week is going to be capped off with a Byron Buxton extension. Maybe it won't be Friday because the front office will be busy. But soon enough that the fanbase won't be able to check out for the year. Jose Berrios is a different story. Even a week ago, I wasn't convinced that Berrios was going anywhere. Now I've done a complete 180 and think there is no way he's not traded. And there's going to be a market. Take your pick… San Diego is aggressive, has prospects, and is forward-thinking enough to pull off another blockbuster. Would they include any of their four top prospects? Would MacKenzie Gore, who's been a mess lately, even be enough? Or would the Twins shoot for the injured CJ Abrams or Robert Hassell? Could the Twins bring back Eric Hosmer's bad contract to help the Padres out financially and ask for another top prospect too? The Dodgers don't want to share the spotlight. Is it really a possibility that they offer Dustin May? If so, that is a conversation that needs to be had. Maybe the Giants won't want to be outdone, and though they can't offer a top-end pitching prospect, they do have prospect currency, including SS Marco Luciano and C Joey Bart. There should be enough interest that the Twins don't have to settle for prospects that aren't in the top tier. The AL East is also worth watching. Toronto (P Nate Pearson and SS Austin Martin) and New York (P Deivi Garcia) would both be able to move the needle. The NL East is just as interesting. The Mets have the prospects, but all are a few promotions from the major yet. (Plus, Kevin Mulvey is no longer available.) The Braves could be a match. So what would I do….? I'd call Trader Jerry and make a deal with the Mariners. The basic framework would be Jose Berrios for P George Kirby. Kirby is a Top 20 prospect and hasn't reached AA yet (but will soon). The Mariners are also in the market for an infielder. Does expanding the deal to include Jorge Polanco make sense? Would the Mariners have any interest in taking on Josh Donaldson? Does DiPoto want to roll the dice on Taylor Rogers being ready soon and helping out down the stretch? It would be hard to bet against the Mets, Dodgers, Padres, or Yankees in a bidding war, but the Mariners are a longshot who could make the best deal for both teams. Maybe the holes these trades would create would have to be filled internally, which may not seem to scream "we're competing in 2022," but in a season with so many questions and so few answers, do we really want to be tricked into thinking that's possible anyway? View full article
  17. Below we will review the trades from Wednesday and how (or if) they have any impact on the Minnesota Twins. Oakland Athletics Trade For Starling Marte The first trade of the day came from the Oakland Athletics who acquired outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins in exchange for former top-100 pitching prospect Jesús Luzardo. While Starling Marte is an excellent talent, the overwhelming reaction from experts was that the A’s paid a big price for Marte, who is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. This is a big development for the Minnesota Twins who appear open to moving both Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. If Marte, an impending free agent, was able to fetch a big-time pitching prospect, then Max Kepler and Byron Buxton would seem to be able to fetch even more. Milwaukee Brewers Sign Eduardo Escobar The next major deal to take place on Wednesday came from the Milwaukee Brewers when they acquired former Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar in exchange for AAA catcher Cooper Hummel. In addition to the obvious Twins connection with Escobar changing teams, the mid-afternoon deal impacted the Twins by removing a potential Josh Donaldson buyer from the trade market. Earlier this week, MLB insider Jon Heyman reported that the Milwaukee Brewers had checked in on Josh Donaldson. Now that the Brewers have acquired their third baseman in Escobar, finding a potential trade partner for the Twins third baseman might be more difficult. New York Yankees Sign Joey Gallo To cap off a trade-filled day, the New York Yankees made a big move on Wednesday night when they acquired outfielder Joey Gallo from the Texas Ranges in exchange for a hefty package of minor league prospects. The trade had big ripple effects for the Minnesota Twins, as earlier in the day there were multiple reports linking the New York Yankees as a potential trade partner for Twins’ outfielder Max Kepler. Now that the Yankees traded for another outfielder in Gallo, Max Kepler’s odds of remaining with the Twins for the balance of 2022 increased. Continued José Berríos Trade Rumor Steam The smoke around a José Berríos trade hasn’t slowed down a bit as MLB insiders continue to report on interest and talk between contending teams and the Minnesota Twins for their ace starting pitcher. The big report today came from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, reporting that the Padres lost out on Joey Gallo, but are prioritizing starting pitchers and speaking with the Twins regarding José Berríos. The list of teams interested in Berríos is long, but the Dodgers and Padres seem to be the teams most often linked to Berríos over the past couple of days. How do you think today's moves impacted the Minnesota Twins? Do you think José Berríos will be moved ahead of the deadline? How about other Twins players? Who will they trade? 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
  18. The Twins made their first big move sending Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay in exchange for two pitching prospects. There were reports over the weekend that Byron Buxton won't be signing a contract extension with the club and rumors of willingness to listen on team-controlled players such as Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers, and Max Kepler. So, where do we go from here? We're going to start with the players on expiring contracts. Trade Andrelton Simmons to the Reds for SS Gus Steiger. Steiger, who is from Minnetonka and played collegiately at South Dakota State, signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and would provide organizational depth in Fort Myers. The Twins would send no cash in the deal, leaving the Reds on the hook for the remaining $3.5 million on Simmons' contract. Trade Michael Pineda to the Astros for P Misaell Tamarez. Tamarez has less than 75 professional innings under his belt and has a walk rate over six, but he also strikes out more than a hitter per inning and has some ceiling. Tamarez would join the Fort Myers staff, where he could start or relieve. The Twins would get all of next year to evaluate Tamarez before deciding whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster. Pineda has $3.4 million left on his contract, which the Astros would pick up. I'd also expect Big Mike to be back with the Twins on a two-year deal this offseason. Trade Hansel Robles to the Red Sox for RP Durbin Feltman. Boston will give up Feltman, who may help in a bullpen someday, for Robles, who will help them in the bullpen for the rest of the year. Robles is owed less than $700,000 for the remainder of the year. Feltman, who has seen his velocity dip since turning pro in 2018, is the type of prospect on who the Twins could take a chance. If they can unlock some of that lost velocity, there is a chance he could be added to the 40-man when first eligible this upcoming offseason. Trade J.A. Happ to the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash. Happ broke into the big leagues with Philadelphia in 2007 and can provide rotational depth. The return for Happ would likely be a little bit of cash to offset his contract. He's still owed just shy of $3 million. The Twins would stay on the hook for almost all of that. The only other impending free agent is Alex Colome, who has been bad this year. If there's a team interested, he could be had for a meager price. Even if the Twins pay the remainder of his salary, the return will be low… in fact, it would be a win if someone else would be responsible for buying out his option. Before going on to the next - and definitely more debatable - part, one thing that needs to be discussed (because it will get a lot of consideration) is the 40-man roster. Except for Drew Strotman, none of the actual or projected returns to this point include someone on the 40-man roster. The Twins also have five players on the 60-day IL that will need to be activated this offseason. Now, granted, the roster has several fringe-40-man players that can be removed, but the organization has to be very careful about the position they put themselves in with acquiring players. Part of the reason Tampa Bay was ok giving up two of their top prospects for Cruz likely had to do with the crunch they were going to face this offseason. (They probably would have lost Strotman on outright waivers.) Just by my quick estimation, there are eight players (seven pitchers!) that I think are more likely to get added to the 40-man than not either later this season or in the offseason. If the Twins are going to rebuild, they would be wise to acquire prospects who are at least a year away from needing to be added to the 40-man roster. Whatever Taylor Rogers did to his finger last night puts his status on the trade market in question. If healthy - and if I were calling the shots - I would have him very available. But for this exercise, he will remain with the Twins. I'm not going to trade Josh Donaldson either. My stance would be that I would make him available, but I want a fair prospect return. The money complicates that. The Twins, in my opinion, will move Donaldson if someone is willing to take on the remainder of his contract. That will minimize the return. Josh Donaldson is too good of a baseball player just to give away. I'll listen on Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, but I don't see either getting moved. Kenta Maeda as well. For an overpay, I'd move every one of them. Now for the big dogs… Not only do I think Byron Buxton will not be moved, I believe a whirlwind Trade Deadline Week is going to be capped off with a Byron Buxton extension. Maybe it won't be Friday because the front office will be busy. But soon enough that the fanbase won't be able to check out for the year. Jose Berrios is a different story. Even a week ago, I wasn't convinced that Berrios was going anywhere. Now I've done a complete 180 and think there is no way he's not traded. And there's going to be a market. Take your pick… San Diego is aggressive, has prospects, and is forward-thinking enough to pull off another blockbuster. Would they include any of their four top prospects? Would MacKenzie Gore, who's been a mess lately, even be enough? Or would the Twins shoot for the injured CJ Abrams or Robert Hassell? Could the Twins bring back Eric Hosmer's bad contract to help the Padres out financially and ask for another top prospect too? The Dodgers don't want to share the spotlight. Is it really a possibility that they offer Dustin May? If so, that is a conversation that needs to be had. Maybe the Giants won't want to be outdone, and though they can't offer a top-end pitching prospect, they do have prospect currency, including SS Marco Luciano and C Joey Bart. There should be enough interest that the Twins don't have to settle for prospects that aren't in the top tier. The AL East is also worth watching. Toronto (P Nate Pearson and SS Austin Martin) and New York (P Deivi Garcia) would both be able to move the needle. The NL East is just as interesting. The Mets have the prospects, but all are a few promotions from the major yet. (Plus, Kevin Mulvey is no longer available.) The Braves could be a match. So what would I do….? I'd call Trader Jerry and make a deal with the Mariners. The basic framework would be Jose Berrios for P George Kirby. Kirby is a Top 20 prospect and hasn't reached AA yet (but will soon). The Mariners are also in the market for an infielder. Does expanding the deal to include Jorge Polanco make sense? Would the Mariners have any interest in taking on Josh Donaldson? Does DiPoto want to roll the dice on Taylor Rogers being ready soon and helping out down the stretch? It would be hard to bet against the Mets, Dodgers, Padres, or Yankees in a bidding war, but the Mariners are a longshot who could make the best deal for both teams. Maybe the holes these trades would create would have to be filled internally, which may not seem to scream "we're competing in 2022," but in a season with so many questions and so few answers, do we really want to be tricked into thinking that's possible anyway?
  19. Derek Falvey recently hinted the Twins are considering packaging MLB talent to maximize return value in a trade. What would a trade like this look like? What could the Twins get back? In an interview with SiriusXM on Sunday, Minnesota Twins CBO Derek Falvey told Jon Morosi that trading a package of MLB players is ‘something we have talked about.’ With the news also breaking Sunday that Byron Buxton rejected the Twins’ long-term contract offer, the possibility that Minnesota engages in more extensive re-tooling seems to increase with each passing day. Buxton seems increasingly likely to be dealt this off-season given his currently IL status. Outstanding lefty Taylor Rogers seems likely to be dealt in the landscape of a thin relief market. José Berríos, the club’s lone recent success story in developing starting pitching seems determined to test free agency and would fetch a steep trade price. Finally, there are the rentals, with Andrelton Simmons, Michael Pineda, and Hansel Robles all strong trade possibilities ahead of Friday’s deadline. So what would a Twins ‘packaging’ of MLB players look like? What kind of return might they get? Trade 1: Twins and Blue Jays Jays Receive: RHP José Berríos and LHP Taylor Rogers Twins Receive: SS Jordan Groshans (32), RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (68), MI Miguel Hiraldo This is a certified blockbuster. It’s no secret the Jays are seeking pitching in a tight AL East and an extremely competitive AL Wild Card race. Losing Berríos and Rogers would sting, but the return is exciting. Groshans is the #32 prospect on baseball. Currently at AA, he has the tools to become a plus hitter with plus power. While the home run power hasn’t fully developed, Groshans is slugging .461 at AA in 2021. Standing at 6’3 with strong defensive instincts and an excellent arm, he may eventually be an MLB 3B. Woods Richardson is the #68 prospect in baseball. 6’5 RHP a fastball which sits 91-95 mph, solid command, two decent breaking balls (a curve and a slider), and a changeup which is regarded as the best in the system. Richardson is thought to have a high floor for a prep pitching draftee and should develop into a number two or three starter. Hiraldo is a 20-year-old MI, the number 17 prospect in the 17-18 international free agent class. Hiraldo has excellent bat speed which should develop into solid power. He has a strong throwing arm which allows him to play all infield positions. At worst, he should develop into a strong utility infielder. Trade 2: Twins and Padres Padres Receive: LHP Taylor Rogers and RHP Michael Pineda Twins Receive: RHP Mason Thompson and RHP Steven Wilson Beyond Tyler Duffey (assuming Rogers is traded) who do you feel confident about in the Twins bullpen in 2022? A second-half audition for the likes of Ian Hamilton, Jovani Moran, and Yennier Cano is surely around the corner. All that said, the Twins badly need bullpen reinforcements. In Rogers, the Padres get an outstanding back-end piece for their bullpen, and in Pineda, a starter who can offer them solid innings down the stretch. Mason Thompson was the 85th overall pick in 2016 (Padres #10 prospect). His early pro career was marred by injuries. He was finally healthy for the first time during the Padres instructional camp in 2020. Standing at 6’7, Thompson possesses a 60 grade, upper 90s fastball, and a power slider, both of which are good enough to miss bats. Thompson was added to the Padres 40 man roster in November to not expose him to the Rule 5 Draft. He projects as a late-inning reliever. Steven Wilson checks in as the Padres #16 prospect. Currently, at AAA, Wilson has a 2.03 ERA in limited 2021 action, with 23 Ks in just 13 innings. Wilson is another prototypical reliever with a power fastball/slider mix. Wilson needs to continue to refine his command, but profiles as a seventh-inning reliever at the MLB level. Trade 3: Twins and Mets Mets Receive: RHP José Berríos and SS Andrelton Simmons Twins Receive: 3B Brett Baty (73), OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, and RHP J.T. Ginn The Mets, for once, are in a strong position. With a four-game lead atop the NL East, they need to fortify their roster to make a strong post-season run. The Mets have been heavily linked with Berríos for some time. Their off-season blockbuster acquisition, Francisco Lindor, recently went on the IL with a grade 2 oblique strain. Adding Andrelton Simmons would provide meaningful defensive coverage for Lindor until he returns, and trim some 2020 payroll for the Twins. The Mets have a strong farm system and are a suitable trade partner for the Twins. In Brett Baty, the Twins acquire the #73 overall prospect in baseball. Currently, at AA, Baty is sporting a .382 OBP in over 200 ABs at Binghamton. He is on his way. Baty has gap to gap power, including opposite-field home run power. Though not an outstanding defender, Baty has the defensive capability to stick at 3B at the MLB level. Crow-Armstrong is the Mets #5 prospect and the 19th overall pick in 2020. His progress has been significantly hampered by a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Crow-Armstrong has plus speed and was rated as the best defender in the 2020 draft class. He has solid gap to gap power and a solid to strong hit tool. He profiles as a prototypical high average, high on-base leadoff hitter. J.T. Ginn is the Mets #6 prospect, currently at A+. Ginn had Tommy John surgery as a Sophmore in college, dropping his draft stock slightly. Ginn has a fastball that sits 91-95 mph which tops out at 97. He also possesses a promising slider and changeup. In 44 innings pitched in 2021, Ginn has a 2.44 ERA and 41Ks, to go with a cool 0.92 WHIP. Ginn profiles as a mid-rotation starting pitcher if he continues to develop after his surgery. Note: I considered Matt Allan for this trade. He recently had Tommy John surgery, making him a more murky trade asset. Would you pull the trigger on any of these trades? Which Twins players do see as most likely to be packaged together in a potential trade? 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
  20. It's not an even year but the San Francisco Giants are back and they're ready to make a run under new leadership and surprise resurgent years from two veteran holdovers from the dynasty years of the last decade. Minnesota has the pieces to help San Francisco get back on top of the baseball world but does a trade with San Francisco make sense for Minnesota? What’s Their Situation? The San Francisco Giants have been the biggest surprise in baseball this year. Going into the season, most industry pundits and prediction systems had the Giants hovering around the .500 mark and finishing third place in their division behind Los Angeles and San Diego. With less than two weeks until the trade deadline, the San Francisco Giants hold the best record in baseball and sit atop their division. Their surprise run has been powered by the resurgent years of two 34-year-old veterans Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford as well as unexpected starting pitching success from Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood. While the Giants reached the pinnacle of the baseball world three times in the 2010s, they have not reached the postseason since 2016. Even though they currently own the best record in baseball they only have a small lead over their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The road to the postseason in 2021 for the San Francisco Giants looks all but guaranteed, however, the division title is far from a guarantee. In order to win their division and take down the defending champions, the Giants will need some reinforcements and could look to the Twins to provide the pieces they need. What Do They Need? The Giants dynasty teams of the last decade were comprised of perennial All-Stars and household names. Those teams had a roster with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Sergio Romo, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and Hunter Pence. They were also led by future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy. The 2021 version of the San Francisco Giants looks a lot different. Outside of the likes of Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford this team lacks star power and household names. You’ve probably never heard of Darin Ruf, Donovan Solano, Austin Slater, Thairo Estrada or Steven Duggar. Surprisingly though, there aren't many holes to be filled on this team, but that doesn't mean they won't be buyers. Here's what they could add at the deadline to make this team even better. Starting Pitching: This has been an area of pleasant surprise for the Giants. During the winter they made a lot of short-term acquisitions to bolster their starting rotation. Many of those short-term acquisitions have had very strong seasons, which is a big part of the Giants' success. However, very few of them have the track record of staying healthy and being guys that can be relied on to make a deep postseason run. For that reason, starting pitching will be the Giants number one priority at the trade deadline. Relief Pitching: The Giants bullpen hasn't been terrible but it hasn't been great either. They’ve pretty much been average to slightly above-average in most statistical categories; however in the postseason you need better than average bullpen arms. Outfield: Other than Mike Yastrzemski, the Giants have struggled to get consistent production from any of their outfield options. Earlier in the season they acquired Mike Tauchman from the New York Yankees but his .569 OPS has provided very little impact offensively. Some of the other guys like Austin Slater, Alex Dickerson or Steven Duggar have had stretches where they played well but their numbers overall leave something to be desired. The only other bright spot in the outfield would be LaMonte Wade Jr but he spends most of his time at first base. Which Twins Are The Best Fit? José Berríos: Much has been made about whether or not the Twins should trade José Berríos, but if Minnesota ultimately does decide to part with their former top pitching prospect turned All-Star, the San Francisco Giants would likely be one of the many teams calling. Acquiring Berríos not only helps the Giants in 2021 but it helps them in 2022 as well. As previously mentioned, many of their current rotation options are on short-term deals that expire at the end of this season. So a move to bring in José Berríos sets them up for success now and for the future. Taylor Rogers: As with Berríos, Taylor Rogers will be one of the most highly sought-after pieces on the trade market but it's unsure whether or not the Twins will be willing to part with him. If Minnesota does in fact pull the trigger on dealing Taylor Rogers, they will have many suitors and the Giants will certainly be one of them. As stated earlier, the Giants bullpen has been average and adding a guy like Taylor Rogers makes them a better-than-average group. Additionally, it would also be pretty cool to see the Rogers brothers on the same team pitching against the Dodgers in the NLCS, or better yet, the World Series. Byron Buxton: There seems to be a trend here because much like the first two mentioned names, Buxton also fits into the category of will the Twins actually want to trade him. Given his injury history and amount of time spent on the injured list this season it may be a little bit harder for Minnesota to find a suitor for Buxton than it will be for Berríos or Rogers. It's no secret that a healthy Byron Buxton is one of the best players in all of baseball and a player of that caliber will help any team, especially a team like San Francisco that struggles to get high-end offensive production from many of their current outfield options. In addition to what he offers offensively, Byron Buxton would also be a huge defensive upgrade for the Giants. Imagine how fun it would be to see Byron Buxton patrol the vast open spaces of the Oracle Park outfield. What Could The Twins Get Back? This is where it gets dicey. If recent history tells us anything it's that the Minnesota Twins should avoid any trade calls from the San Francisco Giants at all costs. Let's take a look at some of the recent trades between the Giants and Twins and how they fared for each team. In 2016 the Giants acquired then All-Star shortstop Eduardo Núñez from Minnesota in exchange for Adalberto Mejia. Núñez would go on to help the Giants make the postseason in 2016 and they would later trade him to Boston in exchange for Shaun Anderson. Mejia, on the other hand, pitched 138 innings in a Twins uniform and posted a lackluster 4.63 ERA and a 96 ERA+. He now pitches in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Now, raise your hand if you remember Sam Dyson. If you managed to completely scrub that from your memory until now, I'm sorry. In return for Sam Dyson, the Giants acquired Jaylin Davis, who to this point hasn't done much to speak of at the major league level, however, Sam Dyson was one of the worst trade acquisitions a team could possibly ask for and he is no longer pitching in professional baseball. Lastly we have the LaMonte Wade Jr. for Shaun Anderson trade that took place this past winter. LaMonte Wade Jr. has been a revelation for San Francisco and is hitting .252/.347/.520 (.867) and a 133 OPS+. Meanwhile, Shaun Anderson is no longer in the Twins organization and is currently pitching for a third different organization this season. Perhaps Falvey and Levine would be better off blocking Farhan Zaidi’s number but if they were to strike another deal, the Giants do offer some intriguing options. Joey Bart: If Minnesota is committed to Mitch Garver then perhaps Bart wouldn’t be that intriguing but he is the 17th ranked prospect in baseball and the second-highest ranked catching prospect behind the Orioles Adley Rutschman. Bart is a very promising young player who’s currently blocked by further Hall of Famer, Buster Posey. Marco Luciano: This 19-year-old shortstop is the prize possession of the Giants farm system and the 12th overall prospect in baseball. It will be difficult to pry Luciano away from the Giants but a package deal of Berríos and Rogers may do the trick. Heliot Ramos: This Giants outfield prospect is the 63rd ranked prospect in baseball and is on the fast track to the big league roster. After a breakout spring training in which he hit .410/.425/.718 (1.116), Ramos went on to hit for a .756 OPS in double-A before his recent promotion to triple-A. Seth Cory: After developing Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain the Giants have largely failed at developing quality starting pitching but Seth Cory looks promising. The 22-year-old is currently pitching in high A and is the 84th ranked prospect in baseball. Bart, Luciano, Ramos and Cory won’t come easy but if Minnesota is willing to part with any one or some combination of their most prized possessions then San Francisco would likely be willing to part with some of their prized prospects. View full article
  21. What’s Their Situation? The San Francisco Giants have been the biggest surprise in baseball this year. Going into the season, most industry pundits and prediction systems had the Giants hovering around the .500 mark and finishing third place in their division behind Los Angeles and San Diego. With less than two weeks until the trade deadline, the San Francisco Giants hold the best record in baseball and sit atop their division. Their surprise run has been powered by the resurgent years of two 34-year-old veterans Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford as well as unexpected starting pitching success from Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood. While the Giants reached the pinnacle of the baseball world three times in the 2010s, they have not reached the postseason since 2016. Even though they currently own the best record in baseball they only have a small lead over their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The road to the postseason in 2021 for the San Francisco Giants looks all but guaranteed, however, the division title is far from a guarantee. In order to win their division and take down the defending champions, the Giants will need some reinforcements and could look to the Twins to provide the pieces they need. What Do They Need? The Giants dynasty teams of the last decade were comprised of perennial All-Stars and household names. Those teams had a roster with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Sergio Romo, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and Hunter Pence. They were also led by future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy. The 2021 version of the San Francisco Giants looks a lot different. Outside of the likes of Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford this team lacks star power and household names. You’ve probably never heard of Darin Ruf, Donovan Solano, Austin Slater, Thairo Estrada or Steven Duggar. Surprisingly though, there aren't many holes to be filled on this team, but that doesn't mean they won't be buyers. Here's what they could add at the deadline to make this team even better. Starting Pitching: This has been an area of pleasant surprise for the Giants. During the winter they made a lot of short-term acquisitions to bolster their starting rotation. Many of those short-term acquisitions have had very strong seasons, which is a big part of the Giants' success. However, very few of them have the track record of staying healthy and being guys that can be relied on to make a deep postseason run. For that reason, starting pitching will be the Giants number one priority at the trade deadline. Relief Pitching: The Giants bullpen hasn't been terrible but it hasn't been great either. They’ve pretty much been average to slightly above-average in most statistical categories; however in the postseason you need better than average bullpen arms. Outfield: Other than Mike Yastrzemski, the Giants have struggled to get consistent production from any of their outfield options. Earlier in the season they acquired Mike Tauchman from the New York Yankees but his .569 OPS has provided very little impact offensively. Some of the other guys like Austin Slater, Alex Dickerson or Steven Duggar have had stretches where they played well but their numbers overall leave something to be desired. The only other bright spot in the outfield would be LaMonte Wade Jr but he spends most of his time at first base. Which Twins Are The Best Fit? José Berríos: Much has been made about whether or not the Twins should trade José Berríos, but if Minnesota ultimately does decide to part with their former top pitching prospect turned All-Star, the San Francisco Giants would likely be one of the many teams calling. Acquiring Berríos not only helps the Giants in 2021 but it helps them in 2022 as well. As previously mentioned, many of their current rotation options are on short-term deals that expire at the end of this season. So a move to bring in José Berríos sets them up for success now and for the future. Taylor Rogers: As with Berríos, Taylor Rogers will be one of the most highly sought-after pieces on the trade market but it's unsure whether or not the Twins will be willing to part with him. If Minnesota does in fact pull the trigger on dealing Taylor Rogers, they will have many suitors and the Giants will certainly be one of them. As stated earlier, the Giants bullpen has been average and adding a guy like Taylor Rogers makes them a better-than-average group. Additionally, it would also be pretty cool to see the Rogers brothers on the same team pitching against the Dodgers in the NLCS, or better yet, the World Series. Byron Buxton: There seems to be a trend here because much like the first two mentioned names, Buxton also fits into the category of will the Twins actually want to trade him. Given his injury history and amount of time spent on the injured list this season it may be a little bit harder for Minnesota to find a suitor for Buxton than it will be for Berríos or Rogers. It's no secret that a healthy Byron Buxton is one of the best players in all of baseball and a player of that caliber will help any team, especially a team like San Francisco that struggles to get high-end offensive production from many of their current outfield options. In addition to what he offers offensively, Byron Buxton would also be a huge defensive upgrade for the Giants. Imagine how fun it would be to see Byron Buxton patrol the vast open spaces of the Oracle Park outfield. What Could The Twins Get Back? This is where it gets dicey. If recent history tells us anything it's that the Minnesota Twins should avoid any trade calls from the San Francisco Giants at all costs. Let's take a look at some of the recent trades between the Giants and Twins and how they fared for each team. In 2016 the Giants acquired then All-Star shortstop Eduardo Núñez from Minnesota in exchange for Adalberto Mejia. Núñez would go on to help the Giants make the postseason in 2016 and they would later trade him to Boston in exchange for Shaun Anderson. Mejia, on the other hand, pitched 138 innings in a Twins uniform and posted a lackluster 4.63 ERA and a 96 ERA+. He now pitches in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Now, raise your hand if you remember Sam Dyson. If you managed to completely scrub that from your memory until now, I'm sorry. In return for Sam Dyson, the Giants acquired Jaylin Davis, who to this point hasn't done much to speak of at the major league level, however, Sam Dyson was one of the worst trade acquisitions a team could possibly ask for and he is no longer pitching in professional baseball. Lastly we have the LaMonte Wade Jr. for Shaun Anderson trade that took place this past winter. LaMonte Wade Jr. has been a revelation for San Francisco and is hitting .252/.347/.520 (.867) and a 133 OPS+. Meanwhile, Shaun Anderson is no longer in the Twins organization and is currently pitching for a third different organization this season. Perhaps Falvey and Levine would be better off blocking Farhan Zaidi’s number but if they were to strike another deal, the Giants do offer some intriguing options. Joey Bart: If Minnesota is committed to Mitch Garver then perhaps Bart wouldn’t be that intriguing but he is the 17th ranked prospect in baseball and the second-highest ranked catching prospect behind the Orioles Adley Rutschman. Bart is a very promising young player who’s currently blocked by further Hall of Famer, Buster Posey. Marco Luciano: This 19-year-old shortstop is the prize possession of the Giants farm system and the 12th overall prospect in baseball. It will be difficult to pry Luciano away from the Giants but a package deal of Berríos and Rogers may do the trick. Heliot Ramos: This Giants outfield prospect is the 63rd ranked prospect in baseball and is on the fast track to the big league roster. After a breakout spring training in which he hit .410/.425/.718 (1.116), Ramos went on to hit for a .756 OPS in double-A before his recent promotion to triple-A. Seth Cory: After developing Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain the Giants have largely failed at developing quality starting pitching but Seth Cory looks promising. The 22-year-old is currently pitching in high A and is the 84th ranked prospect in baseball. Bart, Luciano, Ramos and Cory won’t come easy but if Minnesota is willing to part with any one or some combination of their most prized possessions then San Francisco would likely be willing to part with some of their prized prospects.
  22. In an interview with SiriusXM on Sunday, Minnesota Twins CBO Derek Falvey told Jon Morosi that trading a package of MLB players is ‘something we have talked about.’ With the news also breaking Sunday that Byron Buxton rejected the Twins’ long-term contract offer, the possibility that Minnesota engages in more extensive re-tooling seems to increase with each passing day. Buxton seems increasingly likely to be dealt this off-season given his currently IL status. Outstanding lefty Taylor Rogers seems likely to be dealt in the landscape of a thin relief market. José Berríos, the club’s lone recent success story in developing starting pitching seems determined to test free agency and would fetch a steep trade price. Finally, there are the rentals, with Andrelton Simmons, Michael Pineda, and Hansel Robles all strong trade possibilities ahead of Friday’s deadline. So what would a Twins ‘packaging’ of MLB players look like? What kind of return might they get? Trade 1: Twins and Blue Jays Jays Receive: RHP José Berríos and LHP Taylor Rogers Twins Receive: SS Jordan Groshans (32), RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (68), MI Miguel Hiraldo This is a certified blockbuster. It’s no secret the Jays are seeking pitching in a tight AL East and an extremely competitive AL Wild Card race. Losing Berríos and Rogers would sting, but the return is exciting. Groshans is the #32 prospect on baseball. Currently at AA, he has the tools to become a plus hitter with plus power. While the home run power hasn’t fully developed, Groshans is slugging .461 at AA in 2021. Standing at 6’3 with strong defensive instincts and an excellent arm, he may eventually be an MLB 3B. Woods Richardson is the #68 prospect in baseball. 6’5 RHP a fastball which sits 91-95 mph, solid command, two decent breaking balls (a curve and a slider), and a changeup which is regarded as the best in the system. Richardson is thought to have a high floor for a prep pitching draftee and should develop into a number two or three starter. Hiraldo is a 20-year-old MI, the number 17 prospect in the 17-18 international free agent class. Hiraldo has excellent bat speed which should develop into solid power. He has a strong throwing arm which allows him to play all infield positions. At worst, he should develop into a strong utility infielder. Trade 2: Twins and Padres Padres Receive: LHP Taylor Rogers and RHP Michael Pineda Twins Receive: RHP Mason Thompson and RHP Steven Wilson Beyond Tyler Duffey (assuming Rogers is traded) who do you feel confident about in the Twins bullpen in 2022? A second-half audition for the likes of Ian Hamilton, Jovani Moran, and Yennier Cano is surely around the corner. All that said, the Twins badly need bullpen reinforcements. In Rogers, the Padres get an outstanding back-end piece for their bullpen, and in Pineda, a starter who can offer them solid innings down the stretch. Mason Thompson was the 85th overall pick in 2016 (Padres #10 prospect). His early pro career was marred by injuries. He was finally healthy for the first time during the Padres instructional camp in 2020. Standing at 6’7, Thompson possesses a 60 grade, upper 90s fastball, and a power slider, both of which are good enough to miss bats. Thompson was added to the Padres 40 man roster in November to not expose him to the Rule 5 Draft. He projects as a late-inning reliever. Steven Wilson checks in as the Padres #16 prospect. Currently, at AAA, Wilson has a 2.03 ERA in limited 2021 action, with 23 Ks in just 13 innings. Wilson is another prototypical reliever with a power fastball/slider mix. Wilson needs to continue to refine his command, but profiles as a seventh-inning reliever at the MLB level. Trade 3: Twins and Mets Mets Receive: RHP José Berríos and SS Andrelton Simmons Twins Receive: 3B Brett Baty (73), OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, and RHP J.T. Ginn The Mets, for once, are in a strong position. With a four-game lead atop the NL East, they need to fortify their roster to make a strong post-season run. The Mets have been heavily linked with Berríos for some time. Their off-season blockbuster acquisition, Francisco Lindor, recently went on the IL with a grade 2 oblique strain. Adding Andrelton Simmons would provide meaningful defensive coverage for Lindor until he returns, and trim some 2020 payroll for the Twins. The Mets have a strong farm system and are a suitable trade partner for the Twins. In Brett Baty, the Twins acquire the #73 overall prospect in baseball. Currently, at AA, Baty is sporting a .382 OBP in over 200 ABs at Binghamton. He is on his way. Baty has gap to gap power, including opposite-field home run power. Though not an outstanding defender, Baty has the defensive capability to stick at 3B at the MLB level. Crow-Armstrong is the Mets #5 prospect and the 19th overall pick in 2020. His progress has been significantly hampered by a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Crow-Armstrong has plus speed and was rated as the best defender in the 2020 draft class. He has solid gap to gap power and a solid to strong hit tool. He profiles as a prototypical high average, high on-base leadoff hitter. J.T. Ginn is the Mets #6 prospect, currently at A+. Ginn had Tommy John surgery as a Sophmore in college, dropping his draft stock slightly. Ginn has a fastball that sits 91-95 mph which tops out at 97. He also possesses a promising slider and changeup. In 44 innings pitched in 2021, Ginn has a 2.44 ERA and 41Ks, to go with a cool 0.92 WHIP. Ginn profiles as a mid-rotation starting pitcher if he continues to develop after his surgery. Note: I considered Matt Allan for this trade. He recently had Tommy John surgery, making him a more murky trade asset. Would you pull the trigger on any of these trades? Which Twins players do see as most likely to be packaged together in a potential trade? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  23. Brent Rooker's ninth inning double saved the Minnesota Twins from being no-hit in what could be José Berríos' final start for the team. José Berríos: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Miguel Sano -.150, Ryan Jeffers -.126, Gilberto Celestino -.117 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) It was Patrick Sandoval’s world on Saturday night and the Twins were just living in it. Sandoval, who entered the game with a 3.86 ERA and 4.36 FIP in 63 innings, was spectacular all evening, striking out 13 and taking a no-hitter into the bottom of the ninth inning before the recently promoted Brent Rooker lobbed a double just inside the line in right field. Josh Donaldson followed with a double of his own two batters later to pull the Twins within 2-1 before Miguel Sanó struck out to end the game. (The Twins were limited to a paltry 29.4% hard hit percentage and struck out 14 times as a team.) Sandoval’s performance outshone that of Twins’ pitcher José Berríos, who possibly made his final start in a Twins uniform. Though his numbers won't pop off the page, Berríos was largely in control from the jump. The Twins' ace allowed two unearned runs in the top of the first inning before settling into a groove. At one point, Berríos retired 15 straight Angels before being pulled after throwing 101 pitches. He finished the night with four strikeouts in seven innings. Berríos’ name will continue to appear in copious rumors until the trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. CT this coming Friday. Though the team is asking for a monster haul in return for their two-time All-Star, Berríos will likely be the only young starting pitcher on the market who still has one year of control remaining on his contract. Because of this, rival teams will likely turn up their aggressiveness and improve their offers as the deadline approaches, which may well leave the Twins staring at an offer they can’t refuse. If they do choose to move on, Berríos will be remembered as perhaps the Twins’ best starting pitcher since Johan Santana, who was dealt to the New York Mets in the early spring of 2008. He has lived up to all expectations and then some since being selected out of Puerto Rico with the No. 32 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. Unfortunately, all we can do now is sit on our hands and wait to see what unfolds in the coming days. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Colomé 0 26 22 0 11 0 59 Alcala 23 24 0 0 0 10 57 Duffey 16 0 38 0 0 0 54 Thielbar 0 17 16 0 0 16 49 Coulombe 0 5 0 32 0 0 37 Rogers 19 0 0 0 18 0 37 Robles 19 7 0 0 0 0 26 Minaya 0 0 0 0 20 0 20 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
  24. José Berríos: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Miguel Sano -.150, Ryan Jeffers -.126, Gilberto Celestino -.117 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) It was Patrick Sandoval’s world on Saturday night and the Twins were just living in it. Sandoval, who entered the game with a 3.86 ERA and 4.36 FIP in 63 innings, was spectacular all evening, striking out 13 and taking a no-hitter into the bottom of the ninth inning before the recently promoted Brent Rooker lobbed a double just inside the line in right field. Josh Donaldson followed with a double of his own two batters later to pull the Twins within 2-1 before Miguel Sanó struck out to end the game. (The Twins were limited to a paltry 29.4% hard hit percentage and struck out 14 times as a team.) Sandoval’s performance outshone that of Twins’ pitcher José Berríos, who possibly made his final start in a Twins uniform. Though his numbers won't pop off the page, Berríos was largely in control from the jump. The Twins' ace allowed two unearned runs in the top of the first inning before settling into a groove. At one point, Berríos retired 15 straight Angels before being pulled after throwing 101 pitches. He finished the night with four strikeouts in seven innings. Berríos’ name will continue to appear in copious rumors until the trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. CT this coming Friday. Though the team is asking for a monster haul in return for their two-time All-Star, Berríos will likely be the only young starting pitcher on the market who still has one year of control remaining on his contract. Because of this, rival teams will likely turn up their aggressiveness and improve their offers as the deadline approaches, which may well leave the Twins staring at an offer they can’t refuse. If they do choose to move on, Berríos will be remembered as perhaps the Twins’ best starting pitcher since Johan Santana, who was dealt to the New York Mets in the early spring of 2008. He has lived up to all expectations and then some since being selected out of Puerto Rico with the No. 32 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. Unfortunately, all we can do now is sit on our hands and wait to see what unfolds in the coming days. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Colomé 0 26 22 0 11 0 59 Alcala 23 24 0 0 0 10 57 Duffey 16 0 38 0 0 0 54 Thielbar 0 17 16 0 0 16 49 Coulombe 0 5 0 32 0 0 37 Rogers 19 0 0 0 18 0 37 Robles 19 7 0 0 0 0 26 Minaya 0 0 0 0 20 0 20 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. For years, fans have complained about the payroll of the Minnesota Twins. You simply cannot spend your way to a World Series; ask the New York Yankees. That said, this organization may very well still have an allocation problem. No, the problem is not that the Twins don’t spend money, but rather that they don’t know HOW to spend money. Said another way, they don’t correctly know how to spend money. As we embark upon a quasi-deadline for homegrown talents like Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios, it seems the front office is faced with a decision to extend or deal both talents. Buxton would be looking at a payday north of $200 million as a free agent coming off a season of health. Jose Berrios wants to max out his value, and it seems he’s all but gone in this club’s mind. Those are problems, but only because they compound an already developing issue. Way back when the Twins paid Joe Mauer. He was worth every penny and was underpaid throughout his career. Nothing about his contract hamstrung a mid-market team without a salary cap. What prevented the hometown nine from winning was the lack of supplementation on the roster, both in youth and acquired talent. Fast forward to where we are now, and once again, the Twins are showing a lack of ability to spend wisely. This club paid Josh Donaldson nearly $100 million following one season with Atlanta. The Bringer of Rain posted a .259/.379/.521 slash line in 2019 while playing in 155 games. His first year in Minnesota was challenging in that the pandemic cut short any real season, but nagging leg injuries kept him to just 28 games and out of the most important during October. Look at what Donaldson has done for Minnesota, however, and it’s nothing short of what this club should’ve hoped. After his 124 OPS+ in Atlanta, Donaldson has posted a .244/.358/.485 slash and 135 OPS+ with the Twins. The slugging has slid a bit, but the ball has changed, and arguably the only knock has been losing a step defensively. After an injury-plagued season a year ago, he’s been one of the most consistently available Twins in 2021. So, here we are with a big contract given out to a free agent that’s performing, and Minnesota is looking at a teardown. Donaldson could be had for salary relief, Berrios could command prospects, and Buxton may be the most exciting asset the sport has seen in a long time. Once again, though, this club looks to have failed to spend. Over the winter, the thought process should’ve been acquiring talent to supplement this group. Alex Colome and Hansel Robles had appeal on paper, but neither is the impact arm the provides insurance for the group headlined by Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey. J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker were veteran starters with relatively decent floors, but neither would push Berrios or Kenta Maeda for the top of the rotation duty. When acquiring talent to raise the water level, this organization changed out oars and continued to tread water. Donaldson was a significant expense, and nothing was done to truly supplement him. Here we are now facing an awful result, and the outcome could be moving assets for hope in the future. Target Field was opened under the assumption that Minnesota would be able to retain its homegrown talent. Watching Buxton and Berrios be moved isn’t a reality that is supposed to take place. Suppressed payrolls for much of the past decade should pave the way for an influx of dollars to be utilized around a core that’s shown it can compete. Right now, it feels like that couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t believe that Minnesota’s strategy should be to play in the pool near a $200 million mark. Acquiring top-tier talent only to keep them on an island and then piecing things out for another cycle when things go wrong looks like a misappropriated allocation of funds. Development isn’t linear and should be the focus internally. Still, it’s time this organization made financial commitments to those they’ve seen bear fruit and then continue to support the roster as a whole with acquired talent that makes more sense than just cents on the dollar. 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
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