Minnesota Twins: Ranking the Twins’ potential targets at the trade deadline
By Chris Schad
10a. RP Edwin Diaz & 10b. SP Zack Wheeler (New York Mets)
Both Edwin Diaz and Zack Wheeler should be available at the trade deadline, but a quick look at their stats would make a lot of people wonder why. As part of a Mets team that has been a complete dumpster fire in 2019, both Diaz and Wheeler have underachieved and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen has reached a breaking point that has included tossing chairs at coaching staff meetings.
Despite the turmoil that is surrounding them, the Mets seem to be willing to tweak their roster and get rid of some of their tradeable assets. On the current roster, there might not be a bigger candidate than Wheeler, who is a pending free agent at the end of the season. Wheeler’s record stands at 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA entering Tuesday’s start against the Twins at Target Field, but his reasonable cost (roughly $6 million according to Spotrac) has plenty of teams interested.
That might be because Wheeler seems to have earned a better fate with no drop in velocity (his fastball checks in at 97.1 MPH according to FanGraphs) and a 3.65 FIP. While he doesn’t have an inning of playoff experience, Wheeler could be a nice target for the Twins to shore up their rotation.
Another likely target from the Mets could be Diaz, who was acquired as part of a blockbuster that also netted New York Robinson Cano. After a 2018 campaign with the Seattle Mariners that saw him lead the league with 57 saves and a 1.96 ERA, Diaz has been a disaster with the Mets overall with a 5.35 ERA and 21 runs allowed in 35 1/3 innings.
Diaz isn’t an appealing target at first glance, but a deeper dive shows that he could do well if taken out of the Mets toxic environment. In his first 17 games of the year, the 25-year old was terrific, notching a 2.30 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .203 average with a .639 OPS. The floodgates have opened up since then, with Diaz allowing 17 earned runs in his last 19 2/3 innings with hitters teeing off at a .337 clip with a .939 OPS.
Despite this, Diaz’s velocity has remained virtually the same according to FanGraphs and the Twins have already had success with reclamation projects in Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and Martin Perez this season. The heat of a pennant race isn’t a great time to take on such a task, but if the Twins are looking to buy low, this could be a great spot to do it.