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, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, and Boston Red Sox. Next up is the Chicago Cubs.
There are a lot of things about the 2018 Cubs that if we would have laid them out in front of us as Twins fans before the season began we would have said, “sign us up!” The Cubs won the bidding for Yu Darvish and added him to an already strong starting rotation. They also went 95-68 and made the playoffs. The problem was that Darvish didn’t help the team much due to injury and the Cubs were bounced from the playoffs in the Wild Card game by the Colorado Rockies.
The rotation boasted some very good performances from the likes of Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and was eventually joined by Cole Hamels midseason. Hamels in 12 starts put up an incredible 2.36 ERA for the Cubs.
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Javier Baez continued to turn heads throughout the season with his performance from second base. Baez hit .290/.326/.554 with an .881 OPS while adding 34 home runs, 111 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases. Wilson Contreras continued to prove to be one of the better catchers in the game with his .249/.339/.390 slash line even after a fall of from August on. All the while, super-utility man Ben Zobrist continued to prove his worth at age 37 playing in 139 games and batting .305/.378/.440 while lining up at right field, left field, second base and first base.
Possible Trade Interest
Cubs may want: The Cubs have a lot of good assets already on the roster but will always be looking for any upgrades as they seek out a World Series title. The bullpen, infield, and minor league depth could all be areas they seek to improve.
Twins may want: The Twins need upgrades across many position as well and could provide a home for one sore spot the Cubs are dealing with, which leads us to…
It is hard to know exactly what Russell’s value is right now after being handed out a 40 game suspension for Domestic Abuse. What we do know is that Russell plays shortstop and plays it pretty well as he put up 13 defensive runs saved in 2018. Russell has been as high 15 and 18 DRS in previous seasons. Russell also provides a decent bat for the position as he slashes .250/.317/.340.
As we said, it is hard to know the value Russell has yet but if the Twins are willing to take the risk Nick Gordon could be the center of a package. Gordon could either stay in the minors and the Cubs could continue to develop him or he could potentially fill in the role of a utility infielder of sorts off the bench. Tyler Jay could be an arm that enters the bullpen conversation at some point this next season.
As we mentioned earlier, the Cubs wouldn’t mind upgrading their bullpen from where it was last season. While Addison Reed had some weird thing happen to him last season causing him to be nothing like the pitcher we thought the Twins were acquiring. A team like the Cubs may be willing to bet on his track record versus his 2018.
Kyle Schwarber could step into being a bat with some power in the Twins lineup. The downside is that Schwarber doesn’t hit for much in the way of average and is another left-handed bat, but his 26 home runs last season shows the pop he has. He was primarily an outfielder for the Cubs in 2018 but would likely slot in as a DH for the Twins. If the Cubs are trying to save some money for other deals I could see the Twins needing to throw some cash into this deal to get it done.