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. We have already explored possibilities with the Arizona Diamondbacks, next up is the Atlanta Braves.
The 2018 Atlanta Braves exceeded all expectations with their season. While they were certainly expected to take a step forward it was shocking to see them go 90-72 and finish at the top of the National League East.
The Braves saw Freddie Freeman perform like a franchise player as he hit .309/.388/.505 with 23 home runs and 44 doubles. Another veteran in Nick Markakis had a career year as he slashed .297/.366/.440 and had 14 home runs and 43 doubles. Even former Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki performed well for the Braves as he slashed .271/.332/.444.
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While those veterans had great seasons, their season will be remembered for the emergence of rookies like Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna. Albies locked down second base for Atlanta as he hit .261/.305/.452 with 24 home runs and 40 doubles. Acuna also hit well as he slashed .293/.366/.552 and finished with 26 home runs as well as 26 doubles.
Possible Trade Interest
Braves may want: The Braves are on the cusp of what feels like an extended run of contention. They will be looking for major league ready talent. Specifically, outfield, catching, and bullpen are areas of needed improvement for the Braves.
Twins may want: The Twins will likely be the most interested in the Braves major league ready pitching if a deal can be made.
Starting Pitcher Julio Teheran has two-years left on his contract currently for $11 and $12 million. He may give up his fair share of home runs and even can walk more batters than you would like but he would still find his way towards the top of the Twins rotation. He just put in a season where he pitched 175.2 innings with a 3.94 ERA and 162 strikeouts.
I struggled with the return here. I feel that Max Kepler is the Twins most valuable trade chip this offseason even coming off a season statistically that wasn’t impressive. If I was negotiating I would see if LaMonte Wade with another player wouldn’t get me Teheran, but this may end up being the price unless the Twins can talk the Braves down due to Tehran’s loss of velocity.
Trade Proposal #2: 3B Austin Riley for LaMonte Wade and another prospect
This trade ends up being the swap of two Triple-A players who both are likely blocked from the major leagues as their respective teams’ rosters currently stand. LaMonte Wade has shown a very good ability to get on base and looks like a plus defender as a corner outfielder and would be serviceable if he got pushed into center. Wade’s struggles and Austin Riley’s higher prospect status likely means the Twins will need another prospect included in the deal. The Braves have a good system so it hard to pinpoint one player but probably someone ranked in the number 10-20 range from the Twins system.
Austin Riley would provide a third base prospect who is really ready to step into the major league lineup. Riley is the Braves fifth-ranked prospect (#43 overall) according to MLB Pipeline had solid seasons at both Double-A and Triple-A in 2018. His Triple-A numbers of .282/.346/.464 with aa .810 OPS and 12 home runs tells the story of a player ready for major league action. He also has the potential to be a middle of the order bat down the road.