The Minnesota Twins completed a series win today over the Cleveland Indians. Currently sitting six games below the .500 mark, and already confirmed to be sellers at the Major League Baseball trade deadline, the questions are who and when will they be dealt, not if. Darren Wolfson, 5-Eyewitness News Sports and 1500 ESPN contributor, is here to shed some light on things.
Puckett’s Pond: The Twins are sellers this year again, is that more a sign of failure, or realizing that they can move some pieces to make room for their big prospects?
Darren Wolfson: Combination. Pretty ridiculous that capable prospects are still lingering in the minors while we’ve seen Fryer, Correia, Florimon, Guerrier (DFA’d by the Twins today), and others get far too much work. All that being said, glad to hear that they are open to dealing every pending free agent, and even some other players. When not contending the point should be to acquire prospects. Even Suzuki isn’t a guy that necessarily factors in long-term. This year very easily could be an anomaly. I wouldn’t pay him $8M/year. 2-years, $10M is fine. But his agents want a lot more.
PP: With the Twins looking to make deals, I know you don’t see Correia having value, but do you see him moved? If nothing else it clears a rotation spot.
DW: It’s a ripe market to buy a starter. Sure, I can see Correia moved. If for no other reason than it opens up spots for Trevor May and Alex Meyer. But do NOT expect even a team’s top-35 prospect. The return will be very, very minimal. He’s also an August trade candidate.
PP: Kurt Suzuki, the Cardinals and Orioles are the first teams the Twins should be calling. If those two or anyone else bites, what do you see them getting in return?
DW: More so the Orioles. Not sure I see Molina missing the full 12-weeks. Return: I’d aim for a top-20 prospect in Baltimore’s system, or even two. Something comparable to what the Twins got for Francisco Liriano a couple of years ago. Probably aim slightly higher.
PP: One guy that is almost guaranteed to be moved is Josh Willingham. Is it too late for the Twins to act as if he has value, or is he still a legitimate power bat for someone?
DW: I had a high-ranking Twins official tell me in March that Willingham was cooked. They knew it was dangerous to offer him 3-years. But it was the only way he’d come to Minnesota. They can move him — Reds, Giants, Pirates, Mariners, and more have interest.
Return will be minimal. In fact, not much more than you can get for Corriea. But he works counts, can be a valuable bench bat, and start 2 days/week.
PP: Looking at the Twins impending free agents that could be traded, Kendrys Morales and Suzuki, do you see either of them sticking and resigning with the Twins next year?
DW: The Twins want to keep both. As always, comes down to $. Right now I hear Suzuki’s agents at the MVP Sports Group are coming in far too high. They see what Salty (Miami), Chooch (Philly), and AJ (Boston) got, and see that Suzuki is the best name on the market come December. In other words, they want at least $7M/year and probably more. Twins, rightfully, don’t think he’s quite worth that.
On Morales: They love his clubhouse presence and his approach. They’d like to keep him. Problem is Scott Boras. He couldn’t cash in last December. He’ll want to even more this December. Per Ken Rosenthal Wednesday, the Twins are open to trading Morales. I’m happy to hear that. They should.
PP: Finally, in baseball as a whole, do you see a blockbuster trade happening, and if so who is it going to be and where do you see them going?
DW: I had a lengthy conversation with ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian on 1500-ESPN from FanFest. He is pretty convinced that Tampa’s David Price is going somewhere. But the Rays keep winning. I think they keep him.
I think Boston’s Jake Peavy is going somewhere. But he’s a former big name. I think we’ll see an interesting name or two move — Rios, Soria, etc. — but not one that will blow us away.
In the Twin Cities, few people are more tuned in to local sports than Doogie. The Twins are going to move pieces, and I’d bet on sticking with Wolfson as to who is moved and some options as to where.
Wolfson is constantly hammering the phone for everything Twin Cities sports related, and while taking the time to chat with me here at Puckett’s Pond, it looks as if the Twins should be lighting up their phones for the next week as well.