The Minnesota Twins 2018-2019 offseason is here. Here we explore who could be their trade partners as they look to return to the playoffs.
The Minnesota Twins need to make some moves with the offseason now upon us. Free agents will attract a lot of the attention over the next several weeks as there are several big name free agents potentially looking for a new team and new big and shiny deal.
The Twins should very much be able to be in the conversation with many free agent names, but what will be just as if not more important for the Twins is the trade market. The Twins front office has pointed to the Twins minor league assets as a strength to help them acquire some additions to their roster. We will attempt to work through each team in baseball and find some trades that work for both sides. Working alphabetically, we will begin with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks had what can only be described as a failure of a season after finishing 82-80 and missing the playoffs. The Diamondbacks finished 8.5 gams back of the Wild Card spot and were 9.5 back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
What certainly didn’t help the Diamondbacks season success was missed time from outfielders A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza Jr. Both of whom are players that can be fantastic additions to any team, but when they are not on the field it doesn’t matter. Souza only played in 72 games and slashed .220/.309/.369 while Pollock played in 113 games and hit .257/.316/.484.
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What also hindered the Diamondbacks was a lackluster middle infield. Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed saw the most game time up the middle. Marte put in a decent season with .260/.332/.437 while Ahmed only slashed .234/.290/.411 and didn’t provide much outside of his defense. Some of those performances led to Daniel Descalso receiving a lot of playing time between second and third base which has put him on the radar of teams around the MLB as he hits free agency.
Injuries and the desire for improved performance at several positions caused the Diamondbacks to swing a trade for outfielder Jon Jay early in June. Arizona also ended up as the landing spot for Twins first half star Eduardo Escobar. Those trades and few others turned out to be failed attempts to keep the Diamondbacks in playoff contention.
Possible Trade Interest
Diamondbacks may want: The Diamondbacks find themselves in a situation where they need to decide is it time to rebuild or is there one more potential run in the cards for the team. They could potentially be looking to unload some contracts and also looking to upgrade their catching, outfield, and both starting and relief pitching.
Twins may want: These two teams are really in similar places where they both have intriguing pieces, but yet could also upgrade almost the whole way around the diamond. Difference is the Twins are hopefully on the upswing as the Diamondbacks question whether or not they are on the downswing.
This trade for the Diamondbacks would be much more of a retool than a rebuild. Max Kepler would be able to step into the lineup for Pollock and even could take on center field responsibilities in Arizona. Stephen Gonsalves should be ready to step into a rotation and Blayne Enlow gives the Diamondbacks a quality arm for the future.
For the Twins, Zack Greinke can be the Twins ace for the next several seasons as he is signed through 2021. While Greinke is on the wrong side of 30, he has continued to perform well as a starter. In 2018, his age 34 season, Greinke tossed 207.2 innings, held a 3.21 ERA, with 199 strikeouts and 43 walks, and a 23.7% K%. The cash would help bring Grienke’s AAV closer to $30 million per year and buys the Diamondbacks some more talent. I could see the Twins needing to through one more low level prospect into this package to make it work.
If the Twins are worried about Miguel Sano and his ability to play third base, this trade helps to address that. Jake Lamb missed a lot of time in 2018 only being able to play in 56 games. Going back just one season he has shown that he has plenty of power hitting 30 home runs in 2017 and 29 in 2016. Similar to Sano, Lamb won’t put up a great slash line but his .248/.357/.487 in 2017 would work for the Twins.
This trade works as a bit of a retool as well for the Diamondbacks. LaMonte Wade gives them an outfielder that may be squeezed out in Minnesota eventually if the Twins don’t move any of the four outfielders currently set to play on the MLB team. Wade is likely not going to be a great centerfielder, so if the Diamondbacks would prefer defense over a bat Zack Granite could be an option. Although Granite’s 2018 at the plate was pretty bad so they may prefer to have Wade’s on base skills. Lewis Thorpe or John Curtiss gives them an arm that isn’t too far away or is maybe even ready to be on the major league roster to begin 2019.