Terry Ryan’s Trade Record: Part III


And now for the thrilling conclusion of Terry Ryan’s trade history. This installment covers 2003 through 2007, and it includes some of his best work as well as a couple head-scratchers.

In case you didn’t see the first two installments, you can read part one here, and part two here.

7/16/03: Bobby Kielty to the Blue Jays for Shannon Stewart and Dave Gassner

This one made up for a lot of ho-hum trades. Twins were stumbling in mid-2003, but Stewart’s .322/.384/.470 performance breathed life into the lineup and sparked a second half surge toward the playoffs. He remained the primary leadoff hitter through 2006, despite some injury trouble. Kielty never played full-time in the Majors after 2003. Gassner made two starts for the Twins in 2005.

VERDICT: Great trade.

8/31/03: Juan Padilla to the Yankees for Jesse Orosco

Padilla had a pretty good year in 2005 with the Mets, but that was the only real highlight of his career. The 46 year old Orosco only managed 4.2 innings for the Twins. He retired after the season.

VERDICT: Not a very good trade, but not a devastating one.

9/9/03: Todd Sears to the Padres for Alex Garcia

Sears went on to have 84 plate appearances for the Padres. That’s more than the Twins got out of Garcia, who left the organization after 352 at bats at Class A ball in 2004.

VERDICT: Nothing lost, nothing gained.

11/14/03: A.J. Pierzynski to the Giants for Boof Bonser, Francisco Liriano, and Joe Nathan

Between the Stewart trade and this one, 2003 was a very succesful year for Ryan. Pierzynski was dealt to make room for Joe Mauer, so even though he went on to have a decent career with the White Sox, that doesn’t really detract from this deal’s legendary status. Nathan became the Twins’ career saves leader. Liriano was on his way to a sure-fire Rookie Year award, and a possible Cy Young award in 2006 before blowing out his elbow. He has been up and down since, but is an asset to the team overall. Bonser was solid in 2006 as a rookie before struggling in 2007. He re-signed with the Giants this offseason.

VERDICT: Utterly great trade.

12/3/03: Eric Milton to the Phillies for Nick Punto, Carlos Silva, and Bobby Korecky

Milton missed almost all of 2003 to injury. He went on to have a 14 win season with the Phillies, despite a 4.75 ERA. He then spent a few rocky seasons with the Reds. Punto became a mainstay utility infielder for the rest of the decade for Minnesota. His weak hitting frustrated some fans, but his absence hurt in 2011. Silva had some erratic numbers with the Twins, but his 2005 season, when he walked just nine batters in 188 innings, is a statistical wonder. Korecky appeared in 16 games in relief in 2008.

VERDICT: Very good trade.

12/15/03: Dustan Mohr to the Giants for J.T. Thomas

A month after the Pierzynski deal, the Giants hadn’t learned their lesson, and they traded with the Twins again. This one actually worked slightly in San Francisco’s favor. Mohr achieved a .394 OBP in 117 games for the Giants. Thomas never played for the Twins – not even for their minor league teams.

VERDICT: Bad trade.

7/31/04: Doug Mientkiewicz to Red Sox for Justin Jones (from the Cubs)

Mientkiewicz was a year from free agency and hitting .246 when he was dealt in this four team trade. He was a fan favorite, but the team wanted to make room for superprospect Justin Morneau, who went on to hit 19 homers that season. Jones hung on with the Twins’ organization until 2006. But this trade was more about saving some cash and clearing a roster spot.

VERDICT: Nothing lost, nothing gained.

8/31/04: B.J. Garbe to the Mariners for Pat Borders.

The Twins needed a backup catcher, so they rented Borders for a month. Garbe was a former #5 overall pick, so it was probably galling to give up on him, but by 2004 it was clear he was a bust.

VERDICT: Nothing lost, nothing gained.

12/2/2005: Scott Tyler and Travis Bowyer to the Marlins for Luis Castillo

The Marlins held a fire sale after 2005, and the Twins cashed in. Castillo breathed life into the top of the Twins’ lineup in 2006 and 2007, hitting .299/.357/.363 and playing well at second base. Bowyer and Tyler might have looked like good pitching prospects, but neither made it to the Majors with Florida.

VERDICT: Great trade.

12/9/05: J.C. Romero to the Angels for Alexi Casilla

Romero had some struggles with the Twins, and he was very erratic for the Angels in 2006, but he has since had a pretty solid career (despite some minor PED issues). Casilla has been an enigma for Minnesota. For years he has shown flashes of talent, but he hasn’t played with nearly enough consistency. 2012 may be his last chance to make this trade look good.

VERDICT: Doesn’t look like a very good trade, but final verdict depends on Casilla’s 2012 performance.

6/15/06: Juan Castro to the Reds for Brandon Roberts

The Twins awarded Castro the starting shortstop job in 2006, and he repaid them by hitting .231/.258/.308. Roberts has climbed very slowly through the Twins minor league system. He played for AAA Rochester the last two seasons, but at age 27, he’s probably too old to be considered a decent prospect.

VERDICT: Nothing lost, nothing gained.

7/31/06: Kyle Lohse to the Reds for Zach Ward

The purpose of this trade was to get rid of Lohse, who had an ugly 7.07 ERA through the summer of 2006. Ward was having a great season in the Midwest League for the Reds at the time. Since then, Lohse has resurrected his career and won a World Series ring with the Cardinals last year. Ward left the Twins organization in 2009.

VERDICT: Not a very good return for a veteran. But the trade accomplished its primary goal.

8/31/06: Adam Harben to the Cubs for Phil Nevin

Once an All-Star with 40 HR power, Nevin was a washed-up 35 year old when the Twins got him. He hit .190 in 16 games. Harben pitched for AA New Britain in 2006, but after the trade to Chicago he never made it as high as AA again.

VERDICT: Nothing lost, nothing gained.

6/24/07: Levale Speigner to the Nationals for Darnell McDonald

McDonald appeared in just four games with the Twins. He has since caught on with the Red Sox as a part time outfielder. Speigner’s MLB career consisted of 48 innings with the Nats and a 9.19 ERA.

VERDICT: Nothing lost, nothing gained.

7/30/07: Luis Castillo to the Mets for Dustin Martin and Drew Butera

At the time of this trade, Castillo was a 31 year old second baseman with an All Star past and a good glove, and he was hitting .304. The Twins traded him to the Mets for the weak-hitting Butera and Martin, who has failed to hit higher than .265 at AAA despite three seasons at that level. The Twins made out better than the Marlins did when they traded Castillo, but not by much.

VERDICT: Not a very good return for a veteran second baseman.

8/15/07: Ramon Ortiz to theRockies for Matt Macri

Ryan’s last trade in his first stint as GM was a forgettable one. He did well to get rid of the struggling Ortiz, but the return was weak. Macri might have looked like a sleeper prospect who had some power. But he languished at Rochester for three seasons and failed to hit very much before returning to the Rockies organization as a free agent last year.

VERDICT: Nothing lost, nothing gained.