Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What If The Twins Are Buyers?

Never fear. Trade talk is still here.

Three weeks ago, the Twins were destined to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline at the end of July. Speculation centered around which veterans were on the block because… well, what else were you going to talk about? The latest injury? How many guys were under .200? Whether Trevor Plouffe's next throw would make it into the second deck?

No more. If the Twins do nothing more than tread water for the next few weeks, they would still likely be buyers at the trade deadline. But that doesn't mean the idle speculation has to end. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Being a buyer is far juicier than being a seller.

With so many young players being given significant roles early this season, this team could suddenly have a lot of tradable chips IF they can ever get healthy.

Starting Pitchers
Every current member of the starting rotation is either under contract for next year or the Twins have a team option to bring him back. In reserve, they have Kevin Slowey and Anthony Swarzak. Plus, they have Kyle Gibson, a blue chip prospect, waiting for room in Rochester. Want to dream about a big acquisition? There's where you start.
Topic: Kyle Gibson for elite Royals closer Joakim Soria, who is under contract through 2014. Discuss.

Third Base
Another great place to start is where there are obvious position battles. Luke Hughes has been giving Danny Valencia a run for his money at third base, and it's really the only position they both fit well. Once Morneau returns, could Valencia be traded to a non-contender for a useful guy? Or could Hughes?
Topic: Blue Jays relievers Jason Fraser (who has a $4M team option next year) of Frank Francisco (who will be a free agent) for Valencia or Hughes. Does any combination of those guys make sense to you? Or what would you trade away for BOTH Frasor and Francisco?

Middle Infield
Or how about the middle infield? Both Casilla and Nishioka look like they can handle shortstop. Could Hughes or Plouffe or Tolbert handle second base for a half season for the right deal?
Topic: If JJ Hardy decides he would rather test the free agent waters than sign a long-term deal with the Orioles, would you trade Casilla for him? (And if not, why are we still kvetching about that trade?)


tborg said...

Am I missing something in the Soria for Gibson idea? Are you of the opinion that Soria's losing his job as closer in KC after getting lit up in April and May is a temporary thing? Read up on what Posnanski has to say about Soria and tell me again why this is even something to discuss.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Gibson is a top prospect and ready for the MLB. The Twins wouldnt' trade him for a guy who currently has the lowest value he ever has had plus he is a relief pitcher. Gibson is a guy you trade for top starting pitchers along with other offerings.
Luke Hughes is a non-prospect so why would a team trade bullpen help for him? I guess Valencia who could turn out to be an average 3B could make sense for the Jays but I think it hurts the Twins.
Alexi Casilla is the same as Hughes. The guy was a couple of games from being released outright. I doubt the Orioles would trade for him because of a good month. They can probably get a real prospect for Hardy if they trade him, and it sounds like they want to keep him.

Anonymous said...

You can delete this column at this point. It's moot.

Anonymous said...

Gibson is a top prospect but he is hardly ready for the ML. He has struggled lately and its questionable if he will even be a Sept call-up this season.