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2019 Trade Deadline

It’s been a while since Twins fans could look forward to the trade deadline with confidence the club was a full-on buyer, so it seems like we deserve a dedicated post to discuss rumors, share wish lists, and react to any deals the front office makes.

For convenience, here’s a hotlink to all MLBTR posts tagged for the Twins.

Bonus points to the Citizen who identifies the pitcher in this photo without cheating.

166 thoughts on “2019 Trade Deadline”

  1. My personal wishlist is headed by Zack Greinke, given the payroll cushion the Twins have and the modest prospect package it would likely take to get Arizona out of his contract. He’d be around next year, too. His stuff isn’t exciting anymore, but he’s remained effective because he’s a very smart pitcher. Greinke is Experienced, having thrown 67 innings across 8 postseason series.

    Ultimately, I’d like to see a solid starter and a couple of relievers. Dan Hayes’ (no relation) recent piece for The Athletic detailing likely acquisition costs for various relievers is instructive. I’m not enthusiastic about Jake Cave; a decent right-handed reserve outfielder would be a nice luxury.

    1. Yeah, when Buxton is out our outfield defense becomes suspect. If we're going to have a backup centerfielder who can't hit as well as Buxton then lets get someone who can defend.

      I'm not huge on Marcus Stroman due to the low K rate (lower than everybody currently on the Twins roster); I'm not sure our defense is good enough to deal with that.

      I wouldn't be too upset if we gave up a top prospect for Syndergaard. Would rather give up a hitter like Royce Lewis than a pitcher, since our offense is probably pretty good for a few years.

      1. I'd love Greinke. Have heard, however, that the things that would make a team think Greinke was less valuable are precisely the things the Twins FO emphasizes, thus, he'd appear especially less valuable to them.

    2. I can't explain why, but I've felt for a long time (back when Greinke was first coming up) that Greinke would be a great fit for the Twins. It's been a dream I've had for a while. It's as if a part of me knew that if the Twins could get Greinke, it would mean they would win a WS. Don't know why. Can't explain it, just a feeling in the gut.

      1. I did not do that. I noticed the inaugural season patch on the hat, looked at relevant trades from that time.

    1. I’ll admit I have more heartburn about trading Kirilloff than I do Lewis. I think it’s because I’m projecting Buxton’s struggles onto Lewis because of their pedigree, and because Lewis feels like he’s the higher ceiling-but-higher risk guy, while Kirilloff seems like the surer thing. The “possible Joey Votto” comparisons don’t help.

      1. I just think 1b and corner outfield is so easy to fill.

        Polanco is the best shortstop drafted and developed by the Twins in my lifetime. They don't come around often.

        1. You can strike the "in my lifetime" and only come up with one, maybe two, other better shortstops in Twins history.

            1. Smalley was drafted by the Rangers and the Twins acquired him in his age 23 season, 119 games into his career. I mostly ignored the "drafted" qualification and focused on "developed". Smalley spent zero time in the Twins minor league system, and barely any in the Rangers (he debuted at AA) so definitely not developed by the Twins.

              Gagne debuted in MLB with the Twins but was drafted by the Yankees. He was acquired in April of his age 20 season. He spent that entire year in the minors and most of the next two years there too. I think you can argue on the "developed" for him. He played in the Yankees system for 244 games versus 328 for the Twins.

              Versalles is the only one that was drafted (signed) and developed by the Senators/Twins that's better, so far, than Polanco.

              1. Is Zoilo truly better so far than Polanco? Even with his playing out of his mind MVP season, he had a career 82 OPS+ and he had only 2 seasons with triple-digit OPS+. He won 2 Gold Gloves but only 1 that he deserved according to the metrics. Polanco already has 3/4 of the career rWAR as Versalles.

          1. True.

            And how many did they draft and develop?

            Meares is the only one that I can think of.

            1. Using fWAR, there are seven players that played shortstop with a higher Twins fWAR than Polanco: Smalley, Versalles, Gagne, Punto, Cardenas, Escobar, and Bartlett. Polanco will pass the bottom two by the end of this year. The Twins drafted/signed one of them. Guzman and Meares come after Polanco. Of the other nine players, two were drafted/signed by the Twins. Two more debuted with the Twins. It's a sad list.

                1. Catcher is up there. We drafted and developed this guy named Mauer once. Did a decent job with Pierzynski, too.

                    1. And the Twins just extended Polanco and Arraez would seem to have second base locked up for the next 5 years unless they decide to move Sano to first and put Arraez at third.

              1. If you give Smalley full credit for his 2-win coda — when he was barely able to play short (72 games, ‘85–‘87) — then he’s the only shortstop to accumulate 20rWAR with the team since the Twins arrived in Minnesota. No player has totaled more than 25rWAR since Cecil Travis retired in 1947. Travis lost nearly four seasons, ages 28–31, to WWII; he’d almost certainly have been the franchise leader otherwise. Polanco will be just the fifth with at least 10 rWAR since 1961.

  2. I hope that on August 1st the Twins have Lewis or Kirilloff still, and either Graterol or both of Balazovic and Duran. But I’d talk myself into basically whatever if they got Thor.

  3. I'm on record as saying that the Twins will not make a major trade, and I will hold to that prediction.

  4. Heard an AM radio caller today describe the Twins FO as having to make a decision. Do they invest money on high-end pitchers in free agency, or invest minor league talent on pitchers in the trade market. Considering that they didn't make a big move in free agency (understandable, basically not knowing that the AL Central would be this putrid, and that the Clevelanders would fall off for so much of the first half), now would be the time to invest farm hands, event top-tier farm hands, in acquiring a great starting pitcher. Reference was made to the team contending in 2002, with a chance to trade Restovich and Cuddyer for ... I forget who they said (maybe Jason Schmidt), and not doing so because Cuddyer was a 1st-Rounder and Retovich was in beast-mode and a Minnesotan to boot. Just think what could have happened in the ALCS if they'd slotted a high-end starter to go along with Johan, Lohse/Reed...

    That's what this feels like - selling assets, even multiple of their best prospects, to add a great starting pitcher & increase their chances at a World Series run? I'm in.

    1. The Indians right now are 5 games better than they were a year ago. Had nothing to do with the Indians. The Twins are just that much better than expected.

      Couldn't have been Jason Schmidt because the Giants lost in the WS to the Angels that year, so no way would they have been trading a top pitcher for prospects. Anyways, in 2002, Twins couldn't even find room in the rotation for Johan and that decision is probably why Johan won't be in the Hall of Fame.

      1. Yeah, not freeing Johan was mind bogglingly stupid even before I knew advanced stats. But the Twins had given Joe Mays a bunch of money.

      2. Most of Santana's appearances in 2002 were in the rotation. I didn't follow them closely that year, so this is only from looking at his game logs, but he pitched 9 out of 13 relief appearances in September. It looks like the Twins were trying to preserve his arm. I won't defend 2003 however.

      3. Re: the Indians, a 17-9 June followed by a 16-4 July gets you to 5 games better than the same time last year (overall, they had a better first half last year than they did this).

        Re: Jason Schmidt, it was not my statement, it was some caller on talk radio. However, his point stands. The Giants were behind both the Diamondbacks (who won the NL West that year) and Dodgers at the halfway point of the season. Making Schmidt available at the non-waiver trade deadline would not have been unreasonable, despite how the season turns out for SF.

        The larger point is, giving up perceived, though unproven, top minor league talent to get a prime MLB-level starter would have, in my opinion, been of great use in the postseason that year. If argue the same is true this year.

        1. a 17-9 June followed by a 16-4 July

          That's the thing. Cleveland has been playing close to .750 ball for two months. If they do that for another two months, they're going to win the division and there's not much the Twins can do about it. But the chances are that they won't. The Twins need to play better, but they don't need to panic.

  5. My worry right now is hearing names like Sergio Romo being connected to the Twins. I feel we should only trade for more elite bullpen arms. If we cant swing a trade, then I would rather just keep auditioning minor league arms.

    We will not need another lefty in the pen come playoff time as Perez will likely be moved to the bullpen. Pineda is at least the #4 if not #3 starter. That is increasingly looking like a brilliant signing. If we do pick up a Greinke or Thor, well then Perez goes bullpen now and Gibby bullpen for playoffs.

    So at most, one starter, one reliever. No...just no... to an outfielder.

          1. Vallimont is pretty intriguing.

            Romo said all the right things in his pre-game interview yesterday, and he came across as an interesting dude. He’s already connected, not only with both his new manager, but with Adrianza from their time in San Francisco. If Romo can simply maintain the same level of performance in Minnesota as he put up in Miami, his numbers could look an awful lot like a more costly deadline addition from nearly a decade ago:

            Pitcher Year IP FIP WHIP K% BB% GB% HR/FB% Hard %
            Romo 2019 to date 37.2 3.89 1.221 21.2 8.3 36.4 8.0 35.5
            Capps 2010 post-deadline 27.0 2.89 1.185 19.8 7.6 52.7 5.3 19.5

            Romo yields a ton more fly balls than Capps, but despite the difference in their batted ball profiles, he hasn’t given up massively more homers. That said, the hard contact rate bears watching. Romo never threw very hard; in his prime, his fastball averaged 90mph. None of Romo’s pitches have averaged above 88mph this year, while Capps featured a both a fastball and a sinker in the 94–95mph average range. Romo’s movement — both horizontal & vertical — has been much more consistent, for a longer period of time, than Capps’ movement.

            The Twins seem to have acquired a fairly solid reliever, but this time they didn’t trade a hot catching prospect to do so. Diaz could be a pretty good player some day; a slick-fielding first baseman with power has definite value. But Vallimont looks like he could be a quality arm one day, too, and that really make this look better. I assume the PTBNL is a lottery ticket, so who knows if that’s a factor.

            Not bad, but I don’t think anyone’s going to feel like this is sufficient, either.

            1. Difference with Capps is he had another 2 years of team control left but also the Twins threw in Joe Testa to get Capps. Capps was great in 2010. He was perfect in his save opps with the Twins. I don't think he had any opps in the postseason. Ramos was a better prospect then than Diaz is now and the Twins got a lower level prospect back in return.

    1. I have no idea what the Mets are doing and I get the feeling that neither do they. It's like the Mets and Knicks are in a continual "Hold my beer," competition.

        1. Padres received Taylor Trammell however. They gave up a lot to get him. FanGraphs suggests this is the Padres using their surplus of corner outfielders and pitchers to get a centerfielder.

          1. I was disappointed to learn that he is not "fails to live up to HOF father" Taylor Trammell.

  6. Radio is reporting that SF and Milwaukee have something cooking that does not include MadBum. The news here is that it appears SF will be dealing.

    1. It's Pomeranz. Not exactly a guy who, if you're the Giants, you're like "man, gotta keep that guy around for the wild card push."

        1. Honestly, I might eat this in an hour, but my guess right now is Bumgarner and Smith aren't going anywhere. Dubon can step in as an immediate 2B upgrade over Panik, so this is a current improvement move for the Giants, which says to me they're sticking with going for it.

          1. Good analysis & you’re probably right. Amazing* what 3 weeks of good baseball can do for a club’s plans /cough/ Indians /cough/.


            Spoiler SelectShow
      1. I hope our F.O. isn't too hung up on "winning trades". I dont want them to trade stupid, but sometimes a good GM we will lose a trade in order to win more games.

        1. The absolute dearth of Twins-related mentions today has me thinking there will be zero action.

          Then, the front office will get eviscerated for it. And hopefully the Twins win it all anyway, and we can forget about it.

            1. Fair enough. I've been clinging to hopeful optimism, but... especially these last few days, haven't really been expecting anything more than Romo.

          1. I voted "no" because the likely targets aren't selling. Can't acquire a frontline starter when the other team is going for it.

  7. Nationals are in.
    Not sure if Hudson was in the mix for Falvey & Levine , but you can take him (and Strickland & Elias) off the board.

    Daniel Hudson from the Blue Jays and a pair of relievers from the Mariners -- righty Hunter Strickland and lefty Roenis Elias

  8. Diamondbacks picked up that guy who pitched against the Twins last night. Prelude to a Robbie Ray trade?!?!?

    1. Hehe.
      Kept hearing him connected to the Yankees ... sniping a decent starter who’d been targeted by a potential playoff opponent would be poetic.

    1. You know if u arent going to make a splash at all today, why make a minor move like this? The strib trolls will be going nuts.

  9. So far a lot of the players being dealt today are staying in or heading to the National League, Martin Maldonado & Tanner Roark being the significant exceptions. Provided that trend holds up, it’s a good one for the Twins.

    1. Seems like the Braves and Nationals have reconstructed their bullpens (which they both kind of needed to do).

  10. Hahahahaha ... aaaaaarrrggghhhh!!!! Twins (former) Front Office:

    1. Astros giving up only prospects - but their #3, 4, & 5 guys, plus a lower one, according to MLB's Prospect Watch.

      That might be a really good trade both ways.

      1. Seems like a solid reload for 2020+ for Arizona. Astros also get a great pitcher through 2021 to pair with Verlander. Both leave after 2021 so the Astros window closes then.

  11. I've seen Sam Dyson once. 1 inning, 1 save, 1 inning pitched, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts

      1. My initial reaction: I'm happy with it. Landing Greinke would have made my day, but getting Dyson might keep this from being total failure.

      2. "According to Birch, prospects Prelander Berroa, Jaylin Davis and Kai-Wei Teng will head to the Giants in the deal."

        Dyson under contract through 2020.

          1. Ditto. I like Dyson. He can be really nasty.

            Our bullpen, with Romo and Dyson, is now a strength. Playoff-capable strength.

            1. Totally agreed. They took one of this team's few holes and added one good and one very good solution while giving up no top prospects.

              I'm calling it a win.

            2. Only thing missing is another lefty, but one of Thorpe or Smeltzer can fill that, like Price for the Rays in 2008.

                1. Of course. I forgot about him despite wanting to move him to the bullpen a month ago. I feel pretty good about the bullpen options in October.

        1. Indeed. I would much rather face the Yankees than the Astros. I just don't see the Twins offense bashing in those starters

          1. Earlier this year against the Twins:

            Cole: 7 innings, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 k's, 0 runs
            Verlander: 14 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 15 k's, 2 runs

            I don't see anyone doing much against the Astros.

  12. I still think we win the division. But 0-16 playoff record here we come. I hate how conservatively this team is managed. Hard to be a fan.

      1. I'll make a shit ton betting against the Twins in the ALDS and that will help me feel better.

    1. Well there are 15 teams who are out of it and another 12 teams who didn't do anything including the Yankeed and Red Sox. We are a top 6 team in the major leagues and u just typed that we will win the division. Hard to be a fan?

        1. Geoff - While I generally agree with your take, this is the biggest point of contention for me. I don't think playoffs are a complete crap shoot in baseball. But the nature of baseball is such that the worst teams are still gonna win 40% of their games, even against the best teams. That's not "zero chance". Is their chance as high as the Astros? No, of course not. But at this point I'd say it equals or surpasses all the other AL teams, given the moves recently made (or not).

          1. From a pure betting odds stabdpoint id say Cleveland and rays and red doc all have a better chance in a 5 game series vs Houston than we will. Now given current standings and remaining schedule I think we finish ahead of all of them but sweep or 1 win is all we get. Now maybe Houston passes NYY but I'm not thinking we got much shot their either. I don't have confidence in any of our starters in a playoff game.

                  1. 2010 Phillies had peak Halladay, Lee, and Hamels. They won 102 games and still lost in NLDS to the 90-win Cardinals.

    2. So the Astros gave up their #3, #4, #5, and #22 prospects to get him. On the Twins that would have been something like Graterol, Larnach, Javier, and someone like Lewin Diaz.

      I think I would have been okay with that, and the playoffs are still mostly a crapshoot. Dodgers have the best team or close to it most years and they haven't won a World Series since 1988

      1. FanGraphs has them rated #3, #4, #11, and #50+. The future value they assign to them is 50, 50, 40+, and 30-35 respectively. Top two are pitchers, so the Twins equivalent would be roughly Graterol (FV 50), Duran (50), Rooker (40+), and someone else only Jeff knows. It doesn't quite match up because Corbin Martin is a highly ranked pitcher that's MLB ready but the Twins don't have someone like that. I bet the Twins would have to give up more to compensate.

      2. No guarantees in the postseason either. Greinke's history is mixed. He was lights out for the Dodgers but terrible for the Brewers and Diamondbacks.

    3. Honestly, but-for the Grienke-to-Astros thing, I would have been entirely happy with this. Would I have wanted another starter? Absolutely. But I don't know who would have been available that would have been enough of a playoff upgrade - other than Grienke, obviously - that would have been worth it, where I felt like "yup, they got a shot now, that they didn't have before."

        1. More or less interest than Yankees fans have in watching Paxton or Happ start a game in the postseason?

      1. I just read that the Twins were on Greinke's no-trade clause. He could have lifted it of course to play for a division leader, but when you can trade to another division leader with an even better team, I'm sure it would have been tough for the Twins to get him.

  13. Well, after an hour to absorb some of the trade action. I guess I would love to have seen the Twins do a bit more, but we have no idea what was on the table. I would have been upset if they did nothing. Picking up Dyson was much needed for the bullpen. I can't understand the doom and gloom. We are a much better team than we have been in a long, long time. I don't think we are a team that should go "all in" like the Astros just did. At least not now. Let's be honest, even when we had the best record in baseball, we were the 3rd best team in the AL after the Astros and Yankees. I don't think this was the year to go all in.

    Can we win a playoff game or series this year? Sure, why not? For one, Berrios can go pitch for pitch with anyone in the league and could win a game or two in a series. Odorizzi or Pineda could definitely steal a game with a great performance. With our bats, the potential to be hot at the plate during playoff time is a very real possibility. I wouldn't put any money on it, but I am not about to give up on this team.

      1. So, Yankees desperately needed starting pitching and did nothing. Red Sox desperately needed a closer and did nothing. Obviously, the price was too high for everyone else. Who do you think we should have gotten and what should we have given up?

    1. Odo beat the Astros 1-0 in Houston this year, so anything can happen. Twins won't see Astros till ALCS anyways, or shouldn't. Can't imagine the Yankees, after doing nothing to address pitching, will be able to have best record in AL while playing a lot of games with Red Sox & Rays. This is assuming the Twins win the division, which is not a given. Also, why did the Astros trade for Sanchez? He has a FIP of over 5.00 the last 3 seasons.

    2. The only two starting pitchers that interested me (as in, they seemed to be a definitive upgrade to a potential postseason three man rotation) were Greinke and Thor.

      Thor was insanely priced. Greinke may not have ever even been possible, due to his no trade clause.

      The others? Meh. Who's raging against the heavens that they didn't pick up Aaron Sanchez, or Mike Leake, Zach Wheeler?

      1. Those two were the top on my list, too.

        I honestly don’t understand how Toronto’s demand for Stroman was either Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff, yet they settled for the prospects they got from the Mets. Mind you, I wasn’t particularly interested in Stroman. I just find it curious that the actual trade Toronto made was such a modest exchange.

        From a depth standpoint, having Mike Minor or Robbie Ray would’ve been reassuring.

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