Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Silva's Worth

It's a sickness that afflicts Minnesotan sports fans, and the best recent example was the week before the NBA draft. We just can't wait to rebuild. Whether it's the NFL draft, or trading KG, or throwing in the towel before the trade deadline, fans here can easily embrace the idea of giving up on the current year and looking towards next year, no matter how many times we seem to do it.

I resist this temptation as best I can. It's important to note that even with yet another loss to the Blue Jays, the Twins are still just seven games back of the Indians, and they have 13 games to play against them. There's still plenty of opportunity for the Twins to make a run.

But I also just can't embrace giving away a prospect for a rent-a-player right now. The looming series with the Indians will be the turning point, and there are four games prior to that which will also help determine this team's fate. In the meantime, we might want to start preparing for the other option, where the Twins deal some of their impending free agents to acquire some young, cheap offense.

This deadline, you keep hearing that teams are looking for pitching, but quality starting pitching is in short supply. The best available starter right now looks to be John Garland of the White Sox, who is no big prize. In fact, I wonder how he compares to Carlos Silva this year...

A lot of those numbers are mighty close, but I think most people would favor Garland. Certainly you would based on both players stats last year. And the year before that Garland had a great postseason run, though you could argue that Silva had just as good a year.

However, if there's one thing we've learned around here, it's that teams don't just trade players, they also trade contracts. The team trading for Garland will be plugging him into the rotation again next year, to the tune of $12 million. Silva, on the other hand, will be cut loose, facing free agency.

There are probably some teams that would rather have Garland for the race, but would rather trade for Silva for his contract flexibility. Silva might be an especially good fit for the Philadelphia Phillies, except for one thing - they traded him to the Twins in the first place. A team such as the Mariners might also make sense.

It would seem doubtful that the Twins would get a top flight offensive prospect (the Mariners have several) in return. But if Silva looks to be one of the best available arms and if a couple of National League clubs, a bidding war could produce some interesting results. And there might be some clubs a little more interested in today's start than there was a week ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If we're going to look for maximum value from a transaction involving a pitcher, I think you have to target Joe Nathan. We stand to get more in return for him than anyone else on the staff, and we have a ready replacement in Pat Neshek. But if we could get a decent return on a Silva trade, I'd be all for making that move, especially if the return takes care of obvious holes like 3B or DH, or even CF assuming we don't re-sign Torii.