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 team that has been incredibly active on the trade market with their current GM, the Seattle Mariners.
From November 1st of 2016 to opening day of the 2017 season, Jerry Dipoto completed 15 trades that involved 42 players to hopefully allow the Mariners to be competitive in 2017. However, the pieces never quite fit together as the Mariners finished 78-84.
Jean Segura hit well in his first year in Seattle, putting up a .300/.349/.427 line with 11 home runs and 22 stolen bases. He was joined up the middle by future Hall of Famer Robinson Cano, who hit .280/.338/.453 with 23 home runs.
Before he was hurt, Mitch Haniger was off to the sort of start that would have given Aaron Judge a legit challenge for American League Rookie of the Year. He returned from his injury and struggled initially, but recovered by the end of the season to hit .282/.352/.491 with 16 home runs in 96 games.
On the mound, the Mariners struggled to find health throughout the season as 17 pitchers started a game for the Mariners in 2017. James Paxton certainly fared best when he was healthy, making 24 starts, throwing 136 innings, with a 2.98 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 37/156 BB/K ratio.
Closer Edwin Diaz frustrated manager Scott Servais a time or two, being demoted from the closer role at one point of the season, but he still finished with a fairly quality season, posting a 3.27 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 66 innings, saving 34 games and posting a 32/89 BB/K ratio.
The Seattle Mariners acquired Mike Leake in a midseason deal, making 5 starts, throwing 32 innings, posting a 2.53 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and a 2/27 BB/K ratio.
Possible Trade Interest
Mariners may want: Depth pieces, possible salary relief. Seriously, it’s hard to tell how Dipoto imagines the next piece fitting into the Mariners puzzle. He acquired Dee Gordon and is now moving him to center field for the first time in his career. How Dipoto may move any of his pieces is anyone’s guess.
However, the Mariners still have five players who are under contract still in 2020, for a guaranteed amount of $83.2 million on the books for 2020. For comparison, at this moment, the Twins have just $30.4 million on the books for 2019 and nothing at all committed for 2020 at this point.
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 Mariners match up? Here are three ideas:
Trade proposal #1: Eduardo Escobar and Fernando Romero for Kyle Seager. This could seem light, but Seager is owed $76.5 million over the next 4 seasons with a $15 million option for 2022. That level of financial investment could scare off many teams, and if the Twins were to take on the entirety of the contract, it could make him much cheaper.
Seager will play his age 30 season in 2018, and he’s already had 6 consecutive 20-home run seasons at the hot corner. He’s also widely regarded as a quality defender, but the amount he’s owed makes him tough to move for the Mariners outside of a deal like this one where one quality prospect and a player in arbitration would be the return.
Trade proposal #2: Travis Blankenhorn and Felix Jorge for David Phelps. Phelps is in his last year of arbitration and would be a free agent next season, but he has been excellent out of the bullpen since converting to a reliever.
It’s feasible the price could be even less with only a single season of control, but Phelps would represent a cheaper bullpen option than many of the current ones on the free agent market.
Trade proposal #3: Ryan Pressly for Dan Vogelbach. With the Rule 5 draft selection of Mike Ford, the Mariners have a platoon for first base, and they continue to engage in free agent discussions with other first base options, leaving Vogelbach spending another year in AAA. Certainly he could provide a competitive option for the DH spot with the Twins.
Vogelbach has an excellent bat, but he’s seemingly been held to a quick trigger with the Mariners. Getting a change of scenery could be good for him.