Minnesota Twins trade chips
In looking to fill the holes on the roster, the team could choose to move some of their organizational depth in order to upgrade the roster rather than pursuing just free agents.
The Twins have given Kennys Vargas many opportunities to claim a starting spot on the roster. Some would say that he’s not been given a true, unabated shot at the starting job, but he’s had 175 or more plate appearances in 4 straight seasons, yet he’s put up a 102 OPS+ and struck out 29.2% of the time while slashing .252/.311/.437.
The Twins would have a hard time trusting a “power bat” that has put up a slugging that low for a full-time position. That said, Vargas has been shown to have some positive launch angle statistics and is able to provide power from both sides of the plate, so he could have some trade value.
The Twins tendered a contract to all six of their players who were arbitration-eligible, but that does not mean that they’ll open 2018 on the major league roster.
Kyle Gibson had an impressive finish to the 2017 season, and he turned plenty of heads. If the Twins were able to snag multiple starting pitchers, they very well might choose to shop Gibson for some salary relief in a likely package deal.
Ryan Pressly has always had a very good repertoire of pitches but not gotten the results one would expect until the second half of 2017. The Twins could utilize him as a piece of a package deal as well.
While the team could possibly entertain a move for Eduardo Escobar in the right deal, most likely of the hitters that are arbitration-eligible that could be traded is outfielder Robbie Grossman, coming off arguably his best season as a pro, showing an ability to be a 4th outfielder or low-level starter in the outfielder.
The Twins are blessed with exceptional depth in their upper minors in both starting pitchers and relief pitchers, which could be very good trade chips. More attractive, however, could be the tremendous depth in middle infielders that the Twins have.
In the rankings we had at Puckett’s Pond in October, we had 4 middle infielders in the top 15 ranked players, and new signee Yunior Severino would likely figure into that as well, which really gives the system depth at an area where most teams are desperate to have any level of depth.
Certainly there are plenty who would be upset that this guy is even mentioned, but with a future 9-figure contract that the Minnesota Twins likely won’t be able to give him after 2018 when he becomes a free agent, making a move with Brian Dozier would not be a crazy decision by the Twins this offseason, if the return was right.
Dozier is one of the most popular players in Minnesota, and he’s incredibly impressive as a team ambassador for certain, but the team is, after all, a business, and the Twins may have to make the tough business decision to move Dozier.
Now, if they choose not to fill their roster holes via trade, what players would they be aiming for?
Next: On the radar