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  1. Going into the deadline, many Twins fans had their sights set on adding a front of the rotation starting pitcher, along with a couple backend of the bullpen arms. As the deadline started to draw near it, was apparent that this wasn’t going to be the case, for not only the Twins, but for most of the teams looking to add pitching at the deadline. Some of the biggest named starting pitchers, like Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Boyd, Robbie Ray or Mike Minor didn’t even get traded. The only big-name starting pitchers that go moved were Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer and Zack Greinke. Neither Bauer nor Greinke were ever really options for the Twins as the Indians weren’t going to deal Bauer to the Twins while they are in a division race together, and Zack Greinke wouldn’t waive his no trade clause for a potential trade to the Twins. This left Stroman, who was traded to the New York Mets in the biggest head scratcher at the deadline. Not only are the Mets not in contention this year, but the package they gave up to acquire Stroman could have easily been matched by the Twins with Jhoan Duran and Blayne Enlow. It sounded as though the Twins were in trade talks with the Blue Jays, but the Jays didn’t circle back to the Twins before making the deal with the Mets. It is unclear why this happened, or if the Twins were just unwilling to offer something that rivaled the Mets offer. The Twins were also reportedly interested in some of the big-name relievers on the trade market, which included Will Smith, Kirby Yates, Ken Giles, Felipe Vazquez, Edwin Diaz and Shane Greene. At the end of the day, the only one of those pitchers who actually got moved was Shane Greene, who really wasn’t much of an option for the Twins as the Tigers weren’t all that interested in making an interdivision trade. It is up for debate if the Twins could have been more aggressive to try and acquire one of these arms to assist the bullpen, but if nearly all of them didn’t get traded it probably suggests that the asking price was way too high, and could have been a trade the Twins would come to regret down the road, ala Matt Capps. Now that has been said, let’s move on from what the Twins didn’t acquire, and focus on what they did. I won’t spend a ton of time going over the Sergio Romo acquisition, as we already spent a bunch of time on that, but if you would like a more in-depth review of that trade you can find it here. The Twins also made a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for a Double-A reliever named Marcos Diplan in exchange for cash considerations. In 2013, Diplan was consider the top available pitcher on the International Free Agent market. Fast-forward to 2019, and things haven’t exactly gone as planned for the now 22-year-old. In 57 and 2/3 innings at Double-A this year, Diplan has a 4.99 ERA (4.41 FIP) with a 9.8 K/9 and an extremely high 5.8 BB/9. The final trade that the Twins made before the deadline was perhaps their biggest, when the acquired Sam Dyson from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Jaylin Davis, Prelander Berrroa and Kai-Wei Teng. In the Twins Daily Mid-Season Top 40 rankings, Davis was ranked as the 35th best prospect in the Twins system, while neither Berroa nor Teng were ranked. In all, it was more of a quantity over quality get for the Giants, which is exactly what the Twins were looking to do as they did not want to part with some of their higher ranked prospects. So, what are the Twins getting with their newly acquired piece to the bullpen? Sam Dyson is a 31-year-old right-handed reliever who has had his fare share of ups and downs during his MLB career. So far, this year has been more up than down for Dyson. In 51 innings, across 49 appearances, Dyson has a 2.47 ERA (2.74 FIP), with a respectable 8.2 K/9 an excellent 1.2 BB/9, which is the 5th lowest among qualified relievers in 2019. This has helped Dyson get a remarkably low .902 WHIP. This is not only lower than Taylor Rogers (1.027), but also lower than Dyson’s former teammate Will Smith (.906) and ranks 11th amongst qualified relievers this season. Relievers who can keep runners off the base paths late in games are the kind of low stress pitchers that Twins fans will need as we watch some of the highest stress Twins baseball in over a decade a few months from now. Despite being reliever, Sam Dyson uses a five-pitch mix, with his sinker being his most prominent pitch, which he throws about 45 percent of the time. Despite this, Dyson’s sinker appears to be his worst pitch, as opposing hitters have a .305 average and a .343 wOBA against his sinker, while Dyson isn’t giving up a batting average above .211 and a wOBA above .232 on any of his other pitches. It wouldn’t shock me if Wes Johnson and the Twins take a similar approach with Dyson that they have with some of their other pitchers, like Tyler Duffey, and faze out Dyson’s sinkers. Whether that happens mid-season is up in the air, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear rumors of the Twins tinkering with Dyson’s pitches next spring. Dyson also features both a cutter, which he throws about 25 percent of the time, and a four-seam fastball, which he throws roughly 13 percent of the time, to go along with his sinker. If the Twins were to make some changes with Dyson’s pitch selection this season, look for those to pitches start being used more often. A few weeks ago, our own Tom Froemming made a video pitch for why the Twins should acquire Sam Dyson. You can check out the video here. While you’re at it, make sure to go ahead and subscribe to Tom’s Youtube channel. He posts a bunch of excellent video content on Twins related topics, so if you can’t get enough Twins talk, this is a great place to go. Overall, Sam Dyson is another good addition by “Falvine” to Taylor Rogers and the rest of the Twins bullpen. On my personal reliver trust rankings, I have Dyson and Romo slotted in at second and third respectively. While neither will be the lights out relief ace, they are still big improvements on the Twins bullpen from where it stood a week ago. What are your thoughts? Did the Twins do enough to make you feel comfortable about their chances to take on the Yankees and Astros in October? Let us know in the comment section down below. Related Content Twins Acquire RHP Sam Dyson from Giants Twins Trade Lewin Diaz for RHP Sergio Romo, 2 Minor Leaguers
  2. For about three hours this afternoon, leading up the to MLB trade deadline, it appeared as though the entire state of Minnesota was ready to storm 1 Twins Way like it was Area 51. Finally, Twins fans had a trade deadline where they weren’t sellers and they weren’t in between, no they were in full buy mode to give this team a better shot at winning the World Series, and what were they left with, Sergio Romo, a reliever who in his own right is a good addition to the bullpen, but by himself is a little underwhelming of a trade deadline. However, right before the clock struck zero, the Twins were able to acquire another addition to the bullpen in right-handed reliever Sam Dyson. Both Sergio Romo and Sam Dyson were featured in Twins Daily’s “Potential Twins Bullpen Target” series last month.Going into the deadline, many Twins fans had their sights set on adding a front of the rotation starting pitcher, along with a couple backend of the bullpen arms. As the deadline started to draw near it, was apparent that this wasn’t going to be the case, for not only the Twins, but for most of the teams looking to add pitching at the deadline. Some of the biggest named starting pitchers, like Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Boyd, Robbie Ray or Mike Minor didn’t even get traded. The only big-name starting pitchers that go moved were Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer and Zack Greinke. Neither Bauer nor Greinke were ever really options for the Twins as the Indians weren’t going to deal Bauer to the Twins while they are in a division race together, and Zack Greinke wouldn’t waive his no trade clause for a potential trade to the Twins. This left Stroman, who was traded to the New York Mets in the biggest head scratcher at the deadline. Not only are the Mets not in contention this year, but the package they gave up to acquire Stroman could have easily been matched by the Twins with Jhoan Duran and Blayne Enlow. It sounded as though the Twins were in trade talks with the Blue Jays, but the Jays didn’t circle back to the Twins before making the deal with the Mets. It is unclear why this happened, or if the Twins were just unwilling to offer something that rivaled the Mets offer. The Twins were also reportedly interested in some of the big-name relievers on the trade market, which included Will Smith, Kirby Yates, Ken Giles, Felipe Vazquez, Edwin Diaz and Shane Greene. At the end of the day, the only one of those pitchers who actually got moved was Shane Greene, who really wasn’t much of an option for the Twins as the Tigers weren’t all that interested in making an interdivision trade. It is up for debate if the Twins could have been more aggressive to try and acquire one of these arms to assist the bullpen, but if nearly all of them didn’t get traded it probably suggests that the asking price was way too high, and could have been a trade the Twins would come to regret down the road, ala Matt Capps. Now that has been said, let’s move on from what the Twins didn’t acquire, and focus on what they did. I won’t spend a ton of time going over the Sergio Romo acquisition, as we already spent a bunch of time on that, but if you would like a more in-depth review of that trade you can find it here. The Twins also made a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for a Double-A reliever named Marcos Diplan in exchange for cash considerations. In 2013, Diplan was consider the top available pitcher on the International Free Agent market. Fast-forward to 2019, and things haven’t exactly gone as planned for the now 22-year-old. In 57 and 2/3 innings at Double-A this year, Diplan has a 4.99 ERA (4.41 FIP) with a 9.8 K/9 and an extremely high 5.8 BB/9. The final trade that the Twins made before the deadline was perhaps their biggest, when the acquired Sam Dyson from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Jaylin Davis, Prelander Berrroa and Kai-Wei Teng. In the Twins Daily Mid-Season Top 40 rankings, Davis was ranked as the 35th best prospect in the Twins system, while neither Berroa nor Teng were ranked. In all, it was more of a quantity over quality get for the Giants, which is exactly what the Twins were looking to do as they did not want to part with some of their higher ranked prospects. So, what are the Twins getting with their newly acquired piece to the bullpen? Sam Dyson is a 31-year-old right-handed reliever who has had his fare share of ups and downs during his MLB career. So far, this year has been more up than down for Dyson. In 51 innings, across 49 appearances, Dyson has a 2.47 ERA (2.74 FIP), with a respectable 8.2 K/9 an excellent 1.2 BB/9, which is the 5th lowest among qualified relievers in 2019. This has helped Dyson get a remarkably low .902 WHIP. This is not only lower than Taylor Rogers (1.027), but also lower than Dyson’s former teammate Will Smith (.906) and ranks 11th amongst qualified relievers this season. Relievers who can keep runners off the base paths late in games are the kind of low stress pitchers that Twins fans will need as we watch some of the highest stress Twins baseball in over a decade a few months from now. Despite being reliever, Sam Dyson uses a five-pitch mix, with his sinker being his most prominent pitch, which he throws about 45 percent of the time. Despite this, Dyson’s sinker appears to be his worst pitch, as opposing hitters have a .305 average and a .343 wOBA against his sinker, while Dyson isn’t giving up a batting average above .211 and a wOBA above .232 on any of his other pitches. It wouldn’t shock me if Wes Johnson and the Twins take a similar approach with Dyson that they have with some of their other pitchers, like Tyler Duffey, and faze out Dyson’s sinkers. Whether that happens mid-season is up in the air, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear rumors of the Twins tinkering with Dyson’s pitches next spring. Dyson also features both a cutter, which he throws about 25 percent of the time, and a four-seam fastball, which he throws roughly 13 percent of the time, to go along with his sinker. If the Twins were to make some changes with Dyson’s pitch selection this season, look for those to pitches start being used more often. A few weeks ago, our own Tom Froemming made a video pitch for why the Twins should acquire Sam Dyson. You can check out the video here. While you’re at it, make sure to go ahead and subscribe to Tom’s Youtube channel. He posts a bunch of excellent video content on Twins related topics, so if you can’t get enough Twins talk, this is a great place to go. Overall, Sam Dyson is another good addition by “Falvine” to Taylor Rogers and the rest of the Twins bullpen. On my personal reliver trust rankings, I have Dyson and Romo slotted in at second and third respectively. While neither will be the lights out relief ace, they are still big improvements on the Twins bullpen from where it stood a week ago. What are your thoughts? Did the Twins do enough to make you feel comfortable about their chances to take on the Yankees and Astros in October? Let us know in the comment section down below. Related Content Twins Acquire RHP Sam Dyson from Giants Twins Trade Lewin Diaz for RHP Sergio Romo, 2 Minor Leaguers Click here to view the article
  3. We are now just two days away from the 2019 MLB Trade Deadline. That means the rumor mill is off the charts right now with countless rumors of Team X being interested in Player Y. With the Minnesota Twins right in the tick of a postseason push, and a clear need to upgrade their pitching staff, they find themselves right in the thick of things as far as trade rumors go. It could make it quite difficult to keep up with everything, and everyone the Twins are interested in. Don't worry, we have you covered with all the latest up to date rumors surrounding the Twins.Sometimes these rumors can seem like they are just that, rumors. It is no surprise that the Twins are doing their due diligence and checking in on each and every player they are interested in potentially trading for. While most of the time these don't end up amounting to anything, it is still important to keep track of, because it can give you a good idea what the Twins are thinking, and who they might be about ready to trade for. Just take Sergio Romo for example. On Saturday morning it was reported that the Twins were interested in Romo, and by the end of the day he was the newest member of the Minnesota Twins. Things can happen that quickly. So, let's take a look at some of the rumors currently circulating around the Twins. Noah Syndergaard The New York Mets have done a fine job stirring the pot of late. They have been linked to being sellers, which would make players like Noah Syndergaard, Zach Wheeler and Edwin Diaz all available. However, on Sunday they then went out and acquired Marcus Stroman. Yet they are still saying they are interested in moving Syndergaard. This one is a real head scratch, and it is anyones guess on what the Mets will do before Wednesday, because quite frankly I don't think they know what they are going to do. LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune reported that the Mets were interested in a package for Syndergaard that included both Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff. It is unlikely that the Twins would even consider moving both of them for Noah Syndergaard, but you can't really blame the Mets for starting the negotiations by asking high. Robbie Ray Jon Morosi of MLB Network posted this tweet on Saturday, siting that the Twins were among the list of teams who had inquired about Robbie Ray. There hasn't been much follow up to this over the past couple of days, so it could have very well just been the Twins asking about his price. If the Twins were to acquire Ray they would be getting a one of the top strikeout heavy starting pitchers in the game. However, what's different between Ray and other elite strikeout throwers like Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander, is Ray has a terrible time with control. Ray could be a real wildcard for the Twins if they could trade for him and the remaining year and a half left before he hits free agency. Mike Minor Much like Robbie Ray, the Twins were reported to be one of the teams looking to trade for Mike Minor. With Marcus Stroman off the table, and no real clarity on the Noah Syndergaard front, Minor might very well be the best starting pitcher available on the trade market. It wouldn't surprise me if the Twins are in on the Rangers lefty, especially given Thad Levine's ties to the Rangers organization. Ken Giles & Kirby Yates A few weeks back it was reported that the Twins had checked in on both Ken Giles and Kirby Yates, but there hasn't been much headway on those fronts in the time since. These could be two relievers to keep an eye on in the coming days if the Twins were to pull off a trade for a big name reliever. Jason Vargas Interesting development this afternoon. Still not clear who that the other team is, but could make sense as an acquisition for the Twins, so stay tuned. *Update* Vargas is reportedly heading to the Phillies, so cross his name off the list of potential Twins bullpen acquisitions. Click here to view the article
  4. Sometimes these rumors can seem like they are just that, rumors. It is no surprise that the Twins are doing their due diligence and checking in on each and every player they are interested in potentially trading for. While most of the time these don't end up amounting to anything, it is still important to keep track of, because it can give you a good idea what the Twins are thinking, and who they might be about ready to trade for. Just take Sergio Romo for example. On Saturday morning it was reported that the Twins were interested in Romo, and by the end of the day he was the newest member of the Minnesota Twins. Things can happen that quickly. So, let's take a look at some of the rumors currently circulating around the Twins. Noah Syndergaard The New York Mets have done a fine job stirring the pot of late. They have been linked to being sellers, which would make players like Noah Syndergaard, Zach Wheeler and Edwin Diaz all available. However, on Sunday they then went out and acquired Marcus Stroman. Yet they are still saying they are interested in moving Syndergaard. This one is a real head scratch, and it is anyones guess on what the Mets will do before Wednesday, because quite frankly I don't think they know what they are going to do. LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune reported that the Mets were interested in a package for Syndergaard that included both Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff. It is unlikely that the Twins would even consider moving both of them for Noah Syndergaard, but you can't really blame the Mets for starting the negotiations by asking high. Robbie Ray https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/1155159228069187585 Jon Morosi of MLB Network posted this tweet on Saturday, siting that the Twins were among the list of teams who had inquired about Robbie Ray. There hasn't been much follow up to this over the past couple of days, so it could have very well just been the Twins asking about his price. If the Twins were to acquire Ray they would be getting a one of the top strikeout heavy starting pitchers in the game. However, what's different between Ray and other elite strikeout throwers like Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander, is Ray has a terrible time with control. Ray could be a real wildcard for the Twins if they could trade for him and the remaining year and a half left before he hits free agency. Mike Minor https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/1155281262564663296 Much like Robbie Ray, the Twins were reported to be one of the teams looking to trade for Mike Minor. With Marcus Stroman off the table, and no real clarity on the Noah Syndergaard front, Minor might very well be the best starting pitcher available on the trade market. It wouldn't surprise me if the Twins are in on the Rangers lefty, especially given Thad Levine's ties to the Rangers organization. Ken Giles & Kirby Yates A few weeks back it was reported that the Twins had checked in on both Ken Giles and Kirby Yates, but there hasn't been much headway on those fronts in the time since. These could be two relievers to keep an eye on in the coming days if the Twins were to pull off a trade for a big name reliever. Jason Vargas https://twitter.com/martinonyc/status/1155942953115774976 Interesting development this afternoon. Still not clear who that the other team is, but could make sense as an acquisition for the Twins, so stay tuned. *Update* Vargas is reportedly heading to the Phillies, so cross his name off the list of potential Twins bullpen acquisitions.
  5. Twins fans are probably quite familiar with Zack Greinke, who started his illustrious career with the Kansas City Royals. If you rewind the clock back a decade, Greinke was in the middle of a Cy Young season at the same time Joe Mauer seemed to find his home run stroke on his way to the AL MVP. After the 2010 season, the Royals traded Greinke away to the Milwaukee Brewers for a massive haul that included Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jake Odorizzi. After a solid season and a half for the Brewers, Greinke was again traded, this time to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Jean Segura. Once the 2012 season had ended, Greinke inked a six-year $147 million contract to move across town to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After three great seasons with the Dodgers, where Greinke posted a 2.30 ERA over 602 and 2/3 innings, including a 1.62 ERA in 2015, Greinke was able to opt out of his contract, and in turn signed a six-year $206 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite this large contract, it is hard to say Greinke hasn’t been worth it as he has a 3.40 ERA in 709 and 2/3 innings during the first three and a half years of his deal. Despite being at age 36, Greinke is still one of the premier starting pitchers in the game today. Greinke isn’t a pitcher that relies on unhittable stuff to get hitters out, instead he is an excellent pure pitcher, which has helped him stay successful even this late into his career. Greinke uses an effective six-pitch mix, including an Eephus Curveball that sits in the low 60’s, which he mixes in from time to time to keep opposing hitters off balance. Another thing that Greinke has is excellent command. Among the 70 qualified starting pitchers this year, Greinke’s 3.3 percent walk rate ranks second, behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu. Greinke also racks up his fare share of strikeouts. So far in 2019, Greinke has a 23.6 percent strikeout rate, which is slightly above average for an MLB starter this day in age, and inn comparison to other Minnesota Twins starters, Greinke’s strikeout rate would be the second highest, behind only Jake Odorizzi. All of this has helped Greinke put up a 2.87 ERA (3.15 FIP) in 141 innings pitched this season. From all this, it is clear that Greinke would drastically improve the Twins rotation, as he could slide right in with Jose Berrios to give them a dynamic 1-2 punch. Leading up to the trade deadline, the Twins front office has made it very clear that they are not interested jeopardizing their future by trading away too much draft capital. While no one prospect is off the table, it would be desired to not give up the likes of Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff. Additionally, Derek Falvey has been quoted saying owner Jim Pohlad is willing to spend “what we need” to improve the team. With the increase in both attendance and TV ratings that the Twins have had as a result of their success this season, it is reasonable to assume that even the stingy Pohlads would be willing to spend some more money. While the Twins have built up quite the reputation for not wanting to spend under this ownership regime, they did show back in 2009 that they were will to spend once the they felt the team was good, as evidence of the 150 percent increase in payroll after the 2009 season. While most of it came from signing Mauer to his eight-year deal, they still opened up the checkbook for him. Taking on Greinke’s contract would be a move much in the same vein. So, why would the Twins be interested in taking on Zack Greinke’s contract that is due to pay him $32 million over each of the next two seasons? The main reason would be the relatively small amount of prospect capital the Twins would need to give up to acquire Greinke. While other starting pitchers with multiple years of team control, like Marcus Stroman or Noah Syndergaard, would cost a lot in terms of prospects, Greinke wouldn’t because of the amount of money he is owed. Just look at the New York Yankees trade for Gincarlo Stanton couple years ago as an example for this. Despite the fact that Stanton was coming off an MVP season, the best prospect the Yankees needed to give up was Jorge Guzman, who at the time was their ninth ranked prospect (per MLB Pipeline), thanks to the massive amount of money remaining on his deal. Another factor to keep in mind is none of the Twins young core players are due to become free agents until after Greinke’s contact expires, so it wouldn’t hinder their ability to resign them if that is what they would like to do. Additionally, the Twins estimated payrolls for 2020 and 2021 currently sit at just $97 million and $88 million respectively, and that’s if the Twins pick up their team options on both Nelson Cruz and Martin Perez. So, adding on the $32 million from Greinke only puts the Twins roughly where they are right now going into 2020. Additionally, as part of the trade negotiations, the Twins could bargain the Diamondbacks into picking up at least a portion of Greinke’s remaining contract. How much, will depend on what the Twins are willing to give up prospect wise, but it still shouldn’t require much to get the Diamondback to do so. If the Twins could get the Diamondbacks to eat at least a third of Greinke’s remaining salary, without having to give up a big trade package, this could be just the kind of deal the Twins are looking for, based on everything the front office has said so far. What are your thoughts? Would you be interested in a trade for Zack Greinke to bolster the Twins rotation, or would you prefer the Twins keep their sights set on other pitching targets before the trade deadline?
  6. Down in Dallas, Texas, the Rangers have quietly put together a much better season than many might have expected. According to Oddsshark, the Rangers preseason over/under win total sat at just 71 wins. However, we are nearly 100 games into the season and the Rangers are holding water, slightly above .500. While their offense, which ranks seventh in runs scored, has played a big part in that, they have also received contributions from their starting rotation. Former Minnesota Twin Lance Lynn has gotten some press lately for his success so far this year, but one guy who hasn’t been getting much attention is lefty Mike Minor. Despite their success, their GM, Jon Daniels, recently came out and said their approach won’t be swayed much by the standings, which would suggest that Minor should be available on the trade market before the July 31st trade deadline.Mike Minor was a highly touted prospect out of Vanderbilt entering the 2009 draft. He was taken by the Atlanta Braves with the seventh overall selection in the same draft where Stephen Strasburg went number one overall to the Washington Nationals, Mike Trout was taken 25th overall by the Los Angeles Angels, and Kyle Gibson was taken 22nd overall by the Twins. Minor had a breakout season for the Braves in 2013, posting a 3.21 ERA over 204 and 2/3 innings. However, he struggled in 2014 while dealing with a bad shoulder. Minor wound up needing surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2015 and missed the entire season. At season's end, the Braves decided to non-tender Minor, making him a free agent. He then signed a minor league deal with the Royals late that offseason, and pitched all of 2016 in their minor league system. In 2017, Minor was moved to the Royals bullpen and was an excellent reliever for them during that season. Once the season had ended, Minor again became a free agent, and signed a 3-year, $28 million deal with the Texas Rangers, where they have since moved him back into the starting rotation. After a decent season in 2018, where he posted a 2.5 fWAR in 157 innings, Mike Minor has had a lights out campaign so far this year, and earned himself a spot on the 2019 American League All-Star Team. Entering play on Friday, here is how Minor’s stat line compares to that of Jose Berrios. MIke Minor: 122 IP, 8.93 K/9, 3.25 BB/9, 2.73 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 2.9 fWAR Jose Berrios: 122 IP, 8.11 K/9, 1.92 BB/9, 3.10 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 3.0 fWAR When you look at many of the expected stats that are available via Statcast, it appears as though Minor has actually been slightly better than Berrios this year. Mike Minor: .220 xBA, .357 xSLG, .294 xwOBA Jose Berrios: .245 xBA, .406 xSLG, .303 xwOBA While it is up in the air if an addition like Madison Bumgarner would make much of an upgrade to the Twins projected postseason rotation, it is clear that adding Mike Minor would definitely be an upgrade over the likes of Kyle Gibson, Martin Perez and Michael Pineda. Another thing that makes Mike Minor appealing as a trade deadline addition is his team-friendly contract. Minor is currently in year two of that three year deal I mentioned previously. If the Twins traded for Minor, they would also acquire his services in 2020 for just $9.5 million. This is a bargain price for even an average starting pitcher, let alone an all-star caliber pitcher. This will give the Twins a rotation of Jose Berrios, Mike Minor and potentially Martin Perez (team option) secured for 2020, heading into the offseason. So, what would it take to get a deal done with the Texas Rangers for Mike Minor? While Minor’s trade value has certainly gone up this season, it would most likely not require the Twins to give up either Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff to acquire him. Additionally, with Brusdar Graterol still injured, it is unlikely that the Twins move him before the trade deadline. A more realistic trade for Minor would go either one of two ways. The Twins could offer up a prospect like Trevor Larnach or Jordan Balazovic and strike a deal with one of those two and a low-level prospect, or if the Twins don’t feel like giving up either one of those two players, they could offer a package that involves either Brent Rooker or Jhoan Duran along with another mid-level prospect like Nick Gordon or Ryan Jeffers. Personally, the later would be more appealing from the Twins perspective, but it will most likely come down the preference of the Texas Rangers. The Twins have done an excellent job of building a great farm system over the first few seasons of the Falvine regime, and the time has come to leverage that great farm system to acquire players that can help the Twins win right now. While he might not be as flashy of a name as some other trade targets, Mike Minor certainly fits the bill for a trade deadline addition that would be an upgrade to the 2019 Minnesota Twins. Other Stories of Interest Building a Perfect Twins Trade Deadline Twins Trade Rumor Recap: Teams Pondering Selling Five Potential Dual Pitcher Trades the Twins Could Make Click here to view the article
  7. Mike Minor was a highly touted prospect out of Vanderbilt entering the 2009 draft. He was taken by the Atlanta Braves with the seventh overall selection in the same draft where Stephen Strasburg went number one overall to the Washington Nationals, Mike Trout was taken 25th overall by the Los Angeles Angels, and Kyle Gibson was taken 22nd overall by the Twins. Minor had a breakout season for the Braves in 2013, posting a 3.21 ERA over 204 and 2/3 innings. However, he struggled in 2014 while dealing with a bad shoulder. Minor wound up needing surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2015 and missed the entire season. At season's end, the Braves decided to non-tender Minor, making him a free agent. He then signed a minor league deal with the Royals late that offseason, and pitched all of 2016 in their minor league system. In 2017, Minor was moved to the Royals bullpen and was an excellent reliever for them during that season. Once the season had ended, Minor again became a free agent, and signed a 3-year, $28 million deal with the Texas Rangers, where they have since moved him back into the starting rotation. After a decent season in 2018, where he posted a 2.5 fWAR in 157 innings, Mike Minor has had a lights out campaign so far this year, and earned himself a spot on the 2019 American League All-Star Team. Entering play on Friday, here is how Minor’s stat line compares to that of Jose Berrios. MIke Minor: 122 IP, 8.93 K/9, 3.25 BB/9, 2.73 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 2.9 fWAR Jose Berrios: 122 IP, 8.11 K/9, 1.92 BB/9, 3.10 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 3.0 fWAR When you look at many of the expected stats that are available via Statcast, it appears as though Minor has actually been slightly better than Berrios this year. Mike Minor: .220 xBA, .357 xSLG, .294 xwOBA Jose Berrios: .245 xBA, .406 xSLG, .303 xwOBA While it is up in the air if an addition like Madison Bumgarner would make much of an upgrade to the Twins projected postseason rotation, it is clear that adding Mike Minor would definitely be an upgrade over the likes of Kyle Gibson, Martin Perez and Michael Pineda. Another thing that makes Mike Minor appealing as a trade deadline addition is his team-friendly contract. Minor is currently in year two of that three year deal I mentioned previously. If the Twins traded for Minor, they would also acquire his services in 2020 for just $9.5 million. This is a bargain price for even an average starting pitcher, let alone an all-star caliber pitcher. This will give the Twins a rotation of Jose Berrios, Mike Minor and potentially Martin Perez (team option) secured for 2020, heading into the offseason. So, what would it take to get a deal done with the Texas Rangers for Mike Minor? While Minor’s trade value has certainly gone up this season, it would most likely not require the Twins to give up either Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff to acquire him. Additionally, with Brusdar Graterol still injured, it is unlikely that the Twins move him before the trade deadline. A more realistic trade for Minor would go either one of two ways. The Twins could offer up a prospect like Trevor Larnach or Jordan Balazovic and strike a deal with one of those two and a low-level prospect, or if the Twins don’t feel like giving up either one of those two players, they could offer a package that involves either Brent Rooker or Jhoan Duran along with another mid-level prospect like Nick Gordon or Ryan Jeffers. Personally, the later would be more appealing from the Twins perspective, but it will most likely come down the preference of the Texas Rangers. The Twins have done an excellent job of building a great farm system over the first few seasons of the Falvine regime, and the time has come to leverage that great farm system to acquire players that can help the Twins win right now. While he might not be as flashy of a name as some other trade targets, Mike Minor certainly fits the bill for a trade deadline addition that would be an upgrade to the 2019 Minnesota Twins. Other Stories of Interest Building a Perfect Twins Trade Deadline Twins Trade Rumor Recap: Teams Pondering Selling Five Potential Dual Pitcher Trades the Twins Could Make
  8. As we approach the trade deadline, it has become a widely accepted notion that the Minnesota Twins need to add one or two more pitchers in their bullpen, along with potentially adding another starter to their rotation for the postseason. Here at Twins Daily, we have already touched on more than 20 different reliever options the Twins could target before the trade deadline, but many of these relievers are on teams that have a good starting pitcher that should be available before the trade deadline as well. If the Twins could convince one of these teams to trade them both a starter and a reliever, they could knock out two birds with one stone.In this article, I will mostly focus on pitchers that I think could realistically be traded in a dual player deal before the end of July. While some combinations like acquiring Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, along with a backend of the bullpen reliver would make great additions to the Twins, it is starting to look like none of them will be available this summer, let alone as part of a package with another player. I am also leaving out players from teams I am not expecting to be sellers at the deadline, like the Cincinnati Reds who find themselves just 5.5 games out in the very winnable NL Central. With that being said, lets look at some of the options that I think could be available for the Twins. Marcus Stroman & Ken Giles: Toronto Blue Jays We will start with the deal that we already know the Twins have asked about, which is a trade for Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman and closer Ken Giles. These are two pitchers that have been on the radar of Twins fans since their series in Toronto back in early May. Stroman has been an a solid, top of the rotation, starter for the Toronto Blue Jays since he broke onto the scene back in 2014. He had an off-year from an ERA perspective in 2018 (5.54), but his 3.91 FIP suggested he should return to form in 2019, which he has to the tune of a 3.18 ERA in 104 2/3 innings pitched. Stroman isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, just 7.2 K/9 in his career. However, Stroman does an excellent job inducing groundballs, as his 59.6 percent groundball rate since he entered the league in 2014 ranks 2nd among all pitchers who have thrown at least 400 innings over that time. Stroman still has one more year of arbitration left on his current deal, so acquiring him could help fill one of the three or four spots in the Twins rotation that will open up after 2019. Like Stroman, Ken Giles will also enter his third year of arbitration this offseason, meaning he too will be under team control through 2020. Also, like Stroman, Giles entered the league in 2014 and was an immediate success. Since 2014, Giles has accumulated an fWAR of 9.2, which ranks fifth among all MLB relievers over that time. In 2019, Giles is on pace for the best year of his already great career. He has a 1.45 ERA (1.49 FIP) and a career high 15.39 K/9. Among the 237 relievers with at least 20 innings pitched this year, those numbers rank 8th, 2nd and 4th respectively. Madison Bumgarner & Will Smith: San Francisco Giants The other dual pitcher trade that Twins fans have been talking about quite a bit is the San Francisco Giants duo of Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. Unlike Stroman and Giles, however, both Bumgarner and Smith will be free agents at year's end. This means they will likely be cheaper to acquire, but they won’t help the Twins need for pitchers beyond 2019. Bumgarner in no longer the ace pitcher that he once was, but he could be a serviceable arm in the rotation that could compete with Kyle Gibson to be the Twins third starter in the playoff rotation. Additionally, he could provide some depth in the Twins rotation in case one their top starters goes down with an injury. Will Smith missed the entire 2017 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Since his return, Smith has transformed himself into a top-tier reliever. Between 2018 and 2019, Smith has a 2.39 ERA (2.04 FIP), with 12.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 across 90 and 1/3 innings pitched. Smith has done an excellent job of limiting hard contact, as he has allowed only two barrels (per Statcast) all season. Matt Boyd & Shane Greene: Detroit Tigers Matt Boyd has broken onto the scene in 2019, posting a 3.95 ERA (3.47 FIP) with 12 K/9 and just 1.9 BB/9. Home runs have plagued Boyd so far this season, but his high 16.1 percent home run to flyball ratio suggests that he is due for some positive regression in this department. If the Twins were to acquire Boyd, they would have him under team control through the 2022 season, the same season Jose Berrios is set to become a free agent. Acquiring Boyd could give the Twins a strong 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation for the foreseeable future. In addition to Boyd, the Tigers could also be looking to move their closer Shane Greene. Greene currently holds a microscopic 1.09 ERA, but his 3.72 FIP suggests he is due for some regression down the stretch. Even if he does, Greene could still serve as a back end of the bullpen righty to pair with the left-handed throwing Taylor Rogers. Additionally, Greene is under team control through 2020, which gives the Twins some help going into this offseason. Zack Wheeler & Seth Lugo: New York Mets We have talked a lot about Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard as potential trade targets for the Twins, but perhaps the most likely starting pitcher for them to target is Zack Wheeler. While the Mets might be hesitant to completely blow things up by trading deGrom and Syndergaard, who are both under control for a few more seasons, there is no reason why they shouldn’t move Wheeler, who will be a free agent after this year. Wheeler has dealt with his fair share of injuries during the early part of his career but has still be an effective pitcher when he’s on the mound. In 2018, Wheeler put together an excellent season with a 3.31 ERA (3.25 FIP) over 182 and 1/3 innings. In 2019, Wheeler’s ERA has taken a step back, down to 4.69, but many of his underlying metrics say he has been a better pitcher than his ERA suggests. Wheeler’s strikeouts are up a strikeout per inning, up to 9.83, while his walks are down to 2.57 per nine. Like Matt Boyd, Wheeler has been bitten by home runs in 2019. Seth Lugo isn’t the big name that some of these other relievers are, but he is more than effective enough to be another trustworthy arm that Rocco Baledlli can use in big innings down the stretch. Lugo was moved to the bullpen for the 2018 season, which has really helped him improve as a pitcher. Between 2018 and 2019, Lugo has 2.85 ERA (3.25 FIP) with 10 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9, including 11.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 this year. Lugo is also under control through the 2022 season, which could pair him up with Taylor Rogers in the back end of the bullpen for a few seasons to come. Robbie Ray & Greg Holland: Arizona Diamondbacks A couple of pitchers that haven’t gotten as much talk, but could make solid additions to the Twins pitching staff are the Arizona Diamondbacks duo of Robbie Ray and Greg Holland. Ray is one of the premier strikeout starting pitchers in the game today. Since 2016, Ray’s 11.76 K/9 trails only Max Scherzer and Chris Sale for the highest mark among starting pitchers with at least 400 innings pitched. However, walks have plagued Ray over that time, and as a result Ray has a respectable 3.91 ERA (3.92 FIP) over that time. Ray is another starting pitcher that could fill a spot in the Twins rotation next season, as he won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season. Like Robbie Ray, Greg Holland is a high strikeout, high walk, pitcher. So far in 2019, Holland is striking out 10.74 batter per nine, while walking 5.23 batters per nine. When he’s off, Holland can be quite the headache to watch, but when he’s on, he can come in and close the door on any bad situation he has been put in. With Holland becoming a free agent at year's end, and some control question marks surrounding both him and Ray, this could be high risk-high reward trade for the Twins. Click here to view the article
  9. In this article, I will mostly focus on pitchers that I think could realistically be traded in a dual player deal before the end of July. While some combinations like acquiring Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, along with a backend of the bullpen reliver would make great additions to the Twins, it is starting to look like none of them will be available this summer, let alone as part of a package with another player. I am also leaving out players from teams I am not expecting to be sellers at the deadline, like the Cincinnati Reds who find themselves just 5.5 games out in the very winnable NL Central. With that being said, lets look at some of the options that I think could be available for the Twins. Marcus Stroman & Ken Giles: Toronto Blue Jays We will start with the deal that we already know the Twins have asked about, which is a trade for Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman and closer Ken Giles. These are two pitchers that have been on the radar of Twins fans since their series in Toronto back in early May. Stroman has been an a solid, top of the rotation, starter for the Toronto Blue Jays since he broke onto the scene back in 2014. He had an off-year from an ERA perspective in 2018 (5.54), but his 3.91 FIP suggested he should return to form in 2019, which he has to the tune of a 3.18 ERA in 104 2/3 innings pitched. Stroman isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, just 7.2 K/9 in his career. However, Stroman does an excellent job inducing groundballs, as his 59.6 percent groundball rate since he entered the league in 2014 ranks 2nd among all pitchers who have thrown at least 400 innings over that time. Stroman still has one more year of arbitration left on his current deal, so acquiring him could help fill one of the three or four spots in the Twins rotation that will open up after 2019. Like Stroman, Ken Giles will also enter his third year of arbitration this offseason, meaning he too will be under team control through 2020. Also, like Stroman, Giles entered the league in 2014 and was an immediate success. Since 2014, Giles has accumulated an fWAR of 9.2, which ranks fifth among all MLB relievers over that time. In 2019, Giles is on pace for the best year of his already great career. He has a 1.45 ERA (1.49 FIP) and a career high 15.39 K/9. Among the 237 relievers with at least 20 innings pitched this year, those numbers rank 8th, 2nd and 4th respectively. Madison Bumgarner & Will Smith: San Francisco Giants The other dual pitcher trade that Twins fans have been talking about quite a bit is the San Francisco Giants duo of Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. Unlike Stroman and Giles, however, both Bumgarner and Smith will be free agents at year's end. This means they will likely be cheaper to acquire, but they won’t help the Twins need for pitchers beyond 2019. Bumgarner in no longer the ace pitcher that he once was, but he could be a serviceable arm in the rotation that could compete with Kyle Gibson to be the Twins third starter in the playoff rotation. Additionally, he could provide some depth in the Twins rotation in case one their top starters goes down with an injury. Will Smith missed the entire 2017 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Since his return, Smith has transformed himself into a top-tier reliever. Between 2018 and 2019, Smith has a 2.39 ERA (2.04 FIP), with 12.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 across 90 and 1/3 innings pitched. Smith has done an excellent job of limiting hard contact, as he has allowed only two barrels (per Statcast) all season. Matt Boyd & Shane Greene: Detroit Tigers Matt Boyd has broken onto the scene in 2019, posting a 3.95 ERA (3.47 FIP) with 12 K/9 and just 1.9 BB/9. Home runs have plagued Boyd so far this season, but his high 16.1 percent home run to flyball ratio suggests that he is due for some positive regression in this department. If the Twins were to acquire Boyd, they would have him under team control through the 2022 season, the same season Jose Berrios is set to become a free agent. Acquiring Boyd could give the Twins a strong 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation for the foreseeable future. In addition to Boyd, the Tigers could also be looking to move their closer Shane Greene. Greene currently holds a microscopic 1.09 ERA, but his 3.72 FIP suggests he is due for some regression down the stretch. Even if he does, Greene could still serve as a back end of the bullpen righty to pair with the left-handed throwing Taylor Rogers. Additionally, Greene is under team control through 2020, which gives the Twins some help going into this offseason. Zack Wheeler & Seth Lugo: New York Mets We have talked a lot about Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard as potential trade targets for the Twins, but perhaps the most likely starting pitcher for them to target is Zack Wheeler. While the Mets might be hesitant to completely blow things up by trading deGrom and Syndergaard, who are both under control for a few more seasons, there is no reason why they shouldn’t move Wheeler, who will be a free agent after this year. Wheeler has dealt with his fair share of injuries during the early part of his career but has still be an effective pitcher when he’s on the mound. In 2018, Wheeler put together an excellent season with a 3.31 ERA (3.25 FIP) over 182 and 1/3 innings. In 2019, Wheeler’s ERA has taken a step back, down to 4.69, but many of his underlying metrics say he has been a better pitcher than his ERA suggests. Wheeler’s strikeouts are up a strikeout per inning, up to 9.83, while his walks are down to 2.57 per nine. Like Matt Boyd, Wheeler has been bitten by home runs in 2019. Seth Lugo isn’t the big name that some of these other relievers are, but he is more than effective enough to be another trustworthy arm that Rocco Baledlli can use in big innings down the stretch. Lugo was moved to the bullpen for the 2018 season, which has really helped him improve as a pitcher. Between 2018 and 2019, Lugo has 2.85 ERA (3.25 FIP) with 10 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9, including 11.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 this year. Lugo is also under control through the 2022 season, which could pair him up with Taylor Rogers in the back end of the bullpen for a few seasons to come. Robbie Ray & Greg Holland: Arizona Diamondbacks A couple of pitchers that haven’t gotten as much talk, but could make solid additions to the Twins pitching staff are the Arizona Diamondbacks duo of Robbie Ray and Greg Holland. Ray is one of the premier strikeout starting pitchers in the game today. Since 2016, Ray’s 11.76 K/9 trails only Max Scherzer and Chris Sale for the highest mark among starting pitchers with at least 400 innings pitched. However, walks have plagued Ray over that time, and as a result Ray has a respectable 3.91 ERA (3.92 FIP) over that time. Ray is another starting pitcher that could fill a spot in the Twins rotation next season, as he won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season. Like Robbie Ray, Greg Holland is a high strikeout, high walk, pitcher. So far in 2019, Holland is striking out 10.74 batter per nine, while walking 5.23 batters per nine. When he’s off, Holland can be quite the headache to watch, but when he’s on, he can come in and close the door on any bad situation he has been put in. With Holland becoming a free agent at year's end, and some control question marks surrounding both him and Ray, this could be high risk-high reward trade for the Twins.
  10. I’ve mentioned Brad Hand as a trade target for the Minnesota Twins in two previous blogs, and now that we know the Twins’ surprising performance has Thad Levine targeting trades for long-term assets prior to the July 31 trade deadline, it seems Brad Hand is the Twins’ perfect trade target. Here are the reasons: This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com, a community of foul-mouthed, sports broadcasters providing uncensored, commercial-free play-by-play and color commentary during select games. Follow us @FoulPlaybyPlay. The Twins need relievers Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers have worked out nicely in high-leverage situations, and the Twins have struck gold with closer Brandon Kintzler. But Kintzler’s a free agent at the end of the season, and is likely trade bait. Glen Perkins has a team option for 2018 that won’t be picked up, and while the Twins expect to get Trevor May back next year, they have no idea what to expect from him after Tommy John surgery (his recovery from which he’s documenting at MLBTradeRumors.com). Hand has the stuff to close, and the Twins could trade Kintzler and transition to Hand without damaging their chances to contend this season. Depending on who they give up, they could actually improve their chances. Plus, Perkins won’t have to pitch in high-leverage situations upon his return. Hand’s controllable Hand won’t be a free agent until 2020, and while he’ll make more in arbitration next year than the $1.375 million he’s making this year, he’s still a steal given his .984 WHIP this season. Hand’s really good Hand not only limits runners on the bases, but he misses a lot of bats. His K/9 (10.8) is down slightly from last year (11.2), but his K:BB ratio is better this year (4.25) than last (3.08). Hand’s affordable Glen Perkins will make $6.5 million this year. Hand will be lucky to make half that next season. The Twins' budget of $108 million is one of the highest in Minnesota's history, too. Hand won’t cost the Twins a ton of prospects, either. While he’s one of the top relievers on the trading block, he’s not a closer and won’t command a return like Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller did. The trade market is also deep with relievers, so the Twins could probably part with a pair of prospects that are a few years away from contributing at the major league level. Hand’s local Hand attended Chaska High School in Chaska, Minnesota. While the local talent angle was taken by Levine’s predecessor, Terry Ryan (Joe Mauer, Glen Perkins, Caleb Thielbar, Cole DeVries, Pat Neshek, Michael Restovich, Terry Steinbach and Paul Molitor all graduated from Minnesota high schools), Andy MacPhail seemed to make it work (Kent Hrbeck, Jack Morris and Dave Winfield). Plus, fans love cheering for locals. The Twins have what the Padres need We all know the Padres have a giant hole at shortstop, but the Twins shouldn’t move Nick Gordon to get Hand. They don’t have to, either, as the Padres are fielding two outfielders 22 or under -- Manuel Margot and Allen Cordoba. I don’t know if that means the Padres would be interested in Eddie Rosario or Eduardo Escobar, but if they are, that might be a deal the Twins could make with Zach Granite knocking down the door to the majors with his bat. The Padres need help at the lower levels of the minors, too. Shortstop Javier Guerra (22) has struggled at high-A this season and last, as has outfielder Taylor Kohlwey (22) this year. And Peter Van Gansen (23) might not make it out of high-A, so there are some holes in San Diego’s lower affiliates that could be filled by Twins talent like Jermaine Palacios or Max Murphy. My guess is the Padres feel they’re probably three or more years away from contending, so a couple of 20-year-old prospects with high upside might be a perfect fit. Twins fans might not like the idea of letting go of a young player with promise, but that’s what you have to give up to get someone who’s good right now and will be good for quite some time.
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