Minnesota Twins: Send Austin Martin to the Detroit Tigers for Matt Manning.
This would be a classic bet trade: my top prospect for yours and let’s see who wins. The 23-year-old right-handed Manning made his big league debut with the Detroit Tigers in June, and while it still appears that he has a bright future, the results in his first season were mixed. Overall, he was 4-7 with a 5.80 ERA. He’s still a work in progress, so it would be a bit of a gamble for the Twins as to whether he’d be an immediate help in 2022, but there’s a potential high reward as well.
The Twins, meanwhile, would be trading from a minor league position of strength. They have both Royce Lewis and Austin Martin at shortstop in their farm system, and while it’s no guarantee that both (or either) will work out, it may be worth considering trading one of them for a chance to land a highly-regarded pitcher who could be a solid contributor in 2022 if he shows enough improvement.
One big question with this trade is, will the Tigers be in win-now mode in 2022? They made a lot of progress at the big league level this season, and they have been rumored to be in on free agent-to-be Carlos Correa, as shortstop is a need for them at the major league level. If they think they can compete in 2022, they may not want to be patient enough to wait around for Martin. However, if they are aiming to compete in 2023, he might be a good fit for their future and it wouldn’t cost them potentially $200 million or more in free agency, especially as young starting pitching is a strength for them.
Yes, trading away Martin might sting, especially if he goes on to star with the Tigers. But you have to give up quality to get quality, and this would be one way to do that.