Minnesota Twins: Three Reasons Jorge Polanco Should be on the Move
Many were skeptical of Jorge Polanco entering the 2021 season, and it wasn’t hard to justify the skepticism after he posted an 80 wRC+ during a lackluster 2020. He only had one full season of adequate offensive production for the Minnesota Twins up to that point. In 2021 however, those skeptics found themselves eating their words.
Polanco didn’t just improve from the season prior. It was his best showing at the plate to date. He slashed .269/.323/.503 with 33 home runs, third among all second baseman, and 11 stolen bases, making his poor shortened season the actual outlier.
A second baseman with Polanco’s offensive profile isn’t something you can find at every corner. There are certainly a few teams who could use the 28-year-old to bolster their lineup. If clubs start to show interest, there are enough advantages to dealing Polanco that the Minnesota Twins should consider pulling the trigger.
Realistic Trade Partners for the Minnesota Twins
With teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and St. Louis Cardinals with holes in their respective infields, there should be interest in a player such as Polanco once the lockout is over. His bat can match most middle infielders, and he can be utilized at shortstop or second base, adding more value to his name.
Also, Polanco’s currently on a very team-friendly 5-year, $25.75 million deal that expires after 2023 and includes two team options. That’s an absurd salary for a guy who’s produced a 9.7 bWAR over his last 360 games, and there’s no reason any club can’t afford to take it on.
Sky High Trade Value for the Minnesota Twins
Polanco just had a career year, hitting eleven more home runs than his previous season-high. Although it’s possible, he probably won’t go yard 30 times again. So if the Twins did want to trade Polanco, now would be the best time to do so.
And it’s easy to get caught up in the magical second-half numbers. But don’t forget that from the 2019 All-Star break until last year’s break, he combined for a .739 OPS. When he’s hot, he’s as hot as they come. However, Polanco’s floor is a bit worrisome.
Who knows which version will show up in the coming years. If he has another lousy campaign next season, or even if he takes a minor step backwards, his trade value will plummet. And with the Twins looking to retool, it makes sense to capitalize when one of your best trade chips is riding high.
More Playing Time For the Minnesota Twins’ young Fresh Faces
Trading the longest-tenured Twin might be difficult to digest for fans, but as old faces leave, new ones come in. The Twins currently have three middle infielders in the top eight on their prospect list, according to MLB.com.
Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, and Jose Miranda should all be ready at some point in 2022, and with Polanco in the picture, it would create an eventual logjam in the middle of the diamond. When prospects are ready, they should be getting reps at the highest level, not dwelling in the minors or buried on the bench.
Even if the Twins plan to contend this season, trading Polanco shouldn’t stop them. As per Steamer, he’s projected for a triple-slash line of .267/.328/.454 and a 113 wRC+, while Steamer projects Miranda for a .282/.329/.459 line with an identical 113 wRC+.
Some might question the depth with Polanco off the roster, but the team would still have middle infielders Luis Arraez, Nick Gordon, Tim Beckham, and Daniel Robertson in the organization, all with respective MLB experience. This could be the best time to move the All-Star second baseman.