The Minnesota Twins should be applauded for their 2018 trade decisions
By Matt Smith
Again, it’s easy to be frustrated when you see guys like Dozier and Escobar traded for some players you’ve never heard of before. But if we take some time to dig into what we got, it’s clear that the Twins made some good moves.
First and foremost, the overall effect these trades had on our farm system was awesome. Per MLB Pipeline, the Minnesota Twins now have the 6th best farm system in the MLB, and a large part of that is due to the pieces we acquired at the deadline. Now, we didn’t get any top 25 overall prospects or anything like that, but it would have been incredibly unrealistic to expect any. You just don’t get that kind of talent for pure rentals (players that will become free agents at the end of the season). The best prospect the Baltimore Orioles got after trading free-agent-to-be Manny Machado comes in just 54th among MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects.
With that said, we did get some real talent. Without getting to far into specifics of each player for now, of the 13 total players we acquired in trade, 5 of them immediately slot in as organizational top 30 prospects (Jorge Alcala at 13, Gilberto Celestino at 14, Gabriel Maciel at 17, Luke Raley at 19, and Jhoan Duran at 23, per MLB Pipeline). I think it’s fair to expect several more to move into our top 30 over the next year or two as well, namely Ryan Costello and Ernie de la Trinidad.
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There’s a few low risk, high reward, lottery ticket-type players as acquired, including Dakota Chalmers, who Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston noted has “ability…through the roof” and could be an “organization changer”. Luis Rijo is another very young, talented arm the Twins are hoping will pan out. We’re also taking a few shots at some bullpen arms. Chase De Jong and Devin Smeltzer haven’t done much to get very excited about, but at the absolute very least, they’ll both provide pitching depth in the minors as it’s fair to assume several players currently in the Twins’ farm system will be brought up over the next year. Plus, Tyler Austin has already proven to be worthwhile and has a place with the Twins in the MLB for the foreseeable future, not to mention bringing some pretty impressive power.
All in all, other than the discomfort of seeing Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar playing in a different uniform, there’s no reason not to like the trades the Minnesota Twins have made this year. It’s never fun to be sellers, but being realistic with where the team was at, it was undoubtedly the right move.
The Twins didn’t lose any of their long-term assets, haven’t pushed back their window of opportunity to compete at all, and restocked the farm system with abundance of quality talent and potential, as well as current MLBers Tyler Austin and Logan Forsythe.
2018 has been a disappointment, but the Twins made the best of a poor situation with several quality trades. Plus, don’t forget that we still may see Brian Dozier and/or Eduardo Escobar back with the Minnesota Twins next year.