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, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, and Detroit Tigers. Next up is the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals tried to add some pieces prior to 2018 with some hopes that they may be able to pop up and compete in a weak AL Central Division, but that just didn’t happen. The Royals landed in last place with a 62-100 record. Much like the Twins, we saw the Royals trade away some players at the deadline.
One of those players was Mike Moustakas who remained with the Royals after resigning as a free agent last offseason but was then traded to the Brewers midseason. In his 98 games with the Royals he hit .249/.309/.468. Whit Merrifield continued to be one of the best second baseman in baseball just unfortunately, those seasons have came on some bad Royals teams as he spent 2018 hitting .304/.367/.438 with a .806 OPS.
What dashed some of the Royals hopes for competing in 2019 was their ace left-hander struggled. Danny Duffy in 28 starts tossed 155 innings and had a 4.88 ERA and an 8.2 K/9 but a staggering 4.1 BB/9 to go along with it. Brad Keller bounced back and forth from starting and the bullpen and logged 140.1 innings with a 3.08 ERA.
Possible Trade Interest
Royals may want: Royals say they want to slash payroll and compete yet in 2019. It seems like it will be hard to do both and with a farm system that is pretty depleted, they may welcome any sort of young, controllable talent to rebuild with.
Twins may want: By this point, we know the Twins need middle infield, corner infield, and top level pitchers. Even though the Royals may not want to part with some of their pieces that fit that billing, especially to a division foe, they have pieces the Twins would be interested in.
In full disclosure, everything we have heard is that the Royals are not interested in trading Merrifield. Which makes some sense for the Royals since he is a great second baseman with team control through 2022. Those same reasons also makes him attractive for the Twins and a trade of Merrifield would help inject life into the Royals rebuild.
It will take a lot to get Merrifield from the Royals. And the Royals are likely going to ask and push for Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, but the Twins are not giving up those two for just about anyone. So this trade gives the Royals a talented shortstop prospect in Javier that will take a few more years to groom, an MLB ready pitcher in Romero, and another high-upside prospect in Enlow. This may not get it done, but could at least get the Twins foot in the door.
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The Royals may also not want to part with Duffy after his down year. If there is any chance he can be the top of the rotation left-hander in the past the Twins would do well to acquire him. There is really nothing to take away from his stats to help save face on Duffy’s 2018, it was just bad. But if he can regain 2017 form with a 21.4% K-rate and return his walk percentage back to a more career regular 6.7% he could be a very valuable pitcher again.
This package gives the Royals again a major league ready arm in Gonsalves. They are different relievers, but an option in two relievers who are major league ready and already have some experience at that level to slot into their bullpen. Then Blankenhorn is someone who can add depth to their farm system.
There you have the trade profile for the Royals. Both trades probably rate as highly unlikely, but hopefully, these are at least interest garnering offers for two impact players that would help the Twins compete in 2019.