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  1. After unloading Jose Berrios at the trade deadline, watching Kenta Maeda go under the knife, and seeing Michael Pineda hit free agency, the Twins starting rotation is bare. Who is the top choice to bolster it? As of right now you’d have to bank on either Bailey Ober or Joe Ryan being the Opening Day starter in 2022 for Rocco Baldelli. Both showed well in their rookie seasons, but if that’s the top of the rotation, there’s cause for concern in the year ahead. Minnesota failed tremendously on the mound, and depth was exposed quickly as both J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker flopped. For the Twins to make a turnaround in the year ahead, the focus must be on a resurgence from the bump. Similarly to the 2021 season, the hope is that Minnesota will see graduations from the farm. Top arms like Jordan Balazovic, Jhoan Duran, and Matt Canterino all posted mixed results with injuries sprinkled in. Another year back from the cancelled 2020 season, and the hope would be that a clean bill of health is parlayed into peak effectiveness. Before banking on the youth though, the Twins need to give Wes Johnson some workable ammunition for a group that is essentially bare. The free agent crop this offseason is a who’s who of big names, and while not all may make it to the open market, there should be one or two that fit to Minnesota’s liking. Here’s how I’d categorize the options: The Injured - Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander There’s a known commodity and a more unknown question here. Kershaw represents the unknown as he’s dealing with an elbow injury that cost him multiple months this season. He is avoiding surgery for the time being but could be ticketed for a much longer time on the shelf if he goes under the knife. The career-Dodger will be 34 next season but has a ton of miles on his arm. Production has never been the issue and if he can avoid back and elbow concerns for the next year or so, there’s reason to like him on a short term deal. On the flip side you’ve got a guy in Verlander who will be returning from Tommy John surgery having last pitched in 2020. He’ll be 39 next season and has thrown just six innings since 2019. There’s hardly been a time in which you’ve questioned his ability though, and a clean elbow could have him looking like an appetizing option on a one-year deal. The Astros will likely give him a qualifying offer should that still exist, but Verlander definitely has familiarity with the AL Central. The Aging - Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke Having just turned 37, that’s about the only reason to define Scherzer as aging. He’s still every bit the dominant pitcher he has been over the course of his career, and he’s attempting to carry a Dodgers staff through the Postseason. Of the options available, I think he’s probably the most likely to be retained by the current team, and while I wouldn’t expect Los Angeles to give him a long extension, they certainly have the money to persuade him to stay. With the Astros having rotational issues this Postseason it’s clear they have work to do in that department. I’m not sure they hang onto a guy in Greinke that has hit somewhat of a decline. His 4.16 ERA was the highest mark since 2016 and he’s clearly struggled down the stretch. If another team believes they can work through the current ineffectiveness, this is probably the best bet for a good starter on a one-year deal. He seems like a fit for Minnesota but comes with plenty of uncertainties. The Youth - Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman If you want to secure a long-term pact with a rotation anchor this is where you’re turning. Starting with Stroman, you’ve got a guy in the midst of his prime and coming off a very strong season. Not a big strikeout guy, Stroman needs to be backed by a good infield as he’s a ground ball maestro. Someone that appears to be a very good leader and clubhouse presence, this is a personality that could mesh well with the Twins plans for quite some time. The breakout finally happened for Gausman, and it came in a big way. With the Giants being baseball’s best team, the 30-year-old posted a career best 2.81 ERA. He racks up strikeouts, limits walks, and looks every bit the ace you’d hope for. 2020 is where things seemed to click for the former Orioles pitcher, so you’ll need to make sure there’s a belief in the results going forward, but nothing he’s put up recently is anything an organization would want to avoid. A positive this winter is that pitching options are plentiful. Those above just barely scratch the surface considering names like Syndergaard, Bundy, and even Pineda are all available. The Twins need to find a path forward, and for a transitional time it might make sense to focus on short term deals. There should be any number of options that are within their wheelhouse, and while the big names are there as always, this might be an opportunity to land the right fit without breaking the bank. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  2. The universe is littered with white dwarfs, the remnants of stars similar to that of our sun. These stars burned steadily for eons, fusing hydrogen into helium and expelling unmeasurable amounts of heat and light into the vacuum of space. However, over time, the stars swelled to many times their original size as their reservoir of hydrogen atoms ran dry. They eventually expelled their out layers of plasma, relatively quickly, on a universal scale, becoming but a husk of their former selves. Well, perhaps such is also the case with Zack Greinke. Zack Greinke — a six-time All-Star and the 2009 AL Cy Young recipient — will be among the marquee names in free agency following the conclusion of the World Series, along with the likes of Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, and Max Scherzer. However, there’s a catch: the soon-to-be 38-year-old is coming off arguably the worst season of his illustrious 18-year career. Greinke has a deep repertoire of pitches, though he primarily relies on a four-pitch mix consisting of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. Statistically speaking, the changeup — his second-most utilized in each of the past four seasons — is his best offering as opposing hitters have mustered a batting average above .200 against it only once since 2018 (.205 this past summer). His changeup sits in the mid-80s and features devastating tailing action against left-handed batters with an average spin rate of 1,594 RPM. Opponents have consistently whiffed at approximately 30% of Greinke’s changeups over the years. On the opposite end of the spectrum sits his four-seam fastball. Over the past two seasons — in which he has struck out 187 batters in 238 innings to go along with an ERA over 4.00 — Greinke’s fastball has been lit up by opposing batters to the tune of a .280 batting average, a slugging percentage north of .500, and 17 home runs. This past season, Greinke’s “fast” ball sat 89 mph with an average location of middle-middle. Additionally, the effectiveness of his curveball and slider has dropped off significantly over the past two seasons, which, when combined with his lackluster fastball, ultimately led Greinke to post a scanty 17.2% strikeout rate in 2021, his worst since 2005 (13.8%). Greinke’s strikeout rate was only one of the lackluster stats the former ace put up this past summer: a 98 ERA- (worst since 2016); 3.33 K%-BB% (worst since 2016); 4.16 ERA (worst since (2016); 171 innings pitched (worst since 2016); 4.71 FIP (worst since 2006); 17.4% home run per fly ball ratio (worst of his career). In short, Greinke’s performance over the last two seasons reinforces the notion that he is no longer ZACK GREINKE and is now more akin to a third or even fourth starter. (His numbers aren’t all that dissimilar to that of Michael Pineda.) The Minnesota Twins have only two starting rotation spots — Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan — locked in for the 2022 season and will undoubtedly be active in the starting pitcher market, both in free agency and via trades. However, signing Greinke, even on a one-year deal, makes little sense. His age and recent performance suggest that a continued downward trend should be expected next summer, and he’ll likely command more money than a pitcher of equal or greater talent, such as Pineda. The Twins would be wise to look elsewhere in search of a top of the rotation starter. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here View full article
  3. Zack Greinke — a six-time All-Star and the 2009 AL Cy Young recipient — will be among the marquee names in free agency following the conclusion of the World Series, along with the likes of Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, and Max Scherzer. However, there’s a catch: the soon-to-be 38-year-old is coming off arguably the worst season of his illustrious 18-year career. Greinke has a deep repertoire of pitches, though he primarily relies on a four-pitch mix consisting of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. Statistically speaking, the changeup — his second-most utilized in each of the past four seasons — is his best offering as opposing hitters have mustered a batting average above .200 against it only once since 2018 (.205 this past summer). His changeup sits in the mid-80s and features devastating tailing action against left-handed batters with an average spin rate of 1,594 RPM. Opponents have consistently whiffed at approximately 30% of Greinke’s changeups over the years. On the opposite end of the spectrum sits his four-seam fastball. Over the past two seasons — in which he has struck out 187 batters in 238 innings to go along with an ERA over 4.00 — Greinke’s fastball has been lit up by opposing batters to the tune of a .280 batting average, a slugging percentage north of .500, and 17 home runs. This past season, Greinke’s “fast” ball sat 89 mph with an average location of middle-middle. Additionally, the effectiveness of his curveball and slider has dropped off significantly over the past two seasons, which, when combined with his lackluster fastball, ultimately led Greinke to post a scanty 17.2% strikeout rate in 2021, his worst since 2005 (13.8%). Greinke’s strikeout rate was only one of the lackluster stats the former ace put up this past summer: a 98 ERA- (worst since 2016); 3.33 K%-BB% (worst since 2016); 4.16 ERA (worst since (2016); 171 innings pitched (worst since 2016); 4.71 FIP (worst since 2006); 17.4% home run per fly ball ratio (worst of his career). In short, Greinke’s performance over the last two seasons reinforces the notion that he is no longer ZACK GREINKE and is now more akin to a third or even fourth starter. (His numbers aren’t all that dissimilar to that of Michael Pineda.) The Minnesota Twins have only two starting rotation spots — Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan — locked in for the 2022 season and will undoubtedly be active in the starting pitcher market, both in free agency and via trades. However, signing Greinke, even on a one-year deal, makes little sense. His age and recent performance suggest that a continued downward trend should be expected next summer, and he’ll likely command more money than a pitcher of equal or greater talent, such as Pineda. The Twins would be wise to look elsewhere in search of a top of the rotation starter. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here
  4. The Twins need to add starting pitching this offseason. They also have needs at shortstop and in relief. How might they attack the free agent SP market? Here are three names to watch out for. ‘We need pitching’. Boy is that a tired and trite maxim for the Minnesota Twins. It remains true as the teams’ 2020 off-season pitching additions largely capitulated and underperformed. Matt Shoemaker, J.A. Happ, Alex Colome, all contributed significantly in digging the Twins into the inextricable hole which prevented a third straight AL Central title. However poorly 2020s additions played out, the front office will not and should not be shy about dipping into the free-agent market this off-season. It’s a necessity. The Twins need a one-year bridge at shortstop at the very least, a few relievers, and likely, three rotation-worthy starting pitchers. While the Twins will inevitably need to sign a free-agent starting pitcher, there are some assumptions I’m choosing to make, for the sake of this piece, before examining viable options. The Twins will not sign a top-tier free-agent starting pitcher. With so many needs, including SS and RP, the Twins will need to spread payroll around, they are highly unlikely to sign a pitcher from the top few tiers of free agents (Scherzer, Gausman, Stroman, etc.) I’d love to be wrong about that, but let’s be realistic. I think it’s most likely the Twins acquire their most impactful 2022 starting pitcher via trade. Again, I may be proven wrong here, but this makes too much sense. The Twins have a strong and deep farm system. In recent years, they have made strong offers to upper-tier free-agent starters (Darvish), with little joy. Trade is how they can acquire the greatest upside. I believe the Twins will re-sign Pineda to an owner-friendly deal, which will cover approximately 160 innings in 2022. I’m therefore excluding Pineda from consideration in this article. Reinforcements are close. The Twins now have a stable of intriguing arms in the high minors. It’s likely that a few can contribute to the starting rotation in 2022, much as Bailey Ober did in 2021. It seems likely then, that the Twins will target starting pitchers who have a track record of solid reliability while young arms are being polished in Wichita and St. Paul. There seems to be a sweet spot of free agents for the Twins to target. Starters who averaged between 2.0-3.5 fWAR in 2020 and fall into the category of veterans who might sign short-term deals or close to excellent starting pitchers who the organization believes they can tweak to take to the next level. Let’s take a look at some candidates. Zack Greinke Nick Nelson has suggested Greinke as a good fit for the Twins, and given the state of their rotation, I agree. Greinke showed one alarming sign of decline last year, a K/9 which dropped from 9.00 to 6.32, precipitous for sure. This was primarily due to a jump on HR/FB. Greinke’s other metrics remained consistent (excellent control, his fastball velocity actually increased). Greinke is going to give someone 175 innings of pitching, with an ERA in the low 4.00s and between 1.2-2.5 fWAR. If the price is right, he could be a good fit. Anthony DeSclafani Twins fans’ most recent memory of DeSclafani may be struggling against a tremendous Dodgers lineup in Game 4 of the NLDS. If you remove the shortened 2020 season (which was a poor one for DeSclafani), he’s been an impressive starter in recent years. Excluding 2020, DeSclafani has averaged 2.1 fWAR per season and a 3.89 xERA. DeSclafani doesn’t walk many (6.2% in 2021) and has a respectable 22.5% K% while averaging 95 mph with his fastball. He’s exactly the kind of reliable candidate I’d expect the Twins to target in free agency this offseason. Jon Gray Gray is a name that Twins fans often linked to the team as a possible trade target. While perhaps never ascending to the height that some expected of the number three overall pick, Gray has been an effective, consistent starting pitcher for several years. Excluding the shortened 2020 season, Gray has averaged 2.7 fWAR per season and a 3.71 xFIP over his last four seasons. In that span, he’s averaged around 150 innings pitched, 9.29 K/9, and has managed to pitch more effectively at home at Coors Field than on the road. Gray is another reliable, effective option for the Twins, who, like DeSclafani, can offer strong innings to the Twins as they continue to develop their impressive array of minor league arm talent. Which of these candidates do you like or not like for the Twins rotation? Which other free-agent starting pitchers would you like to see the Twins target? View full article
  5. ‘We need pitching’. Boy is that a tired and trite maxim for the Minnesota Twins. It remains true as the teams’ 2020 off-season pitching additions largely capitulated and underperformed. Matt Shoemaker, J.A. Happ, Alex Colome, all contributed significantly in digging the Twins into the inextricable hole which prevented a third straight AL Central title. However poorly 2020s additions played out, the front office will not and should not be shy about dipping into the free-agent market this off-season. It’s a necessity. The Twins need a one-year bridge at shortstop at the very least, a few relievers, and likely, three rotation-worthy starting pitchers. While the Twins will inevitably need to sign a free-agent starting pitcher, there are some assumptions I’m choosing to make, for the sake of this piece, before examining viable options. The Twins will not sign a top-tier free-agent starting pitcher. With so many needs, including SS and RP, the Twins will need to spread payroll around, they are highly unlikely to sign a pitcher from the top few tiers of free agents (Scherzer, Gausman, Stroman, etc.) I’d love to be wrong about that, but let’s be realistic. I think it’s most likely the Twins acquire their most impactful 2022 starting pitcher via trade. Again, I may be proven wrong here, but this makes too much sense. The Twins have a strong and deep farm system. In recent years, they have made strong offers to upper-tier free-agent starters (Darvish), with little joy. Trade is how they can acquire the greatest upside. I believe the Twins will re-sign Pineda to an owner-friendly deal, which will cover approximately 160 innings in 2022. I’m therefore excluding Pineda from consideration in this article. Reinforcements are close. The Twins now have a stable of intriguing arms in the high minors. It’s likely that a few can contribute to the starting rotation in 2022, much as Bailey Ober did in 2021. It seems likely then, that the Twins will target starting pitchers who have a track record of solid reliability while young arms are being polished in Wichita and St. Paul. There seems to be a sweet spot of free agents for the Twins to target. Starters who averaged between 2.0-3.5 fWAR in 2020 and fall into the category of veterans who might sign short-term deals or close to excellent starting pitchers who the organization believes they can tweak to take to the next level. Let’s take a look at some candidates. Zack Greinke Nick Nelson has suggested Greinke as a good fit for the Twins, and given the state of their rotation, I agree. Greinke showed one alarming sign of decline last year, a K/9 which dropped from 9.00 to 6.32, precipitous for sure. This was primarily due to a jump on HR/FB. Greinke’s other metrics remained consistent (excellent control, his fastball velocity actually increased). Greinke is going to give someone 175 innings of pitching, with an ERA in the low 4.00s and between 1.2-2.5 fWAR. If the price is right, he could be a good fit. Anthony DeSclafani Twins fans’ most recent memory of DeSclafani may be struggling against a tremendous Dodgers lineup in Game 4 of the NLDS. If you remove the shortened 2020 season (which was a poor one for DeSclafani), he’s been an impressive starter in recent years. Excluding 2020, DeSclafani has averaged 2.1 fWAR per season and a 3.89 xERA. DeSclafani doesn’t walk many (6.2% in 2021) and has a respectable 22.5% K% while averaging 95 mph with his fastball. He’s exactly the kind of reliable candidate I’d expect the Twins to target in free agency this offseason. Jon Gray Gray is a name that Twins fans often linked to the team as a possible trade target. While perhaps never ascending to the height that some expected of the number three overall pick, Gray has been an effective, consistent starting pitcher for several years. Excluding the shortened 2020 season, Gray has averaged 2.7 fWAR per season and a 3.71 xFIP over his last four seasons. In that span, he’s averaged around 150 innings pitched, 9.29 K/9, and has managed to pitch more effectively at home at Coors Field than on the road. Gray is another reliable, effective option for the Twins, who, like DeSclafani, can offer strong innings to the Twins as they continue to develop their impressive array of minor league arm talent. Which of these candidates do you like or not like for the Twins rotation? Which other free-agent starting pitchers would you like to see the Twins target?
  6. Here is every move made during this deadline season. It includes prospect rankings per MLB Pipeline. If they weren’t on the top 30 for a team then they are listed as NR (not ranked). 7/27 RP Jake Diekman acquired by Oakland Athletics from Kansas City Royals for OF Dairon Blanco (NR), RHP Ismael Aquino (NR) RP Sergio Romo, SP Chris Vallimont (NR) and PTBNL acquired by the Minnesota Twins from Miami Marlins for 1B Lewin Diaz (#12) 7/28 IF Eric Sogard acquired by Tampa Bay Rays from Toronto Blue Jays for two PTBNL SP Marcus Stroman acquired by the New York Mets from Toronto Blue Jays for LHP Anthony Kay (#5) and RHP Simeon Woods (#7) 7/29 SP Jordan Lyles acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers from Pittsburg Pirates for RHP Cody Ponce (NR) SP Jason Vargas acquired by Philadelphia Phillies from the New York Mets for catcher Austin Bossart (NR) 7/30 RP David Phelps acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Thomas Hatch (NR) RP Chris Martin acquired by the Atlanta Braves from the Texas Rangers for LHP Kolby Allard (#16) Three team trade: Indians acquire Franmil Reyes, Yasiel Puig, Logan Allen (#7), Scott Moss (#12), and Victor Nova (NR). Reds acquire Trevor Bauer. Padres acquire Taylor Trammell (#1). 7/31 Catcher Martin Maldonado acquired by the Houston Astros from the Chicago Cubs for IF Tony Kemp. 1B Jesus Aguilar acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays from the Milwaukee Brewers for RHP Jacob Faria. RP Daniel Hudson acquired by the Washington Nationals from the Toronto Blue Jays for prospect Kyle Johnston. SP/RP Drew Pomeranz acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers from the San Francisco Giants for top prospect Mauricio Dubon (#3). SP Tanner Roark acquired by the Oakland Athletics from the Cincinnati Reds for prospect Jameson Hannah (#8). RP Hunter Strickland and RP Roenis Elias acquired by the Washington Nationals from the Seattle Mariners for prospects Elvis Alvarado (NR), Taylor Guilbeau (#15), and Aaron Fletcher (#21) SP Zac Gallen (#5) acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks (#1) from the Miami Marlins for SS prospect Jazz Chisolm OF Corey Dickerson acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Pittsburgh Pirates for international signing money and a PTBNL RP Shane Greene acquired by the Atlanta Braves from the Detroit Tigers for prospects LHP Joey Wentz (#7) and OF Travis Demeritte (NR) IF Jedd Gyorko acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers from the St. Louis Cardinals for a PTBNL RP Joe Biagini and SP Aaron Sanchez acquired by the Houston Astros from the Toronto Blue Jays for Derek Fisher RP Nick Anderson and SP/RP Trevor Richards acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays from the Miami Marlins for OF Jesus Sanchez (#4) and RP Ryne Stanek OF Nicholas Castellanos acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Detroit Tigers for prospects RHP Alex Lange (#23) and RHP Paul Richtan (NR) SP Mike Leake acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the Seattle Mariners for IF Jose Caballero (NR) SP Zack Greinke acquired by the Houston Astros from the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects Seth Beer (#3), Corbin Martin (#5), J.B. Bukauskas (#4) and Josh Rojas (NR) RP Sam Dyson acquired by the Minnesota Twins for prospects OF Jaylin Davis (NR), SP Kai-Wei Teng (NR) and Prelander Berroa (NR) RP Carl Edwards Jr. acquired by the San Diego Padres from the Chicago Cubs for LHP Brad Wieck IF Scooter Gennett acquired by the San Francisco Giants from the Cincinnati Reds for a PTBNL Winners: Indians, Astros, Nationals, Braves, Athletics Losers: Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Reds Most confusing: Giants, Mets What did you think about what the Twins did? Go vent in the comments. Let it all out!
  7. Twins fans are probably quite familiar with Zack Greinke, who started his illustrious career with the Kansas City Royals. If you rewind the clock back a decade, Greinke was in the middle of a Cy Young season at the same time Joe Mauer seemed to find his home run stroke on his way to the AL MVP. After the 2010 season, the Royals traded Greinke away to the Milwaukee Brewers for a massive haul that included Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jake Odorizzi. After a solid season and a half for the Brewers, Greinke was again traded, this time to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Jean Segura. Once the 2012 season had ended, Greinke inked a six-year $147 million contract to move across town to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After three great seasons with the Dodgers, where Greinke posted a 2.30 ERA over 602 and 2/3 innings, including a 1.62 ERA in 2015, Greinke was able to opt out of his contract, and in turn signed a six-year $206 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite this large contract, it is hard to say Greinke hasn’t been worth it as he has a 3.40 ERA in 709 and 2/3 innings during the first three and a half years of his deal. Despite being at age 36, Greinke is still one of the premier starting pitchers in the game today. Greinke isn’t a pitcher that relies on unhittable stuff to get hitters out, instead he is an excellent pure pitcher, which has helped him stay successful even this late into his career. Greinke uses an effective six-pitch mix, including an Eephus Curveball that sits in the low 60’s, which he mixes in from time to time to keep opposing hitters off balance. Another thing that Greinke has is excellent command. Among the 70 qualified starting pitchers this year, Greinke’s 3.3 percent walk rate ranks second, behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu. Greinke also racks up his fare share of strikeouts. So far in 2019, Greinke has a 23.6 percent strikeout rate, which is slightly above average for an MLB starter this day in age, and inn comparison to other Minnesota Twins starters, Greinke’s strikeout rate would be the second highest, behind only Jake Odorizzi. All of this has helped Greinke put up a 2.87 ERA (3.15 FIP) in 141 innings pitched this season. From all this, it is clear that Greinke would drastically improve the Twins rotation, as he could slide right in with Jose Berrios to give them a dynamic 1-2 punch. Leading up to the trade deadline, the Twins front office has made it very clear that they are not interested jeopardizing their future by trading away too much draft capital. While no one prospect is off the table, it would be desired to not give up the likes of Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff. Additionally, Derek Falvey has been quoted saying owner Jim Pohlad is willing to spend “what we need” to improve the team. With the increase in both attendance and TV ratings that the Twins have had as a result of their success this season, it is reasonable to assume that even the stingy Pohlads would be willing to spend some more money. While the Twins have built up quite the reputation for not wanting to spend under this ownership regime, they did show back in 2009 that they were will to spend once the they felt the team was good, as evidence of the 150 percent increase in payroll after the 2009 season. While most of it came from signing Mauer to his eight-year deal, they still opened up the checkbook for him. Taking on Greinke’s contract would be a move much in the same vein. So, why would the Twins be interested in taking on Zack Greinke’s contract that is due to pay him $32 million over each of the next two seasons? The main reason would be the relatively small amount of prospect capital the Twins would need to give up to acquire Greinke. While other starting pitchers with multiple years of team control, like Marcus Stroman or Noah Syndergaard, would cost a lot in terms of prospects, Greinke wouldn’t because of the amount of money he is owed. Just look at the New York Yankees trade for Gincarlo Stanton couple years ago as an example for this. Despite the fact that Stanton was coming off an MVP season, the best prospect the Yankees needed to give up was Jorge Guzman, who at the time was their ninth ranked prospect (per MLB Pipeline), thanks to the massive amount of money remaining on his deal. Another factor to keep in mind is none of the Twins young core players are due to become free agents until after Greinke’s contact expires, so it wouldn’t hinder their ability to resign them if that is what they would like to do. Additionally, the Twins estimated payrolls for 2020 and 2021 currently sit at just $97 million and $88 million respectively, and that’s if the Twins pick up their team options on both Nelson Cruz and Martin Perez. So, adding on the $32 million from Greinke only puts the Twins roughly where they are right now going into 2020. Additionally, as part of the trade negotiations, the Twins could bargain the Diamondbacks into picking up at least a portion of Greinke’s remaining contract. How much, will depend on what the Twins are willing to give up prospect wise, but it still shouldn’t require much to get the Diamondback to do so. If the Twins could get the Diamondbacks to eat at least a third of Greinke’s remaining salary, without having to give up a big trade package, this could be just the kind of deal the Twins are looking for, based on everything the front office has said so far. What are your thoughts? Would you be interested in a trade for Zack Greinke to bolster the Twins rotation, or would you prefer the Twins keep their sights set on other pitching targets before the trade deadline?
  8. Over the next couple of weeks, Twins fans are going to be checking their phones and waiting for a notification. Did the club acquire a front-line starting pitcher? Could a bullpen arm or two be on the way to the Twin Cities? Even with one of baseball’s best records, Minnesota’s roster has some holes. When you look at your phone on July 31, what would be the perfect trade deadline scenario?Deadline Blueprint With one of the baseball’s best offenses, it makes sense for the Twins to focus on adding pitching before the deadline. Minnesota’s most glaring need is the bullpen. Taylor Rogers might be the AL’s most valuable reliever, but he won’t be able to pitch every postseason inning. Ryne Harper, Tyler Duffey and Zach Littell have been more than serviceable, but they might be better suited for pitching the middle innings. Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi have been leading the pitching staff, while the rest of the rotation has fit into their roles nicely. Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez have had some up and down moments throughout the year. Michael Pineda has provided an upgrade over recent fifth starters. Would you trust one of these pitchers to face the Yankees or Astros line-up in the ALDS? Ideally, the Twins would add two relief arms and a starter before the calendar turns to August. Bullpen In a perfect world, the Twins would be able to add both a right- and left-handed reliever to assist Rogers in his late inning role. There are some internal options for the Twins including two left-handed pitchers that are already on the 40-man roster. Both players would be unknowns in a relief role, so it makes sense to find someone with some experience if the price in prospects isn’t too steep. When it comes to left-handed relievers, Will Smith is the name on everyone’s list. He is currently being used as the Giants closer, but his cost might be slightly lower since he is a free agent after the season. John projected a package of Kohl Stewart and Edwar Colina for Smith. If that’s the deal on the table, I pull the trigger. For Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers, there have been few bright spots this year. However, Shane Greene has been one of the team’s best players. In 2018, he struggled in his first chance being the full-time closer. He posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP with a 65 to 19 strikeout to walk ratio. For how bad he was last season, he has done a complete 180 this year. He has a microscopic 1.06 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks. He’s also under team control through 2020. Starting Pitching There’s been lots of talk about Madison Bumgarner since he is a pending free agent and the Giants are likely to be sellers. One must wonder what version of Madison Bumgarner a club would receive in a trade. He’s been a World Series hero but that was half a decade ago. This season he has posted a 3.86 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP to go along with 121 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings. Another thing to consider is Bumgarner has a lot of miles on his arm with 1755 big league innings over the last 11 seasons. Toronto’s Marcus Stroman is another potential trade target and he is younger than Bumgarner. So far this season, he has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has 88 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings, so Bumgarner has him beat in that category. Stroman has another year of team control as the 2020 season will be his final year of arbitration eligibility. Both above-mentioned pitchers could help the club, but I’d rather the team target Arizona’s Zack Greinke, even if he has a no-trade clause that includes the Twins. There are a few reasons I’d rather the team go after a 35-year old pitcher with a big contract. First, it would likely take fewer high-ranking prospects to acquire Greinke because of his large contract. Greinke has been very good this year with a 2.95 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. Minnesota has the financial flexibility in the years ahead to absorb the Greinke contract. Plus, three of the Twins current starters will be free agents following the World Series. Greinke could fit in at the top of the rotation with Berrios for the next handful of seasons. If he isn’t still an ace in 2021, the Twins could still fit him in some part of their rotation. Greinke, Smith, and Greene put the Twins in better position to win October games. Who would be part of your perfect trade deadline for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Other Stories of Interest Internal Relief Help Could Provide Second Half Upgrade Arraez is What Minnesota Has Craved Twins Trade Rumors Roundup: Teams Pondering Selling Click here to view the article
  9. Deadline Blueprint With one of the baseball’s best offenses, it makes sense for the Twins to focus on adding pitching before the deadline. Minnesota’s most glaring need is the bullpen. Taylor Rogers might be the AL’s most valuable reliever, but he won’t be able to pitch every postseason inning. Ryne Harper, Tyler Duffey and Zach Littell have been more than serviceable, but they might be better suited for pitching the middle innings. Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi have been leading the pitching staff, while the rest of the rotation has fit into their roles nicely. Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez have had some up and down moments throughout the year. Michael Pineda has provided an upgrade over recent fifth starters. Would you trust one of these pitchers to face the Yankees or Astros line-up in the ALDS? Ideally, the Twins would add two relief arms and a starter before the calendar turns to August. Bullpen In a perfect world, the Twins would be able to add both a right- and left-handed reliever to assist Rogers in his late inning role. There are some internal options for the Twins including two left-handed pitchers that are already on the 40-man roster. Both players would be unknowns in a relief role, so it makes sense to find someone with some experience if the price in prospects isn’t too steep. When it comes to left-handed relievers, Will Smith is the name on everyone’s list. He is currently being used as the Giants closer, but his cost might be slightly lower since he is a free agent after the season. John projected a package of Kohl Stewart and Edwar Colina for Smith. If that’s the deal on the table, I pull the trigger. For Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers, there have been few bright spots this year. However, Shane Greene has been one of the team’s best players. In 2018, he struggled in his first chance being the full-time closer. He posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP with a 65 to 19 strikeout to walk ratio. For how bad he was last season, he has done a complete 180 this year. He has a microscopic 1.06 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks. He’s also under team control through 2020. Starting Pitching There’s been lots of talk about Madison Bumgarner since he is a pending free agent and the Giants are likely to be sellers. One must wonder what version of Madison Bumgarner a club would receive in a trade. He’s been a World Series hero but that was half a decade ago. This season he has posted a 3.86 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP to go along with 121 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings. Another thing to consider is Bumgarner has a lot of miles on his arm with 1755 big league innings over the last 11 seasons. Toronto’s Marcus Stroman is another potential trade target and he is younger than Bumgarner. So far this season, he has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has 88 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings, so Bumgarner has him beat in that category. Stroman has another year of team control as the 2020 season will be his final year of arbitration eligibility. Both above-mentioned pitchers could help the club, but I’d rather the team target Arizona’s Zack Greinke, even if he has a no-trade clause that includes the Twins. There are a few reasons I’d rather the team go after a 35-year old pitcher with a big contract. First, it would likely take fewer high-ranking prospects to acquire Greinke because of his large contract. Greinke has been very good this year with a 2.95 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. Minnesota has the financial flexibility in the years ahead to absorb the Greinke contract. Plus, three of the Twins current starters will be free agents following the World Series. Greinke could fit in at the top of the rotation with Berrios for the next handful of seasons. If he isn’t still an ace in 2021, the Twins could still fit him in some part of their rotation. Greinke, Smith, and Greene put the Twins in better position to win October games. Who would be part of your perfect trade deadline for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Other Stories of Interest Internal Relief Help Could Provide Second Half Upgrade Arraez is What Minnesota Has Craved Twins Trade Rumors Roundup: Teams Pondering Selling
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