Talking Trades, Talking Futures
By Editorial Staff
I have never been one of those people that knows a lot about baseball, the depth charts of other Major League teams and their Minor League affiliates. As a result I am generally lost when other writers start talking about the how the “value” of a particular player is different to different clubs. I understand the concept, I just do not have a firm grasp on what that value is, and generally speaking, I do not have a great desire to dig deep enough to raise any contradictions, I am happy just taking these statements at face value.
As the Minnesota Twins have spiraled their 2011 season deeper and deeper into a hole (15-31, now 15.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians) there has been a lot of talk about the Twins making trades, especially regarding Kevin Slowey, and attempting to restock a farm system that has not had the benefit of a mid-summer sell off that often accompanies a losing team.
On Monday morning I was having a discussion with the other half of the Twins Twins, Paul, the Baseball Pirate, and he could not help himself from pointing out that, “You know it is bad when you are six and a half back from the Mariners (Thanks in part to Trevor Plouffe and an ineffective Joe Nathan and Matt Capps, that number is now seven and a half)!” I responded by telling Paul that I figured that the Twins were likely out of contention, even in the mediocre AL Central, and that the Twins could trade as many as five guys off of their 40-man roster and end up with a pretty solid team heading into 2012, with health and some extra experience to boot!
Here are the players that Paul and I think will be traded before the trade deadline:
Michael Cuddyer (assuming the Twins agree to pick up part of his remaining 2011 salary)
Here is the roster I eventually settled on, with a couple of question marks (since I have NO IDEA who the Twins might receive in return) that hopefully you can help fill in:
Catcher – Joe Mauer (Who else?!)
First Base – Justin Morneau (hopefully back to his 2010 pre-concussion form)
Second Base – Tsuyoshi Nishioka (with better than have a year of MLB experience and some versatility to fill in at Short Stop should the Twins once again find themselves battling the injury bug.)
Short Stop – ?????
Third Base – Danny Valencia (After a sophomore slump Danny V will be more experienced and ready to improve on those rookie numbers.)
Left Field – Denard Span
Center Field – Ben Revere
Right Field – Delmon Young
Utility Man – Trevor Plouffe
DH – ?????
Backup Catcher – Drew Butera/Rene Rivera (Or anyone else, only requirement is a pulse)
So that leaves a gaping hole at SS, and a need a DH, but it puts some speed back into the line-up and gives the Twins a vastly improved OF defense. It also makes room for a guy like Brian Dinkelman or Rene Tosoni to win a spot on the 25-man roster.
The pitching staff would look something like this (again, not sure who fills in the question marks):
Ace – Scott Baker (Someone has to be the ace, even if by default)
Number 2 – Kyle Gibson (should benefit from half a season in the league after a mid-June callup.)
Number 3 – Brian Duensing (an entire season in the starting rotation should give Twins fans a better idea of what they have in Brian D.)
Number 4 – Nick Blackburn (If that slider keeps working, Blackie is going to do well matching up against other #4s.)
Number 5 – ????
Not an outstanding staff, but something that resembles a staff that the Twins are comfortable working with, guys who pitch the “Twins way.”
The bullpen will probably be a mess again, but hopefully Chuck James, Kyle Waldrop, and Carlos Gutierrez can come and compete on the 25-man roster and help Glen Perkins and Jose Mijares return the Minnesota Twins bullpen back into a strength rather than a weakness. And who knows, maybe Alex Wimmers will figure out the yips and be a legitimate bullpen candidate as well.
What do you think? I could get behind a roster that looked like that. Certainly has to be better than 15-31.
My Lucky Twins hat is really struggling at 11-15, but the Twins are absolutely abysmal on off days, 4-16. Last night I attempted a Lucky Rally Hat configuration for the extra frame to no avail, 0-1 for the Rally Hat.