The 2017-2018 offseason is here for the Minnesota Twins. Who could be their trade partners this offseason?
Now that the Minnesota Twins have entered the offseason, they are looking to improve the roster through trades and through free agent signings. In this series, we’ll look at how the Twins match up with teams in trade scenarios.
We will first cover the team’s 2017 and what they may be looking for this offseason and then look at whether the Twins could be a good fit for a possible trade this offseason. If there’s a fit, we’ll try to put together a feasible trade that would work for both sides. We will go alphabetically through the league, and today we will look at a division rival in the Cleveland Indians.
Many have said that there is a World Series hangover, and who could blame the Indians for a hangover after the epic World Series they played with the Cubs in 2016?
The team got through June neck and neck with the Twins for first place in the division, and then they simply exploded, at one point winning twenty-two straight games, en route to a 102-60 record, winning the American League Central.
The Indians were led offensively by a pair of infielders, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor. Ramirez’s defensive flexibility was a help during the season, and he took a big step forward offensively, hitting .318/.374/.583 with 29 home runs and 17 stolen bases. Lindor found a whole new level of power, hitting .273/.337/.505 with 44 doubles and 33 home runs.
New signee Edwin Encarnacion led the power output for the offense with 38 home runs. The Indians were very pleased to see young center fielder Bradley Zimmer come up and play elite defense as well as flash some of his offensive tools that he can build on going forward before a season-ending injury.
On the pitching side, the Indians had one of the best rotations in the entire league, led by ace Corey Kluber, the American League’s Cy Young Award winner, as he went 18-4 over 29 starts, throwing 203 2/3 innings, allowing a 2.25 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, with a 36/265 BB/K.
Righties Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer each took significant steps forward in 2017. Carrasco went 18-6 in 32 starts, throwing 200 innings, allowing a 3.29 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 46/226 BB/K ratio. Bauer threw 176 1/3 innings, allowing a 4.19 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and a 60/196 BB/K ratio.
The Indians do have a host of free agents this offseason and will be looking to fill their roster due to that. Carlos Santana,
Possible Trade Interest
Indians may want: Relief help, First baseman/DH. With a number of relievers hitting free agency, led by steady middle man Bryan Shaw, the Indians will definitely be players for relievers in the offseason, and they’re well-known for taking less-heralded guys and developing them, so they could have an interest in less “name” guys. Carlos Santana is their biggest free agent, and while they badly want him back, he’s strongly desired in this market, so they could be on the look for a replacement if he signs elsewhere.
Twins may want: A power bat for the DH position, starting pitching, relief pitching
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With those needs how could the Twins and Indians match up? Here are three ideas:
Trade proposal #1: Twins trade Kennys Vargas and Luke Bard for Yandy Diaz and Juan Hillman. Vargas really has seemingly fallen out of favor in the organization and the team could simply move on. He’d work as a power-first guy at 1B/DH for the Indians on the cheap with Bard being a guy who could even open the season in their bullpen if not moving up there by midseason.
Trade proposal #2: Twins trade Eduardo Escobar and Fernando Romero for Mike Clevinger. While Romero plus Escobar would seem a high price to pay, Clevinger is a very talented young pitcher who would work well in the middle of the Twins rotation. Escobar would give the Indians the flexibility to utilize Jose Ramirez, Jason Kipnis, and their outfielders in a number of configurations while still having a solid offense on the field.
Trade proposal #3 Twins trade Ryan Pressly and Jake Reed to the Indians for Roberto Perez. This one is the toughest one to figure out, to be honest. A match with Perez to play as the primary backup catcher, allowing Mitch Garver to play some catcher, some first base, and also spend significant time at DH would be an ideal trade candidate, but his trade value is very difficult to determine when asking around the league. It could be that it’d require an additional prospect or someone more regarded like Tyler Jay to pair with Pressly to make the deal go.