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, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Cincinnati Reds. Next up is the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies didn’t make it all the way to the World Series in 2018, but by all measures still had a successful season. They were one of the teams to come out of a competitive National League West division by becoming one of the National League Wild Card teams with a 91-72 record. They were able to upset the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card game, but then fell to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Division series.
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The Rockies continued to have a number of key position players turn in solid seasons. Charlie Blackmon played the outfield and hit .291/.358/.502 with a .860 OPS. Nolan Arenado continues to be one of the best third basemen in the league as he hit .297/.374/.561 and a .935 OPS. Right next to him in the infield is shortstop Trevor Story who hit .291/.348/.567 and a .914 OPS.
The starting rotation saw a very good season from Kyle Freeland (2.85 ERA) and a good season from German Marquez (3.77 ERA). On the other end, it was a down year for the hopeful number one starter Jon Gray who finished with a 5.12 ERA and was demoted at one point this past season. The bullpen saw a lot of attention last season and took time to work how they wanted and was highlighted by free agent Adam Ottavino‘s 2.43 ERA and 13.0 K/9.
Possible Trade Interest
Rockies may want: The Rockies represent another club that ends up with similar needs to the Twins, first base, outfield, second base, and bullpen help is something they will be looking for.
Twins may want: The Twins need someone for the middle infield, corner infield, and pitching upgrades. There a few names of intrigue in this pairing for the Twins.
Jon Gray is the player a lot of fans would like their teams to go after. Even after a down season in 2018 as alluded to above, he still has all the markings of being a good front-line starter moving forward. He has a 24.8% K rate and had a 12.3% swinging strike rate in 2018 (11.3% career). Even in a down year, Gray still had a 2.7 fWAR and 1.6 bWAR.
Brent Rooker is a hard player to give up for me personally as I hope he figures into the Twins plans in 2018 but he fits right with what the Rockies will be looking for. A player who can cover two positions of need in first base and outfield, plus a power bat playing half of his games at Coors Field is appealing. Lewis Thorpe is one of many arms that will have a hard time finding a place with the Twins but maybe the Rockies will be able to find a place for him.
Ryan McMahon is a player I suggested last season as a target for the Twins and my feelings remain the same. McMahon is graduating from the prospect ranks but has been a top 100 prospect in the past. He also has plenty of infield position flexibility with the ability and experience playing everywhere but shortstop. He has work to do at the plate but has shown he can hit at Triple-A with a .290/.339/.531 slash line in 2018 and a .374 average in 2017.
Nick Gordon would be an option to take over the hole left by DJ LeMahieu‘s departure. Since McMahon at this point should have a higher value than Gordon I have included Tyler Jay in this package as a potential arm to round out the Rockies bullpen.