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 the Minnesota Twins’ 2017 Wild Card opponent, the New York Yankees…
The New York Yankees don’t often truly rebuild. However, entering 2017, the team was firmly in the midst of a full rebuild, which led to questions about what exactly the expectations for the Yankees should be in 2017.
Certainly, they were expected to have a winning record, but the 91-71 record that the team finished with came as a surprise to many, even Yankee fans. The team then really turned the league on its collective ear by getting within one game of the World Series before losing to the eventual World Series champion Astros.
The major offensive force that propelled the Yankees was right fielder and mammoth human being Aaron Judge, who broke rookie records by hitting 52 home runs while slashing .284/.422/.627. He also struck out 208 times on the season, however, which is something the team is certainly aware of for 2018 and beyond.
Young catcher Gary Sanchez clubbed 33 home runs and shortstop Didi Gregorius hit 25 home runs. Aaron Hicks was very impressive in limited action, hitting .266/.372/.475 with excellent defense over 361 plate appearances.
On the mound, the team had struggles from their assumed ace, Masahiro Tanaka, who struggled to a 4.74 ERA over 178 1/3 innings, with a 41/194 BB/K ratio, but consistent issues with the long ball, allowing 35 home runs.
The rotation was instead propped up by the one cagey veteran, CC Sabathia (3.69 ERA over 148 2/3 innings), and multiple young pitchers. Luis Severino was a finalist for the American League Cy Young, making 31 starts, throwing 193 1/3 innings, with a 2.98 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and a 51/230 BB/K ratio.
Jordan Montgomery threw very well as a rookie, pitching 155 1/3 innings, with a 3.88 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and a 51/144 BB/K ratio.
The bullpen for the Yankees was absolutely elite. Even though the pen saw some injuries and ineffectiveness plague their top arms, the depth was so good that it didn’t effect the team, as the Yankees led all of baseball with a 10.92 K/9 from their bullpen corps and had the most fWAR of any bullpen in baseball.
Possible Trade Interest
Yankees may want: 2B, starting pitching depth, salary relief. After acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees are going to be tight financially and looking to shed some salary. Stanton also leaves the team with an overloaded outfield and a feasible need at second base.
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 Yankees match up? Here are three ideas:
Trade proposal #1: Twins trade RHP Kyle Gibson to the Yankees for 3B Chase Headley. Headley’s value has taken a nosedive since his stellar 2012 season. Headley posted his first 100 OPS+ in a full season with the Yankees in 2017. Defensively, he’s still average, and his role would really be to allow for more DH days for Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier in this deal as Eduardo Escobar could also fill in at 2B while Headley played 3B, even if Sano needed the day off.
Gibson’s best value would be as “sure” innings at the back of the rotation, something that the Yankees are going to be in the market for this winter in free agency, and with Stanton’s deal, paying Gibson $4-6 million in arbitration will likely seem like a much better gamble than spending $7-10 million in free agency for likely similar production.
Trade proposal #2: Twins trade IF Eduardo Escobar to the Yankees for 3B Chase Headley and LHP Phillip Diehl. Escobar would fill the 2B hole for the Yankees and allow Miguel Andujar to take over at 3B, then move to the background once Gleyber Torres is ready. His cheap cost and excellent power would be worth the extra prospect, and Diehl is the type of arm the Yankees could toss into a deal without thinking that could jump up 2 levels in 2018 and be an important part of the 2019 bullpen.
And now, for the big deal…
Trade proposal #3: Twins trade 2B Brian Dozier and IF Eduardo Escobar to the Yankees for OF Brett Gardner, 3B Chase Headley, RHP Trevor Stephan, 1B Mike Ford, and RHP Nolan Martinez. This may seem like an underwhelming haul for the Twins, but it’d be a chance to add two very high upside arms along with a very disciplined bat from the minors along with replace Escobar’s 3B glove behind Sano along with giving the Twins an elite 4-man rotation in the outfield, with tremendous defense no matter the trio in the field.
Losing Dozier would hurt, but the Twins would get one guy in the realm of Stephan/Ford/Martinez when Dozier gets 9 figures next fall in the 2019 draft, so instead, they could get that guy into the system now, and likely see at least one of those guys in the majors in 2019 before they’d even be able to draft the guy they’d get in compensation for Dozier if they let him leave after 2018.
It’s a tough choice to let him go, but it could be a chance to use Dozier to really bring in some elite talent while still keeping the team competitive.