Trades within the division
Other trades around the league would make some sense, but trades within the division always require a bit more care. However, there are a few targets that may make some sense:
A fire-balling middle reliever during the Royals’ World Series runs, Herrera has naturally made the transition to closer, using his high-velocity fastball (averaging 97.5 MPH in 2017), low-90s cutter, upper-80s change, and hard upper-80s slider to dominate hitters. Some issues with control and home runs had him demoted from the closer role for a bit this season, but he recovered his role by the end of the season. This is Herrera’s last arbitration season, becoming a free agent after next year, which is why the Royals may want to consider moving him. The Twins could acquire him and hope to extend him before the season.
In a last attempt to make a run with their “core” group that led them to 2 World Series appearances, the Royals acquired Buchter at the trade deadline from the Padres. He had always been a guy who had an impressive fastball, cutter, and curveball, but he’s added a slider that has allowed him to be an elite reliever from the left-hand side at 30 years old. Buchter can run his fastball into the upper 90s with a mid-80s slider and low-90s cutter. He may not be a guy to plug into a closer role, but he could be a dominant lefty in the bullpen for the Twins, and he’s still a year away from his first time through arbitration. If a call is made on Herrera, hopefully Buchter is mentioned as well.
The White Sox believed so strongly in Jones that they gave him a long-term deal in the 2015-2016 offseason that runs through 2018 with three years of options to follow. If he makes all four seasons, Jones would only be paid $12.55M, which is a tremendous price for the pitcher that Jones was before he was injured in 2017 (contract numbers adjusted after his surgery). In 2016, Jones made 71 appearances, throwing 70 2/3 innings, with a 2.29 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and a 15/80 BB/K ratio. Jones has a monster fastball, running up to triple digits. Jones had a nerve reassignment surgery in July that kept him out for the rest of the season, but he should be ready to go for preseason. However, the lack of security in his availability should allow for his price to be fairly low this offseason, so if the Twins were to offer a “sweetheart” deal, they could acquire a possible dominating arm.