The Minnesota Twins have been sellers for nearly half a decade, which means swapping players frequently. Let’s check in on some familiar faces.
The Minnesota Twins have had to be active when rebuilding, typically relying on their farm system to stay competitive. However, the farm system dried up, the team started losing and trades needed to happen to rebuild. Let’s take a look at how those players are performing now and what that means for the Twins.
Ricky Nolasco– Nolasco was traded to the Angels at the trade deadline of 2016 along with Alex Meyer. In return, the Minnesota Twins received Hector Santiago, who has pitched very well in 2017. Nolasco has not been as bad as he was with the Twins, putting up a 3.65 ERA total since he left. However, Nolasco is currently off to a rough start to 2017, and his advanced stats suggests he is getting a lot of help from his defense. With a FIP of 5.67, Nolasco could be in for a rough season.
Alex Meyer– The other part of the trade for Santiago was including this former number one Twins pitching prospect. The Angels were willing to take on Nolasco’s poor pitching in hopes they could solve Meyer’s control issues. Short answer, they haven’t. Meyer has 14 walks in 19 innings pitched leaving him with a hideous 5.59 ERA. Meyer still has talent, but if he can’t throw strikes, it won’t matter.
Eduardo Nunez– The jury is still out on this one but it ends up in the good category for me. At the 2016 trade deadline, the Twins picked up Adalberto Mejia in exchange for Nunez with the Giants. The Giants wanted another infielder and were willing to part with a decent pitching prospect. Mejia has yet to perform, however Nunez was expendable, and currently has a -.09 WAR for the Giants this season.
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Chih-Wei Hu– You might be thinking to yourself, Chih-Wei Who?? Well don’t forget that acquiring Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays in our “playoff run” in 2015 wasn’t free. Hu had been excellent in the minors and continues to be so for Tampa Bay. He would be great for us as a 5th starter option since he is posting a career 2.76 ERA in the Minors.
Aaron Hicks– Hicks was part of deal sending John Ryan Murphy from the Yankees to the Twins in November of 2015. Of course we are going to start here. In just over one season, this trade looks to be a lopsided one. At the time, it had Minnesota Twins fans scratching their heads, as Murphy had only part of one season in the majors, and no solid offensive numbers in the minors. On the other hand, Aaron Hicks had shown flashes of brilliance. In one game, he robbed a home run, and connected on two more. He seems to have found the spark in 2017 as he is batting .326/.464/.616. He has added seven home runs, six stolen bases and 19 RBI to a potent Yankees lineup. It’s safe to say this trade is a bust for the Twins with Murphy struggling to hit over .240 in AAA action.
Quick Hitters: Free Agency Edition
Kurt Suzuki– Relegated to back up duty in Atlanta, he’s been decent ( .231/.364/.385).
Oswaldo Arcia– Arcia is killing it in the minors for the Diamondbacks, batting .387/.446/.802 with thirteen doubles, three triples and nine bombs. Yet Gregor Blanco was the first to be called up from AAA in May, which means teams may have have the same questions the Twins did.
Kevin Jepsen – He pitched a total of 19 more innings in 2016 after getting cut by the Twins. Hence the fact that he has yet to land with another team in 2017.
Mike Pelfrey– He’s as awful as ever, so Terry Ryan will likely try to convince his new friends in Philadelphia to sign him to a two year contract. Pelfrey currently has a 5.70 ERA with the White Sox after being released by the Tigers one year into a two year deal.
There are two trades that end up in my good column, but the rain cloud of Aaron Hicks in New York chases those fuzzy thoughts immediately in the gutter. In conclusion, hopefully the new front office will be able to swing deals on the receiving end of lopsided trades in the future.