As they sit today, the Minnesota Twins find themselves looking at a 45-53 record, 11 games out of first place in the AL Central, and eight games below the .500 mark. The Major League Baseball Trade Deadline is nine days away, and the Twins have already confirmed to be sellers.
With that in mind, it’s easy to assume Josh Willingham, Kevin Correia, Kurt Suzuki, and maybe even Kendrys Morales are all potential bargaining chips for Terry Ryan. However, he has one asset that may be more valuable than most teams in baseball.
No, it’s not Joe Mauer, and while we’re there, Mauer is not tradeable. Not in the definitive sense, but he is still too good, and too much of an asset to the franchise (when not injured, his one viable knock) going forward, to be moved on now.
It is however, another Minnesota born player, and one that would like to move about as much as the Twins want to move him, Glen Perkins.
For teams heading into the postseason, or those with aspirations of such things, the back-end of a bullpen is vitally important. Throughout baseball, the ninth inning pitcher seems to be a revolving door, except for a select handful of teams, Minnesota is one of those.
Glen Perkins is signed through 2017 with the Twins, on a very manageable contract (roughly $5.5 millions/yr) and is only 31 years old. Since moving to the closer role in 2011, Perkins has posted a 2.52 ERA, an impressive 10.4 K/9, and has racked up 77 saves.
For some perspective, Huston Street, over that same time frame (playing with the Rockies and Padres), has compiled a 2.59 ERA, 8.8 K/9, and tallied 109 saves. Street’s save numbers are higher due to Joe Nathan still being in Minnesota in 2011, and multiple guys recording saves in 2012.
With those numbers, Street netted the Padres four minor leaguers, with two of the four being in the Los Angeles Angels top 10 prospects. While the Angels farm system is nothing to write home about, that is a pretty impressive haul.
So, if the Twins are really committed to next year being the year that the big league club is full of blossoming young talent, Perkins is a name you may seriously want to dangle. The Twins aren’t going to get an Addison Russell level prospect in return for Perkins, but if they can get some top young talent, you can’t rule it out of the question.
Whatever happens with Perkins at the deadline, despite signing a new contract with the Twins, he once again has to be nervous of the potential that he could be moved. For the Twins, and in the case of winning, that can’t be their concern.