While a big trade would be exciting for Minnesota Twins fans. The front office is sticking to building slowly with smaller moves.
As the Minnesota Twins have settled into being “sellers” at the deadline, one goal has become clear. This team is trying to obtain more quality arms for the rotation and bullpen.
The Minnesota Twins and Jaime Garcia
Before the Twins played the Los Angeles Dodgers they looked like “buyers”. They acted on that by bringing in Jaime Garcia to bolster the rotation.
Garcia made one start for the Twins. The Twins were swept in the Dodgers series pushing them to the “Sellers” side this trade deadline. The Twins then flipped Garcia to the New York Yankees, receiving pitchers Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns in return.
In many ways, these transactions seem strange. This flip of Garcia is also potentially genius as the team was pivoting on their deadline plans, they were still able to strengthen their team under the new direction.
The Twins sent Huascar Ynoa to the Braves in the Garcia deal. Ynoa and Littell were ranked similarly in their respective systems previous to being traded. Since the Yankees system is considered one of the best in baseball the Twins upgraded in that swap alone.
They were able to then also turn Garcia into a second player as Dietrich Enns joins the team. Enns is no where near the prospect that Littell is, but has still pitched solidly and is a great “throw in” for this trade. If you are interested in a deeper look at either of the acquired players from the Yankees check this out.
John Ryan Murphy to Arizona
The Twins also made a trade to clear up the log jam at catcher. The Twins traded away John Ryan Murphy to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league reliever Gabriel Moya. Moya is a left-handed reliever who has some impressive numbers.
Before coming to the Twins, Moya pitched to an incredible 0.82 ERA in 43.2 innings pitched. He has also shown the ability to strike batters out, striking 14 batters out per nine innings this season. Most impressively, Moya has not allowed an earned run since May 1st. And that was at the hands of his new teammates in Chattanooga.
In 2 appearances for the Chattanooga Lookouts, Moya has held up his standard of no runs allowed while striking out 4 batters and only allowing two batters to reach base (one hit and one walk) in 2.1 innings.
The Big Picture
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While as fans we often want a big splashy acquisition that says our team is all-in, these two moves show savvy ability by the new front office to slowly build for the future.
Three new arms are in the system. None of them may be an ace or shutdown closer, but each looks to have the ability to fill in those other roles on the staff that the Twins have sorely lacked this season.
There is also value in alleviating the catcher log jam. This gives more opportunities to Mitch Garver to polish his abilities. Garver has to have hopes at this point to be with the Twins soon and now he has the opportunity to prove he is ready regularly.
The Twins were a surprise this season. And while this feels like waving the white flag. It also signals a start to filling in the gaps that made the 2017 team a fluky post season team from the beginning. It will be exciting to see what moves are next as this team looks to build a stronger team for 2018.