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  1. The ongoing joke about the Twins is how often they’re rumored to be in on a player but don’t wind up with them. This winter they have a chance to make good on their past links with three such pitchers. Corey Kluber Kluber was heavily linked to the Twins last winter before the Yankees threw $11m at the right hander. Kluber pitched quite well in his first year in the Bronx with a sub 4.00 ERA. Unfortunately after throwing just one inning in 2020, Kluber missed significant time and only reached 80 frames. Kluber is likely a candidate for another one year deal at age 36. He still looked like a valuable pitcher in a tough stadium and division, and a move back to the soft AL Central would do him wonders. He may not be counted on for a significant amount of innings, but pairing him with a pitcher like Michael Pineda would be valuable. There’s upside to be had similar to the Twins 2020 Rich Hill signing, upside the Twins will surely be looking for in order for a bounce back in their pitching staff. Marcus Stroman The Twins were bullish on Stroman in 2019 when the Blue Jays eventually shipped him to the Mets. The Twins claimed Toronto never returned their call for a counter offer. Stroman wasn’t much help in 2020 but performed exceptionally well in 2021 with a 3.02 ERA in almost 180 innings. Stroman would definitely require a long term deal with some good money attached. He may not be a flat out ace, but he’s a durable, experienced arm. His reliance on movement, location, and weak contact should make him a valuable pitcher for the foreseeable future now that he’s surpassed 30 years of age. He’d also immediately slot in as an Opening Day starter and top of the rotation anchor. Noah Syndergaard Digging way into the well here, remember when the Twins were in on Noah Syndergaard in 2019 and the Mets wanted Byron Buxton in exchange? I’m sure no fans were angry at the Twins for not pulling the trigger, right? Syndergaard has a storied past when it comes to injury, most recently returning from Tommy John just this year. The result of this being there isn’t much of a body of work to see since 2019. It’s hard to forget the arm they call “Thor” throwing one 100 mph fastball after another. While never quite an ace, it’s hard to deny that the upside is there. With Syndergaard's recent history, he’s another candidate for a one year “show me” deal. It may be high risk, but there may not be a pitcher on the market with a higher potential payoff. The Twins will be looking high and low on both the free agent and trade market this winter to try to fix a pitching staff that straight up cost them any shot at contending in 2021. It wouldn’t be the most surprising development to go back to the well and revisit some arms they were previously interested in. Is there any one of this trio that stands above the rest? Should these three be avoided altogether? Let us know below! — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  2. Corey Kluber Kluber was heavily linked to the Twins last winter before the Yankees threw $11m at the right hander. Kluber pitched quite well in his first year in the Bronx with a sub 4.00 ERA. Unfortunately after throwing just one inning in 2020, Kluber missed significant time and only reached 80 frames. Kluber is likely a candidate for another one year deal at age 36. He still looked like a valuable pitcher in a tough stadium and division, and a move back to the soft AL Central would do him wonders. He may not be counted on for a significant amount of innings, but pairing him with a pitcher like Michael Pineda would be valuable. There’s upside to be had similar to the Twins 2020 Rich Hill signing, upside the Twins will surely be looking for in order for a bounce back in their pitching staff. Marcus Stroman The Twins were bullish on Stroman in 2019 when the Blue Jays eventually shipped him to the Mets. The Twins claimed Toronto never returned their call for a counter offer. Stroman wasn’t much help in 2020 but performed exceptionally well in 2021 with a 3.02 ERA in almost 180 innings. Stroman would definitely require a long term deal with some good money attached. He may not be a flat out ace, but he’s a durable, experienced arm. His reliance on movement, location, and weak contact should make him a valuable pitcher for the foreseeable future now that he’s surpassed 30 years of age. He’d also immediately slot in as an Opening Day starter and top of the rotation anchor. Noah Syndergaard Digging way into the well here, remember when the Twins were in on Noah Syndergaard in 2019 and the Mets wanted Byron Buxton in exchange? I’m sure no fans were angry at the Twins for not pulling the trigger, right? Syndergaard has a storied past when it comes to injury, most recently returning from Tommy John just this year. The result of this being there isn’t much of a body of work to see since 2019. It’s hard to forget the arm they call “Thor” throwing one 100 mph fastball after another. While never quite an ace, it’s hard to deny that the upside is there. With Syndergaard's recent history, he’s another candidate for a one year “show me” deal. It may be high risk, but there may not be a pitcher on the market with a higher potential payoff. The Twins will be looking high and low on both the free agent and trade market this winter to try to fix a pitching staff that straight up cost them any shot at contending in 2021. It wouldn’t be the most surprising development to go back to the well and revisit some arms they were previously interested in. Is there any one of this trio that stands above the rest? Should these three be avoided altogether? Let us know below! — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  3. Aaron and John talk about actual Twins roster moves (sort of), a new view of the Buxton-for-Syndergaard rumors, a baseball season possibly starting soon in South Korea, and Aaron's stint as the Twins' baseball manager. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. PLAY GLEEMAN AND THE GEEK Click here to view the article
  4. “You know how in some department stores at the mall they have a little table and mailbox for writing letters to Santa,” said Moen. “I didn’t see an age limit sign anywhere, so I grabbed a blue crayon and got to work.” Moen, who admits that he was previously very skeptical of the portly saint’s existence, said it was just one way in which he harnessed the power of dreams and wishes to fulfill his favorite team’s most urgent need this holiday season. “I think most people agree that it’s weird to go to the mall and see a grown-ass man sitting on Santa’s lap,” said Moen. “But isn’t it weirder to have ample payroll to add any starting pitcher you want and not doing so? I went to Rosedale with purpose and resolve: To ask Santa for a new pitcher. “I didn’t sit on his lap, by the way, I’m not a weirdo,” Moen added. “I just kneeled down and quietly but very firmly told him what I wanted. An elf named Tyler told me I needed to leave or he was going to call his manager, but I said what needed saying.” Despite similar results at other malls (“You get used to the looks and security escorting you back to your car”), Moen entered Christmas Eve optimistic and prepared. “So NORAD has this Santa Tracker, where they track the reindeer and Santa’s sleigh as they deliver gifts,” said Moen. “And you can watch it online. What I did on Christmas was zero in on the radar image of the sleigh itself. You can see the jolly old elf and the overstuffed sack of toys clear as day. But that sleigh is a two-seater. Who’s that second seat for? Mrs. Claus doesn’t go on these trips. Noah Syndergaard, maybe? I’m just asking questions.” When Christmas Day dawned and no transaction news came with it, Moen was disappointed but did not lose faith. “It was a bummer, there’s no two ways about it,” said Moen. “But you have to look at it logically, too. The way I see it, the player’s union will probably raise hell if a team puts a player on an unlicensed aircraft flown by magic animals over the holidays for the purposes of a trade. It’ll be way easier to do it through the traditional channels this weekend or first thing Monday. I expect we’ll find out soon enough.”
  5. Zach Moen is 43. The Chaska native has been following the Minnesota Twins his entire life. His focus since the team’s humbling playoff exit has been singular: Improvements to the team’s starting rotation. With free agency a bust and the prospect of swinging a blockbuster trade daunting, he turned to an unlikely source for help.“You know how in some department stores at the mall they have a little table and mailbox for writing letters to Santa,” said Moen. “I didn’t see an age limit sign anywhere, so I grabbed a blue crayon and got to work.” Moen, who admits that he was previously very skeptical of the portly saint’s existence, said it was just one way in which he harnessed the power of dreams and wishes to fulfill his favorite team’s most urgent need this holiday season. “I think most people agree that it’s weird to go to the mall and see a grown-ass man sitting on Santa’s lap,” said Moen. “But isn’t it weirder to have ample payroll to add any starting pitcher you want and not doing so? I went to Rosedale with purpose and resolve: To ask Santa for a new pitcher. “I didn’t sit on his lap, by the way, I’m not a weirdo,” Moen added. “I just kneeled down and quietly but very firmly told him what I wanted. An elf named Tyler told me I needed to leave or he was going to call his manager, but I said what needed saying.” Despite similar results at other malls (“You get used to the looks and security escorting you back to your car”), Moen entered Christmas Eve optimistic and prepared. “So NORAD has this Santa Tracker, where they track the reindeer and Santa’s sleigh as they deliver gifts,” said Moen. “And you can watch it online. What I did on Christmas was zero in on the radar image of the sleigh itself. You can see the jolly old elf and the overstuffed sack of toys clear as day. But that sleigh is a two-seater. Who’s that second seat for? Mrs. Claus doesn’t go on these trips. Noah Syndergaard, maybe? I’m just asking questions.” When Christmas Day dawned and no transaction news came with it, Moen was disappointed but did not lose faith. “It was a bummer, there’s no two ways about it,” said Moen. “But you have to look at it logically, too. The way I see it, the player’s union will probably raise hell if a team puts a player on an unlicensed aircraft flown by magic animals over the holidays for the purposes of a trade. It’ll be way easier to do it through the traditional channels this weekend or first thing Monday. I expect we’ll find out soon enough.” Click here to view the article
  6. If there was a misstep by the front office at the deadline, it was missing on the Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman. Maybe the Canadians never circled back, but Minnesota easily could have trumped the New York offer. Eventually they pivoted to talking with the Mets directly, and the man coined Thor reportedly came up in talks. Byron Buxton was the ask, and that was out of the question. Injury makes it easy to judge that in hindsight, but it remains a logical position from the Twins brass. What if there was another way to do that deal though? Parting ways with Byron Buxton in the middle of a record-breaking season would have been asinine for the Twins. Flipping him off of an injury, while he still looks the part of a superstar due to his exploits in the field and rise at the dish, would remain an odd proposition. If Syndergaard was on the table then though, he may still remain so, and going the route of quantity could be enough to reach the finish line. The key for the Mets during the season was an acquisition of major league-ready players. They have just lost Zack Wheeler, and had parted with top prospects to bring in an aging Robinson Cano. Despite being in the big city, Carlos Beltran’s squad remains the kid brother to the Bronx Bombers. Rebuilding the overall talent pool is something that Brodie van Wagenen should be focused on, and a plethora of impact prospects would certainly advance that possibility. Syndergaard is under team control for two more seasons, at which point he’ll be entering his age-29 season. He will soon become quite expensive, and that would need to be a consideration for any acquiring team as well. Blending a return that satisfies some immediate assistance with future gain is the way I’d attack this if I were the Twins. Mets receive: Eddie Rosario, Trevor Larnach, Blayne Enlow, and Travis Blankenhorn Twins receive: Noah Syndergaard In this scenario Minnesota is giving up a current big leaguer who has posted just shy of 8.0 fWAR over the past three seasons in Rosario. He’s a left-handed bat that would immediately boost the New York outfield, and at 28-years-old, becomes an extension candidate should things trend upwards prior to his free agency in 2022. A former first-round pick and current top 100 prospect, Trevor Larnach represents future value that is very close to paying dividends. He’s a power corner guy with a pretty safe floor. Moving to the second half of the deal, New York would be looking to cash in on the ceiling. Enlow was an above slot deal back in 2017 and has looked the part at each level. He’s still a developing arm, but a 50 future value makes him an intriguing option in the middle of a rotation. Blankenhorn could end up being more of a utility guy, but there is a lot to like in his profile. He does a lot of things well and looks like a pretty safe bet to contribute at the major league level. Certainly, this is a haul for the Twins to part with, but they’d be doing so to acquire a bona fide ace. Ideally an extension could be worked out with Syndergaard but that’s probably a lofty ask given the impending payday coming on the open market. Pairing the current roster with a solid number one could be the needle-moving decision that strengthens a likely postseason battle with the Yankees in each of the next two seasons. No matter how Minnesota ends up acquiring the impact arm they talked about heading into the offseason, a level of risk and decisive action will need to be taken. Hyun-Jin Ryu is among the small list of names still warranting a hefty payday, while prospect capital or eating salary from another organization represent the alternative modes of spend. The trade market is a difficult one to nail down. Between having multiple options (of which some very intriguing scenarios were recently presented by Skor North’s Jake Depue), and uncertain returns (looking at you Cleveland Indians), we really never know what to expect. How would you feel about this move, and what would you do differently? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. Derek Falvey did a tremendous job of acquiring some initial relief help in the form of Sergio Romo. He looked like a fit for this club over the winter and netting him along with another intriguing prospect for a guy who was subject to 40-man addition is quite the execution. If we can expect that strength of process in future deals, then this club should be in good shape. The front office has displayed plenty of evidence that they operate at a very high level, but it’d be a massive misstep not to see it in action at least one more time. LaVelle E. Neal has reported that the Twins were looking for impact starters if they were going to make a move there. Marcus Stroman was a name they were in on, but the Toronto Blue Jays never circled back before accepting a lackluster offer. Noah Syndergaard is another name Minnesota has targeted, but the Mets wanted catalyst Byron Buxton to headline the return. Now seemingly out on starting pitching, the attention turns back to where it’s been needed all along. Romo represents a solid addition that should take some pressure off Taylor Rogers, but the next arm in needs to be another tier up. Continuing to add talent that slots in at the height of the talent pool and raises the bottom rung is the way in which Minnesota should operate. Any acquisition can’t fall in line with dart throws like Matt Magill, Mike Morin, or Blake Parker. Entering the final stretch and needing significant contributions in the Postseason, these arms need to be heavily reliable from the get-go. It’s a pretty risky proposition to ever give up significant prospect capital for relief pitching. There are some very strong options that are under team control going forward however (Kirby Yates, Felipe Vasquez, Raisel Iglesias, Edwin Diaz, etc) and asking on those pieces first should be a must. Will Smith still represents an immediate band-aid and should require a muted return given the impending free agency. Despite what the Giants think they may be, getting them to sell that piece would certainly be a win for a true contender. Trusting in the blueprint and belief from this front office it’d be hard to question anyone they see an ability to squeeze more from. Wes Johnson has gotten quite a bit out of some unexpected places this season, but time and remaining schedule are both of the essence at this point. I think there’s real reason to believe an Archie Bradley or Mychal Givens could be high level additions that more is gained from both now and in the future. The area Minnesota can’t afford to settle is in the land of Daniel Hudson. Sure, he’s available and a piece, but that’s not the type of acquisition a team preaching opportunity should be agreeing to. After suggesting all offseason that they would go when the team was ready, Falvey will have a hard time selling a smoke and mirrors arm as the final piece of the puzzle. Peripherals matter and although Hudson, or someone like him, may have strong surface numbers a significant amount of impending regression should be cause for concern. I’d circle back once or twice on the man known as Thor and see if Brodie Van Wagenen has gotten back on his rocker yet. If that is out of the question or eating salary to take on Zack Greinke isn’t an option, then adding two more relief arms is how this should work out. Go get Will Smith if you don’t feel the top-tier controllable arms are worth the squeeze. Then add in another Sergio Romo type, or someone a bit more under the radar, and call it a day. Falvey has a team that’s very close, and next to nothing they can do is going to sacrifice 2020 and beyond. Failing to capitalize on this position while other contenders push their chips towards the middle could represent the setback everyone is trying to avoid. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Could the Twins Afford to Take on Zack Greinke’s Contract? For Enlow and Other Minor Leaguers, “No One Is Safe” At Trade Deadline Is Alex Kirilloff Expendable? Let's Make A Deal, Part III: The Ammunition Trade Deadline Thread: How Far Would You Go to Add an Ace? What Sergio Romo Brings to the Twins Bullpen
  8. It’s clear this 2019 Twins lineup is special. The pitching staff? Not quite. How far would you be willing to go for balance? Would you trade Royce Lewis? Alex Kirilloff? How about both? Would you trade Byron Buxton? Reports are indicating that's what it will take to land Noah Syndergaard.Friday, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported that the Mets asking price for Noah Syndergaard is sky high. According Neal’s sources, the Mets are “eyeing both Lewis and Kirilloff as part of a package for Syndergaard.” Wow. Royce Lewis AND Alex Kirilloff ... and that’s just PART of the package? Last night, La Velle passed along another trade tidbit, saying that the Mets’ asking price included Byron Buxton. It’s not at all surprising the Twins were “turned off” by that price, but from the Mets’ perspective, the worst thing that could happen is the Twins say no. Why not ask, right? Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that an executive who has communicated with the Mets said “They are definitely trading Syndergaard.” If that truly is the case, the Mets front office will need to lower its asking price, but they can certainly expect to command a hefty return for the 26-year-old Syndergaard, who still has two more seasons of team control. The beauty of the deadline is this will all have to be resolved one way or another by 3 pm CT tomorrow afternoon. La Velle’s piece called Syndergaard a target “no longer viable,” but only time will tell. That price may drop. Among the bullpen targets the Twins could pivot to, Neal listed Kirby Yates, Greg Holland, Archie Bradley and Mychal Givens. What do I think is going to happen? Well, here’s nearly 15 minutes of me sharing my thoughts on the deadline, the front office’s intentions and some of what my expectations are. This could end up looking really, really bad. It’s so difficult to even guess what may happen, since this is the first real contending Twins team of the Derek Falvey era. To answer my own question purposed in the headline, the furthest I’d personally go to trade for an ace-calibur pitcher would be Alex Kirilloff as the marquee piece. Cody wrote an article last night that asked Is Alex Kirilloff Expendale? I think to a certain degree he is. That’s much less of a shot at Alex as it is an indication of how stacked this organization is with corner outfield/first base options right now. It’s not that I view Lewis as completely untouchable, but it’d take multiple good, long-term pieces coming back. There’s a chance Royce both reaches his ceiling and stays at shortstop. If that happens, he’ll be among the most valuable players in the league. It’d take a lot to walk away from that. Not that I don’t believe in Alex. There’s no questioning his feel for hitting, and I think he’s more athletic than most people give him credit for, but corner outfielders or first basemen are easy to find, relatively speaking. C.J. Cron hit 30 homers and was non-tendered. The entire current Twins outfield will remain in tact for multiple seasons and there are some other attractive outfielders in the pipeline as well. If the Twins end up aiming lower on the trade market, there are reasons why I could understand that. This is the first year on the job for Rocco Baldelli, Wes Johnson and Jeremy Hefner. This is a franchise on the rise, not one who sees its window closing. A lot of the players carrying this team right now will be around for years to come and the minor league system ranks among the best in the game. That doesn’t guarantee you anything, but I feel like there’s a very good chance we’re entering an extended period of sustained winning baseball in Twins Territory. Even if they aim gets lower, this front office still has plenty of incentive to make some moves. In mid-June, I wrote about the potential impending roster crunch this offseason. Lewin Diaz was among the guys I mentioned who needed to be added to the 40-man roster at the end of the season. He’s already been shipped out to Miami. Beyond all the top prospects is a nice tier of players that should be attractive to a team who has a barren system. Ben Rortvedt, Ryan Jeffers, Jose Miranda and (though he’s injured right now) Travis Blankenhorn could be dangled for more pitching help. Guys performing in Triple-A like Nick Gordon or Jaylin Davis would have some appeal to certain teams. And those are just some of the bats. This is going to sound harsh, but it wouldn’t take a lot to improve the outlook of the Twins bullpen right now. Even marginal upgrades would go a long way. They’ve looked good at times, but it’s just not realistic to roll with rookies Lewis Thorpe, Sean Poppen and Cody Stashak in the bullpen down the stretch. So while the market for a top of the rotation starter may seem steep right now, there’s still time for things to change. If prices don't come down, I still fully expect the Twins to make multiple moves between now and the deadline, given their incentive to clear some room. I still can’t believe how quiet things have been league-wide to this point. Things could get nuts leading up to tomorrow’s 3 pm CT deadline. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Twins Moving on From SP Trade Targets? What Sergio Romo Brings to the Twins Bullpen Could the Twins Afford to Take on Zack Greinke’s Contract? Trade Deadline Thread: The Rumor Mill is Working Overtime Trade Deadline Topics: Prospects, Scouting, Rumors Trade Deadline Thread: What To Do About the Rotation? The Gauntlet 1.2; A Complete Breakdown of the Top Relief Arms For Enlow and Other Minor Leaguers, “No One Is Safe” At Trade Deadline Twins Won't Rule Out Trading For Lance Lynn JEREMY'S DEADLINE SERIES (Part VI Coming Soon) Let's Make A Deal, Part V: Are We Getting Noah Syndergaard or Someone Else? Let's Make A Deal, Part IV: The Sellers Let's Make A Deal, Part III: The Ammunition Let's Make A Deal, Part II: Payroll Let's Make A Deal, Part I: 2020 Click here to view the article
  9. Friday, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported that the Mets asking price for Noah Syndergaard is sky high. According Neal’s sources, the Mets are “eyeing both Lewis and Kirilloff as part of a package for Syndergaard.” Wow. Royce Lewis AND Alex Kirilloff ... and that’s just PART of the package? Last night, La Velle passed along another trade tidbit, saying that the Mets’ asking price included Byron Buxton. It’s not at all surprising the Twins were “turned off” by that price, but from the Mets’ perspective, the worst thing that could happen is the Twins say no. Why not ask, right? Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that an executive who has communicated with the Mets said “They are definitely trading Syndergaard.” If that truly is the case, the Mets front office will need to lower its asking price, but they can certainly expect to command a hefty return for the 26-year-old Syndergaard, who still has two more seasons of team control. The beauty of the deadline is this will all have to be resolved one way or another by 3 pm CT tomorrow afternoon. La Velle’s piece called Syndergaard a target “no longer viable,” but only time will tell. That price may drop. Among the bullpen targets the Twins could pivot to, Neal listed Kirby Yates, Greg Holland, Archie Bradley and Mychal Givens. What do I think is going to happen? Well, here’s nearly 15 minutes of me sharing my thoughts on the deadline, the front office’s intentions and some of what my expectations are. This could end up looking really, really bad. It’s so difficult to even guess what may happen, since this is the first real contending Twins team of the Derek Falvey era. To answer my own question purposed in the headline, the furthest I’d personally go to trade for an ace-calibur pitcher would be Alex Kirilloff as the marquee piece. Cody wrote an article last night that asked Is Alex Kirilloff Expendale? I think to a certain degree he is. That’s much less of a shot at Alex as it is an indication of how stacked this organization is with corner outfield/first base options right now. It’s not that I view Lewis as completely untouchable, but it’d take multiple good, long-term pieces coming back. There’s a chance Royce both reaches his ceiling and stays at shortstop. If that happens, he’ll be among the most valuable players in the league. It’d take a lot to walk away from that. Not that I don’t believe in Alex. There’s no questioning his feel for hitting, and I think he’s more athletic than most people give him credit for, but corner outfielders or first basemen are easy to find, relatively speaking. C.J. Cron hit 30 homers and was non-tendered. The entire current Twins outfield will remain in tact for multiple seasons and there are some other attractive outfielders in the pipeline as well. If the Twins end up aiming lower on the trade market, there are reasons why I could understand that. This is the first year on the job for Rocco Baldelli, Wes Johnson and Jeremy Hefner. This is a franchise on the rise, not one who sees its window closing. A lot of the players carrying this team right now will be around for years to come and the minor league system ranks among the best in the game. That doesn’t guarantee you anything, but I feel like there’s a very good chance we’re entering an extended period of sustained winning baseball in Twins Territory. Even if they aim gets lower, this front office still has plenty of incentive to make some moves. In mid-June, I wrote about the potential impending roster crunch this offseason. Lewin Diaz was among the guys I mentioned who needed to be added to the 40-man roster at the end of the season. He’s already been shipped out to Miami. Beyond all the top prospects is a nice tier of players that should be attractive to a team who has a barren system. Ben Rortvedt, Ryan Jeffers, Jose Miranda and (though he’s injured right now) Travis Blankenhorn could be dangled for more pitching help. Guys performing in Triple-A like Nick Gordon or Jaylin Davis would have some appeal to certain teams. And those are just some of the bats. This is going to sound harsh, but it wouldn’t take a lot to improve the outlook of the Twins bullpen right now. Even marginal upgrades would go a long way. They’ve looked good at times, but it’s just not realistic to roll with rookies Lewis Thorpe, Sean Poppen and Cody Stashak in the bullpen down the stretch. So while the market for a top of the rotation starter may seem steep right now, there’s still time for things to change. If prices don't come down, I still fully expect the Twins to make multiple moves between now and the deadline, given their incentive to clear some room. I still can’t believe how quiet things have been league-wide to this point. Things could get nuts leading up to tomorrow’s 3 pm CT deadline. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Twins Moving on From SP Trade Targets? What Sergio Romo Brings to the Twins Bullpen Could the Twins Afford to Take on Zack Greinke’s Contract? Trade Deadline Thread: The Rumor Mill is Working Overtime Trade Deadline Topics: Prospects, Scouting, Rumors Trade Deadline Thread: What To Do About the Rotation? The Gauntlet 1.2; A Complete Breakdown of the Top Relief Arms For Enlow and Other Minor Leaguers, “No One Is Safe” At Trade Deadline Twins Won't Rule Out Trading For Lance Lynn JEREMY'S DEADLINE SERIES (Part VI Coming Soon) Let's Make A Deal, Part V: Are We Getting Noah Syndergaard or Someone Else? Let's Make A Deal, Part IV: The Sellers Let's Make A Deal, Part III: The Ammunition Let's Make A Deal, Part II: Payroll Let's Make A Deal, Part I: 2020
  10. Every year MLB Trade Rumors makes a list of the top 75 trade candidates in the days and weeks leading up to the July 31st trade deadline. They update the list multiple times as the deadline approaches and their final list was posted earlier today. As they alluded to in the post, “Essentially, we’re ordering players based upon our assessment of both their trade value and likelihood of being dealt.” How many of the top 75 trade candidates will be dealt before Wednesday? Could any of them end up in MinnesotaMinnesota’s needs are almost exclusively related to adding pitching and that means a good portion of the top-75 are position players and not viable trade options. According to MLBTR, Zack Wheeler (Mets) is ranked as the number one trade candidate. He’s a free agent at season’s end and the Mets aren’t going anywhere this season. Rumors swirling on Tuesday have the Astros as the favorite to land Wheeler. The Twins might be more interested in adding a non-rental pitcher to their starting rotation. Out of Minnesota’s current rotation, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda can all be free agents this off-season. This leaves players in MLBTR’s 5-7 range like Noah Syndergaard (Mets), Mike Minor (Rangers) and Robbie Ray (Diamondbacks). Would you trade Byron Buxton to get Syndergaard? All these teams have a chance to be in contention next year so it will likely take a high offer to pry these starters away from their current organizations. MLBTR’s finishes out their top-10 with controllable relievers like Shane Greene (Tigers), Edwin Diaz (Mets) and Felipe Vazquez (Pirates). It doesn’t seem likely for the Twins to be interested in these types of relievers because they will come with a hefty price tag. Relief pitching can be fickle so it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of prospect capital on players that might not produce in the coming years. Two intriguing relief options fall into the 14-15 range. Mychal Givens (Orioles) and Raisel Iglesias (Reds) have seen some struggles this year but the have shown some success in the past. Could Wes Johnson waive his magic wand and fix either of these two? Other rental relief arms come in at 19-25 in the rankings. Craig Stammen (Padres), Daniel Hudson (Blue Jays), Greg Holland (Diamondbacks), Francisco Liriano (Pirates), Chris Martin (Rangers), David Hernandez (Reds) and Jared Hughes (Reds) could all add something to Minnesota’s bullpen. Adding Liriano back to the Twins could be a fun reunion, especially if he can help the team win in October. His arm injury back in 2006 might have cost the Twins a long playoff run. Here are some of the other possible Twins targets: 30. Roenis Elias (Mariners): Has some closing experience in Seattle and could serve as another late inning relief option. 32. Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks): Twins are on his no trade list and he is owed a lot of money in the years ahead. If he waived his no-trade clause, he could cost fewer prospects because of the money left on his deal. 43. Kirby Yates (Padres): San Diego hasn’t had his name out in the rumor mill and there has even been talk of the Padres adding players at the deadline. Yates is one of the best relievers that could be available. 44. Andrew Chafin (Diamondbacks): His 11.1 SO/9 is his highest total since 2016 and his 3.2 BB/9 is a career best. Minnesota needs another lefty in the ‘pen and Chafin might make sense. There are plenty of other possible Twins additions on the top 75 list. What name(s) stand out to you? Could the Twins end up with multiple players on this list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Other Stories of Interest Is Alex Kirilloff Expendable? What Sergio Romo Brings to the Twins Bullpen The Making of Max Power Click here to view the article
  11. Minnesota’s needs are almost exclusively related to adding pitching and that means a good portion of the top-75 are position players and not viable trade options. According to MLBTR, Zack Wheeler (Mets) is ranked as the number one trade candidate. He’s a free agent at season’s end and the Mets aren’t going anywhere this season. Rumors swirling on Tuesday have the Astros as the favorite to land Wheeler. The Twins might be more interested in adding a non-rental pitcher to their starting rotation. Out of Minnesota’s current rotation, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda can all be free agents this off-season. This leaves players in MLBTR’s 5-7 range like Noah Syndergaard (Mets), Mike Minor (Rangers) and Robbie Ray (Diamondbacks). Would you trade Byron Buxton to get Syndergaard? All these teams have a chance to be in contention next year so it will likely take a high offer to pry these starters away from their current organizations. MLBTR’s finishes out their top-10 with controllable relievers like Shane Greene (Tigers), Edwin Diaz (Mets) and Felipe Vazquez (Pirates). It doesn’t seem likely for the Twins to be interested in these types of relievers because they will come with a hefty price tag. Relief pitching can be fickle so it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of prospect capital on players that might not produce in the coming years. Two intriguing relief options fall into the 14-15 range. Mychal Givens (Orioles) and Raisel Iglesias (Reds) have seen some struggles this year but the have shown some success in the past. Could Wes Johnson waive his magic wand and fix either of these two? Other rental relief arms come in at 19-25 in the rankings. Craig Stammen (Padres), Daniel Hudson (Blue Jays), Greg Holland (Diamondbacks), Francisco Liriano (Pirates), Chris Martin (Rangers), David Hernandez (Reds) and Jared Hughes (Reds) could all add something to Minnesota’s bullpen. Adding Liriano back to the Twins could be a fun reunion, especially if he can help the team win in October. His arm injury back in 2006 might have cost the Twins a long playoff run. Here are some of the other possible Twins targets: 30. Roenis Elias (Mariners): Has some closing experience in Seattle and could serve as another late inning relief option. 32. Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks): Twins are on his no trade list and he is owed a lot of money in the years ahead. If he waived his no-trade clause, he could cost fewer prospects because of the money left on his deal. 43. Kirby Yates (Padres): San Diego hasn’t had his name out in the rumor mill and there has even been talk of the Padres adding players at the deadline. Yates is one of the best relievers that could be available. 44. Andrew Chafin (Diamondbacks): His 11.1 SO/9 is his highest total since 2016 and his 3.2 BB/9 is a career best. Minnesota needs another lefty in the ‘pen and Chafin might make sense. There are plenty of other possible Twins additions on the top 75 list. What name(s) stand out to you? Could the Twins end up with multiple players on this list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Other Stories of Interest Is Alex Kirilloff Expendable? What Sergio Romo Brings to the Twins Bullpen The Making of Max Power
  12. Per La Velle in his latest at the Star Trib: Denied a top-line starter in trade talks, Twins turn to Plan B I gotta say, the notion that Syndergaard is "no longer viable" seems dubious to me. There's still a ways to go until Wednesday afternoon's deadline. Posturing and misdirection are common around this time. The Mets are dreaming if they think they're going to get an established young big-leaguer of Buxton's caliber. However, if the report is indeed true, it sounds like the Twins are fully swinging their focus to the bullpen. Thoughts?
  13. Minnesota’s line-up full of Bomba Squad members is hitting home runs at a record pace. While some of the home run power has been home grown, other players like Nelson Cruz, CJ Cron, Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Schoop were added to supplement the power hitting barrage. The Twins were able to find these players on the open market to fill multiple spots on their roster. If players like this can be found on the open market, does that make a prospect like Alex Kirilloff expendable?Offensive Power Kirilloff is coming off one of Minnesota’s best seasons ever for a minor league player. Between Low- and High-A, he hit .348/.392/.578 with 71 extra-base hits in 130 games. He also showed a decent approach at the plate as he posted an 86 to 28 strikeout to walk ratio. By season’s end, Kirilloff would be named MiLB’s Breakout Prospect of the Year and the Twins awarded him the Sherry Robertson Award as the team’s Minor League Player of the Year. It was going to be hard for Kirilloff to repeat his 2018 campaign, especially since the Twins decided to be aggressive with him to start the year. He only played 65 games in the Florida State League to end 2018 and the organization still sent him to Pensacola to begin the year. In 65 games at that level, he has hit .271/.336/.384 with 19 extra-base hits and a 60 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio. Some of his offensive struggles this season have resulted from multiple trips to the injured list with a wrist injury. For batters, wrist injuries can be a nagging and follow a player through an entire season. Since returning from the IL on June 20, he has a .686 OPS with nine extra-base hits in 36 games. He has failed to draw a walk in each of his last 18 games. Defensive Questions Kirilloff’s bat tool has always been his key to making it to the big leagues. Throughout his professional career, he has spent the majority of his defensive innings in right field. There have been a few opportunities for him to play in both other outfield positions and he has played over 180 innings at first base this year. It still seems most likely for him to stick at a corner outfield spot in the years ahead. Minnesota is amid a tight race for the top of the AL Central and prospect like Kirilloff can hold a lot of value at this time of year. If the right deal comes along, Kirilloff should be a prospect the Twins consider selling. This doesn’t mean the front office should give him away for a mid-level relief prospect. However, the club needs another starter to go deep into October and Kirilloff could be a center piece to a big-time trade. He would currently be in line to play a corner outfield spot, but Minnesota has some other strong players already occupying those places in the line-up. Max Kepler, the team’s current right fielder, leads the team with 28 home runs and he has team’s second highest WAR total behind Jorge Polanco. Kepler also signed an extension this off-season that could keep him with the Twins through 2024. On the other side of the outfield, Eddie Rosario has certainly evolved into one of the team’s leaders. He has hit .280/.307/.514 with 38 extra-base hits including one of the most memorable home runs in recent Twins history. The 27-year old is still arbitration eligible and the earliest he can reach free agency is 2022. With both corner outfield spots occupied, the Twins might have to get creative to fit Kepler, Rosario, and Kirilloff into the same line-up. First base seems like a natural spot for Kepler or Kirilloff to end up, but the Twins might also need to play Miguel Sano at first in the years ahead. While using one of these players at first is an option, Minnesota showed this year that a team can find a first baseman like CJ Cron without giving anything up in return. Deadline Deal? It seems unlikely for the front office to move any of the team’s top prospects unless the club is acquiring a starting pitcher with multiple years of team control. Some players that fit this mold would be the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (team control through 2021) and the Tigers’ Matthew Boyd (2022). According to the Star Tribune’s La Velle E. Neal, the Mets are asking for both Royce Lewis and Kirilloff in any potential trade for Syndergaard. This seems like a king’s ransom for the right-handed hurler, but it’s tough to know what the Mets are thinking at this point. Already this week, the club acquired one of the top available pitchers, Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. Could the Mets asking price decrease before Wednesday? Could they settle for Kirilloff along with other players not named Royce Lewis? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Click here to view the article
  14. Offensive Power Kirilloff is coming off one of Minnesota’s best seasons ever for a minor league player. Between Low- and High-A, he hit .348/.392/.578 with 71 extra-base hits in 130 games. He also showed a decent approach at the plate as he posted an 86 to 28 strikeout to walk ratio. By season’s end, Kirilloff would be named MiLB’s Breakout Prospect of the Year and the Twins awarded him the Sherry Robertson Award as the team’s Minor League Player of the Year. It was going to be hard for Kirilloff to repeat his 2018 campaign, especially since the Twins decided to be aggressive with him to start the year. He only played 65 games in the Florida State League to end 2018 and the organization still sent him to Pensacola to begin the year. In 65 games at that level, he has hit .271/.336/.384 with 19 extra-base hits and a 60 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio. Some of his offensive struggles this season have resulted from multiple trips to the injured list with a wrist injury. For batters, wrist injuries can be a nagging and follow a player through an entire season. Since returning from the IL on June 20, he has a .686 OPS with nine extra-base hits in 36 games. He has failed to draw a walk in each of his last 18 games. Defensive Questions Kirilloff’s bat tool has always been his key to making it to the big leagues. Throughout his professional career, he has spent the majority of his defensive innings in right field. There have been a few opportunities for him to play in both other outfield positions and he has played over 180 innings at first base this year. It still seems most likely for him to stick at a corner outfield spot in the years ahead. Minnesota is amid a tight race for the top of the AL Central and prospect like Kirilloff can hold a lot of value at this time of year. If the right deal comes along, Kirilloff should be a prospect the Twins consider selling. This doesn’t mean the front office should give him away for a mid-level relief prospect. However, the club needs another starter to go deep into October and Kirilloff could be a center piece to a big-time trade. He would currently be in line to play a corner outfield spot, but Minnesota has some other strong players already occupying those places in the line-up. Max Kepler, the team’s current right fielder, leads the team with 28 home runs and he has team’s second highest WAR total behind Jorge Polanco. Kepler also signed an extension this off-season that could keep him with the Twins through 2024. On the other side of the outfield, Eddie Rosario has certainly evolved into one of the team’s leaders. He has hit .280/.307/.514 with 38 extra-base hits including one of the most memorable home runs in recent Twins history. The 27-year old is still arbitration eligible and the earliest he can reach free agency is 2022. With both corner outfield spots occupied, the Twins might have to get creative to fit Kepler, Rosario, and Kirilloff into the same line-up. First base seems like a natural spot for Kepler or Kirilloff to end up, but the Twins might also need to play Miguel Sano at first in the years ahead. While using one of these players at first is an option, Minnesota showed this year that a team can find a first baseman like CJ Cron without giving anything up in return. Deadline Deal? It seems unlikely for the front office to move any of the team’s top prospects unless the club is acquiring a starting pitcher with multiple years of team control. Some players that fit this mold would be the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (team control through 2021) and the Tigers’ Matthew Boyd (2022). According to the Star Tribune’s La Velle E. Neal, the Mets are asking for both Royce Lewis and Kirilloff in any potential trade for Syndergaard. This seems like a king’s ransom for the right-handed hurler, but it’s tough to know what the Mets are thinking at this point. Already this week, the club acquired one of the top available pitchers, Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. Could the Mets asking price decrease before Wednesday? Could they settle for Kirilloff along with other players not named Royce Lewis? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  15. The first question I’d like to ask is should the Twins add a starting pitcher to the rotation? As of Thursday, there were 58 American League pitchers with 70 innings. In terms of FIP, Twins starters ranked 13th (Berrios), 17th (Odorizzi), 21st (Gibson), 24th (Perez) and 27th (Pineda). In other words, the entire rotation was in the top half of that sample. To put that into perspective, the Astros have three guys inside the top 27 (Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Brad Peacock), Cleveland has two (Shane Bieber and Trevor Bauer) and the Yankees only have one (James Paxton). Sounds really good right? I agree, however, this only tells us what has happened so far. FIP is a good predictor of future success (well, at least better than ERA), but the unknown element is whether or not the other contending teams in the AL will make significant additions to their rotations over the coming week. While the Twins rotation flexes in terms of depth, the other top teams in the AL have much more formidable pieces at the top. Can that still work? Yes, I think it can. We only need to look back to last year’s Milwaukee Brewers for proof. That team had a similar solid but unspectacular rotation that relied more on its depth. Jhoulys Chacin was the ace of that staff, though Wade Miley was very good when healthy. Neither of those guys can hold a candle to Berrios. That Milwaukee team managed to beat the Cubs in a Game 163 to take the NL Central with 96 wins. The pitching matchup was Chacin vs. Jose Quintana. The Brewers then swept the Rockies, giving up just two total runs in those three games. They even pushed the Dodgers all the way to a Game 7 in the NLCS behind a rotation of Miley, Chacin and Gio Gonzalez. The big difference is Milwaukee had an excellent bullpen, though it wasn't comprised of costly big-name arms. The Twins will need to upgrade their pitching staff, nobody is going to argue with that, but I’m not so convinced they really need to add a starter. Let me know what you think. The second thing I’d love to year your opinion on is if the Twins do acquire a starting pitcher, who gets booted to the bullpen? I think this is a tricky question. Might it actually come down to matchups? Berrios is clearly the No. 1 guy on the staff, but things get very fuzzy after that. Odorizzi went to the All-Star Game, but he has a 7.99 ERA over his past seven starts. On the other end of the spectrum, Pineda has a 2.93 ERA in his last seven outings. Gibson has been steady, but never spectacular. Perez has by far the worst WHIP on the staff, but he's also the only lefty starter. Deadline Discussion The big news of the day was that Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirmed the Mets are considering offers on Noah Syndergaard. Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote that "The hardest sell for the Mets baseball operations department leading up to the trade deadline is not persuading suitors to make substantial offers for Edwin Diaz and Noah Syndergaard. It will be convincing ownership to accept such a deal if it reaches a level perceived acceptable." La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune confirmed the Twins not only have interest in Snydergaard, but according to his sources, the Mets are asking for both Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff. Rosenthal also made reference to "the growing possibility" that Trevor Bauer and Matthew Boyd would not be traded in a recent piece for The Athletic. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported that "according to a source with knowledge of the team's plans" the Giants are poised to be buyers and "it's all but certain" Madison Bumgarner will not be traded. Cody wrote about how it's important to avoid impulse trades, such as the one Pittsburgh made to acquire Chris Archer last year. Cody also tabbed Zack Greinke as the starting pitching target of his ideal deadline. Andrew took a look at what it would take to acquire Marcus Stroman and made the case that the Twins should make a deal for Mike Minor. Cooper offered up a couple of under the radar options for the rotation: Sonny Gray and Robbie Ray. Should the Twins be aggressive on the starting pitching market? Would you trade Lewis and Kirilloff for Syndergaard? Who transitions to the bullpen if there is an addition? And if you hear any more rumors today, please feel free to pass them along.
  16. Have you missed the earlier parts of this series? Part 1: 2020 Part 2: Payroll Part 3: The Ammunition Part 4: The Sellers ********** At the top of the Twins - and every other team’s - wish list is a front-end starting pitcher who has team control. By adding one of these players, the Twins would take a current starter (probably Martin Perez) and move him to the bullpen for the remainder of the year. I’m also being more than generous lumping some of these guys into the “front-end” conversation. These guys are starters and would be inserted into the rotation if acquired. Zack Greinke, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks. Turns 36 in October, 4.7 bWAR, 3.15 FIP, 8.2 K/9; owed a boatload of money over this season and the next two, also has a lot of deferred money he is owed and the Twins are on his no-trade list. Will he be a Twin? No, he won’t. But it would be really fun. Marcus Stroman, RHP, New York Mets. Turned 28 in May, 3.2 bWAR, 3.52 FIP, 7.1 K/9; owed ~$2.5 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $14m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Stroman would slot in perfectly behind Berrios despite not having overpowering stuff. He’s survived the AL East and performed heroically in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets traded for him Sunday afternoon, and appear to be keeping him rather than flipping him. Will he be a Twin? The Twins certainly had the pieces to deal with Toronto, but couldn't/didn't beat the Mets package. The Mets now have the most intriguing rental (Zach Wheeler), player with one year of control (Stroman) and player with two years of control (Syndergaard). Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets. Turns 27 in August, 1.2 bWAR, 3.64 FIP, 9.0 K/9; owed ~$2 million over the rest of the 2019 season and has two more years of arbitration left before heading to free agency. Syndergaard has not been as good this year as in the past, but the price is still incredibly high. The Padres and Braves sound like the most interested trade partners, with the Astros and Yankees showing interest as well. After adding Stroman, maybe the Mets are going for it. Will he be a Twin? We can dream, right? At this point, that’s what it is, despite having the ammunition to get it done. Matthew Boyd, LHP, Detroit Tigers. Turns 29 in February, 3.0 bWAR, 3.57 FIP, 12.0 K/9; owed ~$850,000 over the rest of the 2019 season and has three years of arbitration remaining. Not the youngest on this list, but is the one with the most team control, which makes him the most valuable. Will he be a Twin? Because he’s in the division, there is a very slim chance the Twins acquire Boyd. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians. Turns 29 in January, 2.4 bWAR, 4.19 FIP, 10.6 K/9; owed ~$4.3 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $18m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Do the Indians move Bauer? And would they move him to the team they competing directly with for a playoff spot? Will he be a Twin? Extremely unlikely, despite his Sunday meltdown. Robbie Ray, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks. Turns 28 in October, 1.1 bWAR, 4.27 FIP, 11.9 K/9; owed ~$2 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $11m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Ray is probably a step below many of the other available. Will he be a Twin? They’ve kicked the tires on Ray and the teams were able to match up on a deal last year. Will a team not in on the big names try to strike early? It’s possible. I don’t consider Ray to be one of their top choices, so I don’t see this being a match unless it happens very late in the process. Lance Lynn, RHP, Texas Rangers. Turned 32 in May; 5.0 bWAR, 2.94 FIP, 10.2 K/9; owed ~$3.1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and is under contract for two more years at $20.7m. Lynn has been an above-average pitcher for his entire career, except for his time with the Twins, when he couldn’t throw strikes. Will he be a Twin? It would be a nightmarish reunion for fans, especially if he doesn’t perform well. But he’s been really good this year, the cost wouldn’t be excessive and he would help with the playoff push. If he keeps playing like he has so far this year, all fans would get over his 2018 performance. Mike Leake, RHP, Seattle Mariners. Turns 32 in November, 2.0 bWAR, 4.71 FIP, 6.7 K/9; owed ~3.6 million over the rest of the 2019 season and acquiring team would be on the hook for $11m of his $15m contract in 2020 as well as a $5m buyout on a $18m mutual option in 2021. The Twins could afford to take on the $20 still owed to Leake and, in doing so, could avoid moving their better prospects. He’d also help fill a need in next year’s rotation… but is he an upgrade on anyone in the current rotation? That’s a big question. Will he be a Twin? If the Twins are convinced they’d be better with Leake in the rotation and Perez in the bullpen than with Perez in the rotation and a new acquisition in the bullpen, then this is a move I could certainly see the team making. Mike Minor, LHP, Texas Rangers. Turns 32 in December, 5.8 bWAR, 4.20 FIP, 9.1 K/9; owed ~$3.3 million over the rest of 2019 and under contract for $9,833,333 next season. Minor will be a free agent following the 2020 season. Despite how good he’s been this year - he’s been great - his track record isn’t. Will he be a Twin? There is definitely familiarity between Thad Levine and Rangers GM Jon Daniels. And though he’s been arguably the best pitcher who is available, the cost shouldn’t be as high as others. Next on the Twins list would be a controllable, dependable back-of-the-bullpen type. Shane Greene, RHP, Detroit Tigers. Turns 31 in November; 1.5 bWAR, 3.74 FIP, 10.0 K/9; owed ~$1.3 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $8m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Greene is having his best season by far and the Tigers are looking to cash in. Will he be a Twin? Fortunately, the Twins and Tigers don’t appear likely to connect on a trade, saving the Twins from trading for someone who has a very short track record despite being a relief pitcher for the last three seasons. Jake McGee, LHP, Colorado Rockies. Turns 33 in August; 0.8 bWAR, 4.92 FIP, 7.3 K/9; owed ~$2.8 million over the rest of the 2019 season with $11.5m more guaranteed over the next two years, including a likely-to-vest option for 2021, increasing the guarantee to $18.5m. McGee is not the same performer he was with Tampa Bay, but has dominated left-handed hitters this year (which he did not do last year). Will he be a Twin? There are better, less expensive options available currently. But if it gets close to the deadline and the Twins are still in the market for another left-handed option, they could do worse. Edwin Diaz, RHP, New York Mets. Turned 25 in March; 0.0 bWAR, 3.50 FIP, 14.0 K/9; owed ~$200,000 over the rest of the 2019 season and has three years of arbitration left before free agency. Diaz was the best reliever in baseball in 2018 and the Mets paid for it. He hasn’t been good this year, yet the Mets are still asking for a ton, as they should. Will he be a Twin? The cost will be super high. The Twins appear most interested in Diaz of all the potential Mets trade chips, but that still doesn’t make this move more likely. Kirby Yates, RHP, San Diego Padres. Turned 32 in March; 2.4 bWAR, 1.07 FIP, 14.7 K/9; owed ~$1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $7m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. The Padres turned a waiver-wire claim in Brad Hand into a Top 100 prospect in Francisco Mejia. They’re likely to try to do the same thing with Yates. Yates has been great, don’t get me wrong. But he’s a great example of how elite relievers don’t always take the path that begins with being a top prospect. Will he be a Twin? His price will be high, but if the Twins insist on moving big-time prospects for a controllable reliever, Yates is one of the better options. Felipe Vasquez, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates. Turned 28 in July; 2.0 bWAR, 1.96 FIP, 14.1 K/9; owed ~$1.5 million over the rest of the 2019 season, with two more guaranteed years ($13.5m) before two team options ($10m each). Vasquez would certainly change the complexion of the bullpen, wouldn’t he? Will he be a Twin? Like Diaz, the cost will be extreme, which makes the likelihood of a trade small. Ian Kennedy, RHP, Kansas City Royals. Turns 35 in December; 0.9 bWAR, 2.16 FIP, 11.1 K/9; owed ~$5.5 million over the rest of the 2019 season and $16.5m in 2020. Kennedy’s career has been rejuvenated by a move to the bullpen. He’s walking less and striking out more hitters than ever before. Will he be a Twin? This is a move the team should make. With financial flexibility to take on salary, which would offset the need to part with top prospects, the Twins and Royals can match up nicely. That is, if the Royals are ok sending their closer to an in-division team. Ken Giles, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays. Turns 29 in September; 1.8 bWAR, 1.60 FIP; 14.9 K/9; owed ~$2.1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $10m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Giles should be high on the priority list for the Twins and others. You can definitely find reasons to not like Giles - he’s basically a two-years-younger-version of Cody Allen. But there’s a lot to like too. Will he be a Twin? The Twins will go as far down this path as they can. Will it end with Giles in Minnesota? We’ll find out soon. We're getting down to it... who are the Twins going to add?
  17. The first thing we all need to admit, the term Prospect means something different to everyone. People aren’t going to agree on every prospect or rank them exactly the same. My Top prospect ranking looks a little different than Cody’s rankings or Tom’s rankings and with others, we have our Twins Daily Top 40 rankings. It looks different than Baseball America which looks a little different than Baseball Prospectus which looks a little different than FanGraphs which looks a little different than MLB Pipeline Which looks different than ESPNs rankings. And that’s OK. But as it relates to the Trade Deadline, the only prospect rankings and organizational depth charts that matter are the Minnesota Twins and any team that is scouting their players. That is the reason that each individual can have a slightly different, or fully different, opinion on a trade and the players dealt away. To that degree, we love our prospects, right? Every fan base loves its own prospects. No matter the deal, any trade that sends a player away hurts to some degree because, even if we don’t know that player personally, he’s part of the “We” that includes players, front office and fans too. At the same time, we all understand that in order to get something, something has to be given up, and in baseball, especially at the trade deadline, that comes in the form of prospects. I’ve been giving it some thought… let me know in the Comments if this makes sense. By definition, signing a free agent means that a team was willing to pay a little bit more than the other 29 teams were willing to pay. So it is overpaying, but hopefully just by a little bit. However, each team should also have a maximum amount (in years and dollars) for each player. It is sort of the same at the trade deadline. You know in every trade, the seller accepts the trade from the team that offered them the most. The acquiring team overpaid by just enough to “win” the trade. So, the goal of a Buyer when they really want to acquire a player should be to overpay, but just by a little bit. Each team should also have a maximum amount (in terms of prospects) for each player. So as it relates to the trade deadline, what does that mean? For each of the following players, how much would you be willing to trade? How much is too much? Noah Syndergaard: Marcus Stroman: Ken Giles: Mike Minor: Lance Lynn; Sergio Romo: Daniel Hudson: And the list goes on and on. How much do we love “our” prospects? But how much do we want to increase the Twins likelihood of winning a World Series incrementally? That is the question for you in the comments below, but it is also the question for the Twins front office in the next four to five days. SCOUTING UPDATES There are often scouts from other organizations at minor league games, just doing their job and getting information on players from the Twins organization. However, I have heard that there have been a lot of scouts in the last couple of weeks, particularly in Ft. Myers and Pensacola. The teams that have sent scouts to the Twins include (but certainly not limited to) the Blue Jays, Mets, Tigers, Royals, Giants, Rangers and Diamondbacks. That only makes sense. Teams are looking for pitching, and almost every night, there are real quality pitching prospects going for those affiliates. Teams certainly want to get a look at the likes of Edwar Colina, Jhoan Duran, Blayne Enlow, and even a guy like Cole Sands who has been really strong in his professional debut. Scouts have seen Jordan Balazovic, though his next start will be for Team Canada against Cuba on Tuesday at the Pan Am games in Peru. And they would certainly like to see Brusdar Graterol who hasn’t pitched in a game since May 19th, though there were reports this week that he could start a rehab assignment soon in the GCL. As for position players, the players that teams are scouting are in the lineup most every day, so it’s easier to know that they can be seen. There are scouts assigned to cover certain teams, and generally speaking they continue to be on-hand and scout as usual. However, over these last week or two they may be asked to focus on a target or two. Also over this time frame, teams may pull one of their other scouts will be pull off of their regular duty to get extra eyes on an organization that could be a trade partner. Twins Rumors On Thursday afternoon, the big talker became Noah Syndergaard. On Friday afternoon, the spotlight shifted again, this time north of the border to Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles. https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/1154889022000340992 Jon Morosi from MLB Network got Twins fans talking for going very specific. A top-of-rotation starter and a veteran reliever are available, but Morosi says the Twins aren’t sure that they would give up both Trevor Larnach and Brusdar Graterol for him. Would the price come down if the teams waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday, or will another team swoop them up? Would it cost more or less to acquire the two together or in separate deals? In other words, what would the cost be for the Twins to acquire Stroman and then to acquire Giles (or another top reliever) in individual deals? And how does the Twins interest in Daniel Hudson factor into these discussions? Hey Sergio! The Twins will be in Miami during the trade deadline next week. Could they get Sergio Romo to switch dugouts mid-series? https://twitter.com/CraigMish/status/1154826791908978690 The 36-year-old is in his 12th season in the big leagues. He won three World Series titles with the Giants. He has 126 saves. He has 10.0 K/9 rate and 2.1 BB/9. This year with the Marlins, he has a 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 to go with a 3.58 ERA. He is also 17 for 18 in save opportunities. Romo is now a soft-tosser, reliant on his moxie, and a good mix of changeup and slider. The cost to acquire him would be quite low. Syndergaard Updates Joel Sherman from the New York Post.reported again on Friday night that the Mets are definitely looking to trade Noah Syndergaard. He mentions the Astros, Braves and Padres are the teams they feel have the best opportunity to acquire him. LaVelle Neal from the Star Tribune noted on Thursday that it might take Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to acquire Syndergaard. That should not be the case for the hard-throwing right-hander who has an ERA over 4 this year and missed most of the 2017 season with injury. But he is an ace caliber right-hander who has two more years of team control after this year. Dan Hayes from The Athletic pointed out that the Twins would be willing to move Lewis or Kirilloff in the right deal, meaning, for an Ace starting pitcher. In the same Sherman article, he pointed out that the likelihood that closer Edwin Diaz being traded “has greatly increased as well.” In fact, Jim Bowden says there may be more interest in the hard-throwing right-hander. https://twitter.com/JimBowdenGM/status/1155157106850455557 And hey, Ken Rosenthal has found a scenario where the Mets trade Syndergaard to the Padres and then the Mets would acquire Marcus Stroman. Ah, trade deadline rumors. https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1155186573350199297 Twins Inquire on Robbie Ray Availability https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/1155159228069187585 Yeah, that’s really it. The Twins have called the Diamondbacks to ask about Robbie Ray… As they have called on probably every potentially available pitcher at the trade deadline. Cross Him Off the List… One name mentioned in Twins rumors over the last month has been traded. On Saturday afternoon, Royals lefty reliever Jake Diekman became A’s lefty reliever Jake Diekman, per Jeff Passon: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1155188823657189376 The A’s sent two minor leaguers to Kansas City to complete the deal,20-year-old right-hander Ismael Aquino (second season in the Arizona League) and outfielder Dairon Blanco, a 26-year-old Cuban outfielder in AA. (I was asked what an equivalent trade from the Twins may have looked like. I think the best I could do to compare would be GCL RHP Donny Breek and AA/AAA OF Jimmy Kerrigan.
  18. We often hear the term Untouchable, and as we have all reiterated in recent weeks, it really is a misnomer. As has been pointed out, it really means Untouchable-Unless-Overwhelmed. Anyone can be traded in the right deal. In today’s Trade Deadline topics, we discuss why there are a variety of opinions on any given trade, and also what has been happening as it relates to scouting. Then there were several of rumors spreading around the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Ken Giles, Sergio Romo, Robbie Ray and others.The first thing we all need to admit, the term Prospect means something different to everyone. People aren’t going to agree on every prospect or rank them exactly the same. My Top prospect ranking looks a little different than Cody’s rankings or Tom’s rankings and with others, we have our Twins Daily Top 40 rankings. It looks different than Baseball America which looks a little different than Baseball Prospectus which looks a little different than FanGraphs which looks a little different than MLB Pipeline Which looks different than ESPNs rankings. And that’s OK. But as it relates to the Trade Deadline, the only prospect rankings and organizational depth charts that matter are the Minnesota Twins and any team that is scouting their players. That is the reason that each individual can have a slightly different, or fully different, opinion on a trade and the players dealt away. To that degree, we love our prospects, right? Every fan base loves its own prospects. No matter the deal, any trade that sends a player away hurts to some degree because, even if we don’t know that player personally, he’s part of the “We” that includes players, front office and fans too. At the same time, we all understand that in order to get something, something has to be given up, and in baseball, especially at the trade deadline, that comes in the form of prospects. I’ve been giving it some thought… let me know in the Comments if this makes sense. By definition, signing a free agent means that a team was willing to pay a little bit more than the other 29 teams were willing to pay. So it is overpaying, but hopefully just by a little bit. However, each team should also have a maximum amount (in years and dollars) for each player. It is sort of the same at the trade deadline. You know in every trade, the seller accepts the trade from the team that offered them the most. The acquiring team overpaid by just enough to “win” the trade. So, the goal of a Buyer when they really want to acquire a player should be to overpay, but just by a little bit. Each team should also have a maximum amount (in terms of prospects) for each player. So as it relates to the trade deadline, what does that mean? For each of the following players, how much would you be willing to trade? How much is too much? Noah Syndergaard: Marcus Stroman: Ken Giles: Mike Minor: Lance Lynn; Sergio Romo: Daniel Hudson: And the list goes on and on. How much do we love “our” prospects? But how much do we want to increase the Twins likelihood of winning a World Series incrementally? That is the question for you in the comments below, but it is also the question for the Twins front office in the next four to five days. SCOUTING UPDATES There are often scouts from other organizations at minor league games, just doing their job and getting information on players from the Twins organization. However, I have heard that there have been a lot of scouts in the last couple of weeks, particularly in Ft. Myers and Pensacola. The teams that have sent scouts to the Twins include (but certainly not limited to) the Blue Jays, Mets, Tigers, Royals, Giants, Rangers and Diamondbacks. That only makes sense. Teams are looking for pitching, and almost every night, there are real quality pitching prospects going for those affiliates. Teams certainly want to get a look at the likes of Edwar Colina, Jhoan Duran, Blayne Enlow, and even a guy like Cole Sands who has been really strong in his professional debut. Scouts have seen Jordan Balazovic, though his next start will be for Team Canada against Cuba on Tuesday at the Pan Am games in Peru. And they would certainly like to see Brusdar Graterol who hasn’t pitched in a game since May 19th, though there were reports this week that he could start a rehab assignment soon in the GCL. As for position players, the players that teams are scouting are in the lineup most every day, so it’s easier to know that they can be seen. There are scouts assigned to cover certain teams, and generally speaking they continue to be on-hand and scout as usual. However, over these last week or two they may be asked to focus on a target or two. Also over this time frame, teams may pull one of their other scouts will be pull off of their regular duty to get extra eyes on an organization that could be a trade partner. Twins Rumors On Thursday afternoon, the big talker became Noah Syndergaard. On Friday afternoon, the spotlight shifted again, this time north of the border to Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles. The A’s sent two minor leaguers to Kansas City to complete the deal,20-year-old right-hander Ismael Aquino (second season in the Arizona League) and outfielder Dairon Blanco, a 26-year-old Cuban outfielder in AA. (I was asked what an equivalent trade from the Twins may have looked like. I think the best I could do to compare would be GCL RHP Donny Breek and AA/AAA OF Jimmy Kerrigan. Click here to view the article
  19. The Minnesota Twins are going to be scouring the trade market for the next few days as they look to supplement their big-league club. Relief pitching will be the main focus, but adding a starter makes some sense too. I am out on trading real assets for rentals, but a controllable arm could be more than enticing for Derek Falvey. The premiere name out there is the New York Mets Noah Syndergaard. 2019 has been a down year, but just how good is he? Commonly known as Thor, Syndergaard is a controllable asset through the 2021 Major League Baseball season. He’s costing the Mets just $6 million this season on an arbitration deal, and that figure will rise slightly each of the next two campaigns. After posting a 2.93 ERA through his first four big league seasons he owns a 4.33 mark in 2019. Much of that is on the Mets being the worst defensive team in baseball however, as his FIP is 3.64. Drafted out of high school there’s a lot to like with Syndergaard. He has worked in the majors since his age 22 season and has consistently been among the best pitchers in the sport. Yet to win a Cy Young or make multiple All-Star teams, his best years are likely yet to come. Unfortunately, he’s never been completely healthy and has pitched over 180 innings in a season just one time during his five-year career. When he’s on the mound it’s must watch action, but you have to believe in his ability to stay there. Looking under the hood we can generate a better idea of what Thor actually brings to the table. His 98.2 mph average fastball velocity is right in line with career norms, and he’s one of the hardest throwing starters in the game. The career 13.2% whiff rate is solid and while he’s down to 12.5% this season, that’s still a strong floor. Generating a ground ball roughly 50% of the time over the course of his career and giving up hard contact less then 30% of the time, it’s a batted ball profile that should generate success. To address some of the 2019 concerns we can probably start first and foremost with the slider. Although Syndergaard can blow his fastball by many big-league hitters, it’s the breaking pitch that keeps them off balance. For whatever reason he went from utilizing the slider 20% of the time all the way down to 12% in 2019. He’s throwing his fastball more than at any point since 2016, and he’s sprinkled in a bit more changeup usage. Working with him on what is a dominant secondary offering is probably part of the puzzle here. Because he’s gone to a straighter offering more often, batters are more than likely able to hone in on the zone. We some evidence of that in his chase rate this season. Down to a career low 31.5%, opposing hitters simply aren’t offering at pitches outside of the strike zone. Despite not being egregious by any means, that input has also led to a career high 73.8% contract rate. At the end of the day it’s pretty difficult to argue against the merits of a 26-year-old fireballer that throws a ton of strikes and limits walks. Sure, the overall numbers are down some in 2019, but it appears that all the stuff is still there. Expecting Wes Johnson to help unlock everything all at once is a pretty good bet and getting a guy like this that can be worked with for a significant period of time would really bear some fruit. Organizations like the Twins really have to determine their path when looking at how to best position themselves for an ace. Derek Falvey swung for the fences on Yu Darvish as a free agent a year ago, but ultimately stopped shy of matching the Cubs offer. Regardless of that deal now looking bad, the Twins being the frontrunner on the premiere free agent starting option seems like a foolish bet on an annual basis. You can certainly draft and develop talent, but that’s also not a straightforward process and one that takes an incredible amount of time. That only leaves the trade route. Dealing for a guy like Syndergaard is going to hurt in the form of prospect capital. The Star Tribune’s Lavelle E. Neal suggested that New York has asked for both Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis, which should not happen, but any deal is going to be steep. At some point it becomes whether the front office wants to deal in dollars or prospects, and for Syndergaard the latter may be worth genuinely exploring. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  20. As I mentioned, we are one week from the July 31st trade deadline. In years past, there were two trade deadlines. July 31st was the non-waiver trade deadline, meaning anyone can be traded up until that point. Then there was a second trade deadline at the end of August in which players had to be put on trade waivers to be traded. It’s a little more complex than that, but no need to dive into something that is no longer a thing this year. The decision to have just one trade line was made this past offseason. A big reason for it was because of how slow the offseason free agency was. When the best free agents were still available in March and a couple were still available in June, they thought something needed to happen. The idea was first proposed by the MLB Players Association to “"to protect the competitive integrity of the 162-game regular season, create more certainty for players and force teams to decide earlier whether they are buyers or sellers." Many thought it would create more activity at the deadline. So far it hasn’t, unless trades of Homer Bailey or Andrew Cashner or Martin Maldonado excite you. Why? At the end of the day, a deadline is a deadline. Right now, the “sellers” are asking for the world in terms of prospect return. No rational GM is going to do that. Right now, most of the National League teams are still in playoff contention, at least to some degree. There are at least seven of the American League teams vying for five playoff spots as well. A few may choose to “Sell” by the time the deadline rolls around, but until then, they might as well keep playing. Consider that the Giants have won 16 of their last 19 games and are now nearing a Wild Card spot. Does that mean that Madison Bumgarner and their slew of relief pitchers are still unavailable? Probably, at least for now. Because of those names (and others) likely not being available right now, Jon Heyman thinks it could cause the Toronto Blue Jays to try to deal Marcus Stroman more quickly. https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1153859671607975936 Earlier this week, Andrew Thares asked what it might take for the Twins to acquire Stroman. Ultimately a deadline is a deadline. The fact that there is just one only means that there are more buyers (usually) at the July deadline than there might be if there was still an August deadline. GMs don’t want to overpay, and that’s what the sellers are trying to get in return right now. And the only thing that will force those sellers hands is the deadline. So I expect there may be a few traded trickling in over the next few days, I think that most trades will happen in the final 24-48 hours leading up to the July 31st deadline… same as it always has been. Deadline Discussions MLB Trade Rumors created a poll asking readers to give their thoughts on the Pirates potentially trading left-handed reliever Felipe Vasquez, quietly one of the best relievers in baseball. What makes him intriguing (and very, very costly) is that he signed a four year, $20 million contract a couple of years ago. Looking into his contract, he is owned $5.25 million in 2020 and $7.25 million in 2021.Even better, he has two options in the deal in which he could get $10 million in 2022 ($1 million buyout) and 2023 ($500K buyout) if things are going well. Thieres wrote about Vasquez in our Potential Bullpen Target series. Old Friend Rhett Bollinger reported last Friday that the Angels had DFAd RHP Matt Harvey. On Tuesday, The Dark Knight officially became a free agent. Could he be a match for the Twins, maybe not as a starter, but as a long relief option? Jim Duquette in The Athletic wrote about six players he believes should not be traded right now, and that list includes four pitchers that have been linked to the Twins (to some degree) over the last month. Ken Rosenthal (The Athletic) asked if the Twins should have jumped on relievers sooner? And from our Forums, USA Chief writes an embattled plea to the Twins front office to make a move to help this Twins bullpen, and soon! Also in our Forums, there are threads dedicated to Noah Syndergaard and Matthew Boyd. On his most recent episode of The Scoops podcast, Darren Wolfson chatted with Trevor Hildenberger. As it relates to the trade deadline, he also spoke with Twins CBO Derek Falvey. Listen here. Over the next week, we will provide a daily Trade Deadline thread in which we will discuss a topic briefly and provide some of the day’s rumors. Use this thread to discuss Twins rumors. Obviously if and when the Twins make a move, we will have an article ready to discuss that, but this should be a fun gathering ground for Twins rumors. If you see a Twins rumor, post it in the comments. Otherwise, let’s discuss. This is a big week for the 2019 Twins.
  21. Adding an arm like Noah Syndergaard to the likes of Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi could give the Twins a formidable top of the rotation that will be scary for opposing teams to face in the postseason. Unfortunately, acquiring a pitcher like Syndergaard won’t be cheap, as the Mets are probably not too eager to move him, on top of the fact that if he does become available, nearly every team in the postseason hunt will be looking to acquire him. So, what would it take to land this stud pitcher? Let’s find out. First, we will start by looking at what the Twins would be acquiring if they were to trade for Noah Syndergaard. At 26 years of age, Syndergaard is just now entering the prime of his career and would make a lot of sense to add in with this young Twins core. Syndergaard is currently making $6,000,000 in his second year of arbitration, but since he entered his first year of arbitration as a Super 2, Syndergaard won’t become a free agent until after the 2021 season, which gives the Twins 2 and 1/2 season of team control. This could factor in huge for the Twins this offseason, as the only two pitchers in the current rotation they have coming back next year are Jose Berrios and Martin Perez (if they pick up Perez’s $7,500,000 team option). After making his MLB debut in 2015, Noah Syndergaard quickly established himself as one of the premier starting pitchers in the game. His 100 MPH fastball electrified fans, and his result were nothing short of stellar. However, Syndergaard suffered a setback in 2017 when he torn his right latissimus muscle just a month into the season, causing him to be out for nearly five months. Syndergaard bounced back well from his injury in 2018, posting a 3.03 ERA (2.80 FIP) in 154 and 1/3 innings. 2019 hasn’t quite been the same story for Syndergaard, as he has a 4.55 ERA (3.62 FIP) in 95 innings. The worrisome part for Syndergaard is his strikeout rate has dipped slightly since the injury. Prior to the injury, Syndergaard had a 28.4% strikeout rate (which ranked sixth among starting pitchers with at least 200 IP over that timeframe). Since the injury, however, Syndergaard has a strikeout rate of 23.9% (which ranks 42nd among starting pitchers with at least 200 IP over that timeframe). Syndergaard’s fastball velocity has dipped a tick too, though it still remains among the fastest in baseball. In 2016 and 2017, Syndergaard averaged 98.6 MPH on his fastball. In the two years since, Syndergaard's fastball has averaged 97.6 MPH. Additionally, Syndergaard has been on the IL since June 15th with a hamstring strain but is expected to be back and in the starting rotation on Sunday. Trade Comparisons A good place to start to figure out what it might cost to acquire Noah Syndergaard is by looking at some other trades for big-name starting pitchers with multiple years of control over recent years. We can start by looking at the Chris Archer trade. As many of you remember, the Twins were looking to trade for Archer before the 2018 season, yet luckily for them they didn’t because the Pittsburgh Pirates gave up an arm and a leg to get him. The headliners they sent back to the Tampa Bay Rays were Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows, both of whom were elite prospects who had just graduated to the MLB ranks. They also included right-hander Shane Baz, who at the time was the 95th ranked prospect in baseball, per MLB.com. At the time everyone said the Pirates gave up way too much for Archer, and in the year since looks like it might be one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history. I would be shocked if the Mets get anywhere close to that good of an offer for Syndergaard. Another trade in recent years to compare to is the Jose Quintana trade in 2017. At the time, Quintana was under contract for 3 1/2 more years at a very team friendly rate. To acquire Quintana from the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Cubs gave up each of their top two prospects: Eloy Jimenez, who at the time was a top-10 prospect in baseball, along with Dylan Cease, who is one now of the top ranked prospects in baseball, and knocking on the MLB door. The Cubs also gave up two lower-tier prospects. At the times of their deals, both Archer and Quintana were similar pitchers in skill level to where Noah Syndergaard is now: not quite dominant aces, but good enough to be the number one starter on a team lacking an ace. Archer and Quintana both also had an additional year of control than Syndergaard would come with, and neither had quite the injury concerns that Syndergaard has. A couple other deals you can look at recently are the trades involving Chris Sale and Gerrit Cole. Though, it’s a little hard to compare a trade for Syndergaard with the Chris Sale trade since Syndergaard isn’t quite the same level pitcher Sale was at the time of that trade. The Gerrit Cole trade is also a little difficult to compare to, as the Astros traded away a bunch of players who were already MLB ready with relatively low upside. As we stand, it is hard to imaging the Twins trading away many MLB ready players with years of team control, unless they look to move someone like Luis Arraez, though I would be surprised if the Twins are at all interested in moving Arraez at this point. Building a Package If the Twins want to build a package to acquire Noah Syndergaard, it will almost certainly have to include either Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff. They could potentially try to build a package around Brusdar Graterol, but with him being shelved for over a month now with a shoulder injury, I can’t see the Mets willing to give up their prized pitcher for another pitcher with some shoulder issues. That being said, I’m sure many of you would like to see what a package not involving Lewis or Kirilloff would look like, so I will put one together for argument's sake. Disclaimer: I am not necessarily saying I would be willing to offer these deals for Syndergaard, this is simply an exercise examine what it might take to acquire Syndergaard. Let’s start by looking at a deal around former first overall draft pick Royce Lewis. There was a point earlier this year where Lewis was in the conversation for top prospect in baseball after players like Vlad Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and the previously mentioned Eloy Jimenez graduated from the prospect rankings. However, a slow start to the season has brought Lewis’s value down a tick. For many Twins fans, a straight up trade Lewis for Syndergaard might be enough (or even too much), but I am here to tell you, that will not be the case. The Mets will most likely require at least one or two mid-to-lower level prospects in addition to Lewis to cover the risk in case he becomes a bust. Offer: Royce Lewis, Jorge Alcala & Chris Williams If the Twins are unwilling to part ways with Royce Lewis, they next place the Mets will turn to is Alex Kirilloff. If a deal were to get done, I see this as the most likely scenario. Kirilloff is without question the best hitting prospect in the Twins system and is arguably the best hitting prospect in the minor leagues right now period. He has had a slow start to 2019, but his bat should still be considered to be plus-plus. Where Kirilloff loses some value is on the defensive side of the ball. It is starting to look more and more that Kiriloff is destined to be either a slightly below-average corner outfielder, or a fulltime first-baseman. If the Twins deal for Syndergaard were to revolve around Kiriloff, they will most likely have to include another top tier prospect in order to get the deal done. Offer: Alex Kirilloff, Jordan Balazovic & Nick Gordon As I mentioned previously, it is unlikely that the Twins get a deal done without trading away either Lewis or Kirilloff, but If the Twins are dead set on not trading away either of those two, but still want to pursue a deal for Syndergaard, it is going to take a large haul of prospects. Fortunately for the Twins, they have a few other top tier prospects in their system, including three players in Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach and Jordan Balazovic who are all currently ranked as Top 100 Prospects by both Baseball America and MLB.com. Asking the Twins to give up all three of these players will be a tall task, but that might be just what it takes if they want to pry Noah Syndergaard away from the Mets, who will without question be receiving offers from other teams that include a prospect or two that are more revered than any of these three. Offer: Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach, Jordan Balazovic & Ben Rortvedt All three of these offers seem like they would be giving up a lot of prospect capital, but that is the nature of trading for All-Star starting pitchers with multiple years of team control. If you want to acquire them, it is going to cost you a lot. Let us know in the comments below what you think. Would you be willing to trade for Noah Syndergaard, and if so, what kind of package would you put together to trade for him? Today on Twins Daily MIN 10, CHW 3: Twins Hit 5 Homers, Kepler Reaches New Career High Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Sergio Romo, RHP, Marlins Adrianza Returns, Hopes To Remain Hot With Bat
  22. Over the past few weeks, we have been spending a lot of time focusing on the multitude of relievers that the Twins could acquire before the July 31st trade deadline, and rightfully so, since that is the biggest need on the team right now. However, that isn’t the only need the Minnesota Twins have, as they could also benefit by adding another arm at the top of the rotation to give them more firepower during a playoff push. One such guy that could be available to fit this role is New York Mets fireballer Noah Syndergaard.Adding an arm like Noah Syndergaard to the likes of Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi could give the Twins a formidable top of the rotation that will be scary for opposing teams to face in the postseason. Unfortunately, acquiring a pitcher like Syndergaard won’t be cheap, as the Mets are probably not too eager to move him, on top of the fact that if he does become available, nearly every team in the postseason hunt will be looking to acquire him. So, what would it take to land this stud pitcher? Let’s find out. First, we will start by looking at what the Twins would be acquiring if they were to trade for Noah Syndergaard. At 26 years of age, Syndergaard is just now entering the prime of his career and would make a lot of sense to add in with this young Twins core. Syndergaard is currently making $6,000,000 in his second year of arbitration, but since he entered his first year of arbitration as a Super 2, Syndergaard won’t become a free agent until after the 2021 season, which gives the Twins 2 and 1/2 season of team control. This could factor in huge for the Twins this offseason, as the only two pitchers in the current rotation they have coming back next year are Jose Berrios and Martin Perez (if they pick up Perez’s $7,500,000 team option). After making his MLB debut in 2015, Noah Syndergaard quickly established himself as one of the premier starting pitchers in the game. His 100 MPH fastball electrified fans, and his result were nothing short of stellar. However, Syndergaard suffered a setback in 2017 when he torn his right latissimus muscle just a month into the season, causing him to be out for nearly five months. Syndergaard bounced back well from his injury in 2018, posting a 3.03 ERA (2.80 FIP) in 154 and 1/3 innings. 2019 hasn’t quite been the same story for Syndergaard, as he has a 4.55 ERA (3.62 FIP) in 95 innings. The worrisome part for Syndergaard is his strikeout rate has dipped slightly since the injury. Prior to the injury, Syndergaard had a 28.4% strikeout rate (which ranked sixth among starting pitchers with at least 200 IP over that timeframe). Since the injury, however, Syndergaard has a strikeout rate of 23.9% (which ranks 42nd among starting pitchers with at least 200 IP over that timeframe). Syndergaard’s fastball velocity has dipped a tick too, though it still remains among the fastest in baseball. In 2016 and 2017, Syndergaard averaged 98.6 MPH on his fastball. In the two years since, Syndergaard's fastball has averaged 97.6 MPH. Additionally, Syndergaard has been on the IL since June 15th with a hamstring strain but is expected to be back and in the starting rotation on Sunday. Trade Comparisons A good place to start to figure out what it might cost to acquire Noah Syndergaard is by looking at some other trades for big-name starting pitchers with multiple years of control over recent years. We can start by looking at the Chris Archer trade. As many of you remember, the Twins were looking to trade for Archer before the 2018 season, yet luckily for them they didn’t because the Pittsburgh Pirates gave up an arm and a leg to get him. The headliners they sent back to the Tampa Bay Rays were Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows, both of whom were elite prospects who had just graduated to the MLB ranks. They also included right-hander Shane Baz, who at the time was the 95th ranked prospect in baseball, per MLB.com. At the time everyone said the Pirates gave up way too much for Archer, and in the year since looks like it might be one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history. I would be shocked if the Mets get anywhere close to that good of an offer for Syndergaard. Another trade in recent years to compare to is the Jose Quintana trade in 2017. At the time, Quintana was under contract for 3 1/2 more years at a very team friendly rate. To acquire Quintana from the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Cubs gave up each of their top two prospects: Eloy Jimenez, who at the time was a top-10 prospect in baseball, along with Dylan Cease, who is one now of the top ranked prospects in baseball, and knocking on the MLB door. The Cubs also gave up two lower-tier prospects. At the times of their deals, both Archer and Quintana were similar pitchers in skill level to where Noah Syndergaard is now: not quite dominant aces, but good enough to be the number one starter on a team lacking an ace. Archer and Quintana both also had an additional year of control than Syndergaard would come with, and neither had quite the injury concerns that Syndergaard has. A couple other deals you can look at recently are the trades involving Chris Sale and Gerrit Cole. Though, it’s a little hard to compare a trade for Syndergaard with the Chris Sale trade since Syndergaard isn’t quite the same level pitcher Sale was at the time of that trade. The Gerrit Cole trade is also a little difficult to compare to, as the Astros traded away a bunch of players who were already MLB ready with relatively low upside. As we stand, it is hard to imaging the Twins trading away many MLB ready players with years of team control, unless they look to move someone like Luis Arraez, though I would be surprised if the Twins are at all interested in moving Arraez at this point. Building a Package If the Twins want to build a package to acquire Noah Syndergaard, it will almost certainly have to include either Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff. They could potentially try to build a package around Brusdar Graterol, but with him being shelved for over a month now with a shoulder injury, I can’t see the Mets willing to give up their prized pitcher for another pitcher with some shoulder issues. That being said, I’m sure many of you would like to see what a package not involving Lewis or Kirilloff would look like, so I will put one together for argument's sake. Disclaimer: I am not necessarily saying I would be willing to offer these deals for Syndergaard, this is simply an exercise examine what it might take to acquire Syndergaard. Let’s start by looking at a deal around former first overall draft pick Royce Lewis. There was a point earlier this year where Lewis was in the conversation for top prospect in baseball after players like Vlad Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and the previously mentioned Eloy Jimenez graduated from the prospect rankings. However, a slow start to the season has brought Lewis’s value down a tick. For many Twins fans, a straight up trade Lewis for Syndergaard might be enough (or even too much), but I am here to tell you, that will not be the case. The Mets will most likely require at least one or two mid-to-lower level prospects in addition to Lewis to cover the risk in case he becomes a bust. Offer: Royce Lewis, Jorge Alcala & Chris Williams If the Twins are unwilling to part ways with Royce Lewis, they next place the Mets will turn to is Alex Kirilloff. If a deal were to get done, I see this as the most likely scenario. Kirilloff is without question the best hitting prospect in the Twins system and is arguably the best hitting prospect in the minor leagues right now period. He has had a slow start to 2019, but his bat should still be considered to be plus-plus. Where Kirilloff loses some value is on the defensive side of the ball. It is starting to look more and more that Kiriloff is destined to be either a slightly below-average corner outfielder, or a fulltime first-baseman. If the Twins deal for Syndergaard were to revolve around Kiriloff, they will most likely have to include another top tier prospect in order to get the deal done. Offer: Alex Kirilloff, Jordan Balazovic & Nick Gordon As I mentioned previously, it is unlikely that the Twins get a deal done without trading away either Lewis or Kirilloff, but If the Twins are dead set on not trading away either of those two, but still want to pursue a deal for Syndergaard, it is going to take a large haul of prospects. Fortunately for the Twins, they have a few other top tier prospects in their system, including three players in Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach and Jordan Balazovic who are all currently ranked as Top 100 Prospects by both Baseball America and MLB.com. Asking the Twins to give up all three of these players will be a tall task, but that might be just what it takes if they want to pry Noah Syndergaard away from the Mets, who will without question be receiving offers from other teams that include a prospect or two that are more revered than any of these three. Offer: Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach, Jordan Balazovic & Ben Rortvedt All three of these offers seem like they would be giving up a lot of prospect capital, but that is the nature of trading for All-Star starting pitchers with multiple years of team control. If you want to acquire them, it is going to cost you a lot. Let us know in the comments below what you think. Would you be willing to trade for Noah Syndergaard, and if so, what kind of package would you put together to trade for him? Today on Twins Daily MIN 10, CHW 3: Twins Hit 5 Homers, Kepler Reaches New Career High Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Sergio Romo, RHP, Marlins Adrianza Returns, Hopes To Remain Hot With Bat Click here to view the article
  23. In case you haven’t been paying attention the Minnesota Twins are the best team in the American League. They trail only the Los Angeles Dodgers' record across all of baseball, and they’ve run way out in front of the Cleveland Indians for the AL Central Division lead. While all of those things are factual, the club still has some glaring warts to be addressed. Fortunately for the front office, timing for all things going forward has never been better.Thus far Derek Falvey has cycled through more than a handful of minor league relief options while trying to sort out Rocco Baldelli’s bullpen. A few wild cards were drawn to start the year, and while some have stuck, others have flopped. The lineup is a monster from top to bottom, so it remains on the mound that this team can get better. With roughly a month to the trade deadline, not only is the belief that they will, but with no hesitations they absolutely should. Timing Coming into 2019 the AL Central was never going to be more winnable for the Twins than it is right now. Cleveland had clearly peaked, and without having an influx of talent, their only opportunity was to go backwards. Only the White Sox are trending toward a mature state in their rebuild, and even they are going to experience growing pains over the next year or so. Taking advantage of virtually a free pass to the postseason was an absolute must as the Twins' window opened. Performance As noted above, Baldelli’s lineup is arguably the best in baseball. Without being made up of names like Judge and Stanton, a collection of homegrown talent and scrap heap pickups have come together in an effort to pound a baseball more juiced than it has ever been. Wes Johnson and the Twins entire infrastructure on the pitching side of the game has allowed the staff to take steps forward, and though they may not receive the same praise, the group has certainly been among the game’s best. Deficiency Because of how good Minnesota has been there’s also not a significant amount of need to take the club to the next level. While the bullpen certainly needs to be addressed and the rotation could use a boost, we aren’t talking about an overhaul here. Minnesota’s active roster is legitimately a few players away from being a sustainable and serious threat in October. This isn’t the NBA where one guy can transform a team, but the Twins are so close that one or two additions can be what puts them over the top. Landscape Never in the history of major league baseball have fewer organizations been trying at any giving time. There’s a handful of clubs tanking in an effort to supplement their lagging systems and move out of the dreaded middle ground. Because of this reality it’s a wonderful time to be a buyer. Clubs are parting with big league assets and there are only so many places for those players to land. In a trade market that will be influenced by an earlier and single transaction date, competing offers aren’t solely in the form of dollars as is the case in the offseason. Capital If there’s one thing Minnesota fans consistently ride the organization for, it is its payroll. Without touching on that subject, the only other capital in the game is in the form of players. Given the front office’s decision to hold onto dollars this winter, and the impending 40-man crunch coming up, there’s an abundance of prospect capital to be doled out. Not only are the Twins loaded at the top with some of the game’s best prospects, but the system's depth is also impressive and backs their organizational prospect ranking. By no means should the suggestion be that Minnesota attempt to throw away their long-term window for one run at the World Series. That said the opportunity to make bold acquisitions that will impact this team and those of the future lies ahead. The cost will be substantial, but the reward is also tangible through these same means. I don’t know if Minnesota will ever be in position to sign a free agent like Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but right now they’re certainly positioned to trade for one. As the organization bides its time and collects more depth in the form of big league vets such as Cody Allen and Carlos Torres, the time to pounce looms large. It’s a bonus if any of those guys work out to be serviceable arms down the stretch. In the month ahead engaging teams on the outs and swapping future assets for current ones is where Falvey finds himself, and given all of the factors, it should be the most comfortable storm he’s ever stood in. Click here to view the article
  24. Thus far Derek Falvey has cycled through more than a handful of minor league relief options while trying to sort out Rocco Baldelli’s bullpen. A few wild cards were drawn to start the year, and while some have stuck, others have flopped. The lineup is a monster from top to bottom, so it remains on the mound that this team can get better. With roughly a month to the trade deadline, not only is the belief that they will, but with no hesitations they absolutely should. Timing Coming into 2019 the AL Central was never going to be more winnable for the Twins than it is right now. Cleveland had clearly peaked, and without having an influx of talent, their only opportunity was to go backwards. Only the White Sox are trending toward a mature state in their rebuild, and even they are going to experience growing pains over the next year or so. Taking advantage of virtually a free pass to the postseason was an absolute must as the Twins' window opened. Performance As noted above, Baldelli’s lineup is arguably the best in baseball. Without being made up of names like Judge and Stanton, a collection of homegrown talent and scrap heap pickups have come together in an effort to pound a baseball more juiced than it has ever been. Wes Johnson and the Twins entire infrastructure on the pitching side of the game has allowed the staff to take steps forward, and though they may not receive the same praise, the group has certainly been among the game’s best. Deficiency Because of how good Minnesota has been there’s also not a significant amount of need to take the club to the next level. While the bullpen certainly needs to be addressed and the rotation could use a boost, we aren’t talking about an overhaul here. Minnesota’s active roster is legitimately a few players away from being a sustainable and serious threat in October. This isn’t the NBA where one guy can transform a team, but the Twins are so close that one or two additions can be what puts them over the top. Landscape Never in the history of major league baseball have fewer organizations been trying at any giving time. There’s a handful of clubs tanking in an effort to supplement their lagging systems and move out of the dreaded middle ground. Because of this reality it’s a wonderful time to be a buyer. Clubs are parting with big league assets and there are only so many places for those players to land. In a trade market that will be influenced by an earlier and single transaction date, competing offers aren’t solely in the form of dollars as is the case in the offseason. Capital If there’s one thing Minnesota fans consistently ride the organization for, it is its payroll. Without touching on that subject, the only other capital in the game is in the form of players. Given the front office’s decision to hold onto dollars this winter, and the impending 40-man crunch coming up, there’s an abundance of prospect capital to be doled out. Not only are the Twins loaded at the top with some of the game’s best prospects, but the system's depth is also impressive and backs their organizational prospect ranking. By no means should the suggestion be that Minnesota attempt to throw away their long-term window for one run at the World Series. That said the opportunity to make bold acquisitions that will impact this team and those of the future lies ahead. The cost will be substantial, but the reward is also tangible through these same means. I don’t know if Minnesota will ever be in position to sign a free agent like Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but right now they’re certainly positioned to trade for one. As the organization bides its time and collects more depth in the form of big league vets such as Cody Allen and Carlos Torres, the time to pounce looms large. It’s a bonus if any of those guys work out to be serviceable arms down the stretch. In the month ahead engaging teams on the outs and swapping future assets for current ones is where Falvey finds himself, and given all of the factors, it should be the most comfortable storm he’s ever stood in.
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