It’s July, it’s after the All Star break… it’s open season on the baseball trade market. The Twins are definitely out of it this year, which makes things difficult on fans going to the game, but for the Twins front office, it’s not so bad. I mean, looking forward to the future, that is. The Twins are one of the few definitive sellers at this point, and with the extra wild card spot, there will definitely be more buyers. This is all very good news!
Now, before I get into this, I have to direct you to this point by Jim Crikket at Knuckleballs. He makes, what I think, is a salient point that I have tried to make, but not as effortlessly as he did. The Twins need to prepare for the future, and the future starts next season. Last year was a better season to completely dismantle, because there were pieces easily removed, but this season there will be fewer components easily extracted from the current roster, especially when you consider that the Twins need to turn it ASAP to stay relavent in Minnesota and the AL Central. If the team had any starting pitchers, they wouldn’t be that far off this year.
Lastly, remember, I am not a GM or a scout. The only point of this post is whimsy, and you had better believe that Terry Ryan knows a bit more about the situation than I do. Now, some proposed trades!
Twins trade LHP Francisco Liriano and 3b Danny Valencia to Atlanta for RHP Jair Jurrjens: Liriano can take Jurrjens’ spot in the Braves’s rotation, or become the best LH reliever in the bullpen. Meanwhile, Danny Valencia needs a fresh start, something even he knows, as does Jurrjens. A couple of months of Liriano and a few more years of Valencia should be enough to secure a couple years of Jurrjens, who has become a flyball pitcher, a good fit for Target Field. The Braves get better in the short term, add a 3b with Major League experience and the Twins have another potential starter for next year.
Twins trade RHP Matt Capps, PTBNL to Baltimore for LHP Brian Matusz, RHP Mike Wright, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez: The Orioles, thus far, are the team in the best position while having the worst bullpen. Matt Capps stands out with the Twins because he is playing with a team that has a strong bullpen, and he hasn’t been Joe Nathan. In Baltimore, he will seem like a miracle worker. Brian Matusz is another player that might need to work in a different market. He has been bad with the Orioles, but nobody could be as bad as Matusz has been forever, not with the talent he had coming into professional baseball. Mike Wright is a big guy that strikes out a lot of people, whereas Eduardo Rodriguez has put up good numbers in A ball. Seem like a big package for Matt Capps? The PTBNL is Carl Pavano, when he comes back healthy. And the Orioles have been so bad for so long they have to make a hard charge this year.
Twins trade CF Denard Span to Cincinnati for SS Zach Cozart, Twins trade 1b Justin Morneau to Toronto for OF Travis Snider, RHP Aaron Sanchez, Reds trade RHP Daniel Corcino to Toronto for OF Jacob Anderson: Holy confusing! To summarize: The Twins trade Span and Morneau, acquiring Cozart, Snider and Sanchez, the Reds trade Cozart and Corcino for Span and Anderson, while the Blue Jays trade Snider, Sanchez and Anderson for Morneau (and his bloated contract) and Corcino. In essence, the Twins are looking to offload part of Morneau’s contract, as well as cash in on Denard Span’s value. Corcino is one of the top pitching prospects in the Reds’ system, and according to Fangraphs, is a pitcher the Blue Jays have coveted. They will need something in order to absorb the Morneau contract while still giving up quality players. Span would replace Cozart at the top of the Reds order, and Didi Gregorious will soon replace Cozart in the field, making him somewhat expendable, but a good fit up the middle in Minnesota immediately. Snider is mashing in AAA but appears to be having a tough time breaking back into the major leagues. He would be another bat as a DH or right fielder in Minnesota. Sanchez is a long ways off. Morneau would move Edwin Encarnacion to DH.
You had better believe I messed up all of these trades, and perhaps under or overvalued prospects, particularly in other teams’ systems. These are just ideas, and I really wanted to include a three team trade. So, if this goes down, the Twins free up payroll, while adding 4 players that could contribute immediately, even if it is other peoples’ trash. Not only that, they end up with three more prospects, while only losing Valencia from the minor league system. Does it hurt? Yes. Will I even be close on any of this? Absolutely not. But at least now you are prepared to see some action. For funsies, below is the new Twins rotation and lineup:
SP De Vries?
SP Duensing ?
SP Matusz ?
Still question marks with the starters, but there would be more options.