Minnesota Twins offseason trade profile: Kansas City Royals
By Nate Palmer
The 2017-2018 offseason is here for the Minnesota Twins. Could the Kansas City Royals be their trade partner 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 have made it to the American League Central Kansas City Royal.
In 2017 the Royals came into the season knowing that it was an important one as they have several core players hitting free agency this offseason. Results were not what the organization was hoping for as the Royals finished 3rd in the AL Central missing the playoffs with a record of 80-82.
A core of the Royals offensive production came from those now free agent bats. First basemen Eric Hosmer hit .318/.498/.882 with 25 home runs. Third basemen Mike Moustakas hit .272/.314/.521 and 38 home runs. Lorenzo Cain manned center field while slashing .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs and 26 stolen bases.
The Royals also benefited from a full season of production from Whit Merrifield. Merrifield slashed .288/.324/.460 with 19 home runs and 34 stolen bases while primarily playing second base.
Alex Gordon didn’t perform up to the caliber expected of him as he only slashed .208/.293/.315. Same with free agent acquisition Brandon Moss who provided the power he normally does with 22 home runs but only slashed .207/.279/.428.
The starting pitching staff was led by left-hander Danny Duffy‘s 146 innings with a 3.81 ERA and 8.0 SO/9. Jason Vargas was right behind him as he pitched 179 innings holding a 4.16 ERA. Jason Hammel led in terms of innings pitched, recording 180 innings but his ERA of 5.29 isn’t what the Royals would have liked to see.
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The Royals bullpen remains a strong part of their team with pieces many teams would like on their roster. Kelvin Herrera had some rough appearances as reflected by his 4.25 ERA but was still able to save 26 games. Mike Minor was a valuable lefty out of the pen pitching 77 innings with a 2.55 ERA and is in line for a decent free agent contract this offseason.
Possible Trade Interest
Royals may want: The Royals sit in the crosshairs of a decision. Try to win now by signing and acquiring major league ready players, including some of their own free agents, or start a rebuild. If the Royals try to compete now they will need to fill needs at first base, third base, center field, and strengthen their rotation.
Twins may want: The Twins need starting pitching, relief pitching, and a right-handed power bat.
It always seems hard to feel good about a trade of significance with a division rival, but there are at least some options for the Twins and Royals.
Trade Proposal #1: SP Danny Duffy for SP Stephen Gonsalves, RP Tyler Jay, and OF LaMonte Wade/OF Zach Granite
Danny Duffy would be a solid addition to the starting rotation for the Twins if the Royals decided to go in the direction of a rebuild. He is a quality starter and under control for the next 4 years.
The Twins in this trade are giving up Gonsalves who should be ready for the majors this season. Jay who will be ready to throw out of the bullpen soon. Granite would represent an outfielder who can contribute to the majors quickly, or the Royals may rather have someone they can groom a little longer for down the road.
Trade Proposal #2: 3B Eduardo Escobar for Nicky Lopez SS/2B
If the Royals decide to try to compete, Escobar could provide a cheap veteran presence at third base for the Royals. This would allow them to throw some money the way of Hosmer to bring him back and allow their prospects to continue to develop.
Lopez just finished a strong campaign in the Arizona Fall League where he slashed .383/.433/.568 and added 2 home runs and 10 RBIs. That all came in only 81 at-bats but the AFL is a good league for a prospect to perform well in. Lopez could be an option for second base if the Twins don’t resign Brian Dozier.
Next: Twins trade partner profile White Sox
Trade Proposal #3: Minnesota Twins trade a prospect for international free agent money. The Royals were limited to a $300 thousand max per signing this offseason and I can’t find anywhere where they have traded a big amount of their money away so there should be some remaining.