Minnesota Twins: Grading the Gio Urshela-Alejandro Hidalgo trade

Minnesota Twins third baseman Gio Urshela rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run. (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins third baseman Gio Urshela rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run. (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Friday, November 18th, was expected to be a big day for the Minnesota Twins organization. The team unveiled their new jerseys and logos and the non-tender deadline meant that big decisions needed to be made. Well, the team started off with a move to go with it:

Gio Urshela, who was expected not to return in 2023 one way or another, was moved in a deal to acquire Alejandro Hidalgo, a 19-year-old prospect from the Los Angeles Angels. Like always with Twins trades, it’s time to once again grade the deal.

The Minnesota Twins sent Gio Urshela to the Los Angeles Angels for a pitching prospect.

Los Angeles Angels get: Gio Urshela, 3B

For the Twins, they’re losing Gio Urshela. Urshela, who has just one year left on his contract, was set to be making around $9.2 million on a tender deal didn’t really fit into the team’s plans, but he’s a big get for the Angels.

Urshela slashed .285/.338/.429 last season while playing decent defense at third base. For the Angels, who are in Los Angeles and have far more money than the Twins do, Urshela is a great addition to an offense that needs as much help as it can get.

He can play third base when Anthony Rendon inevitably gets hurt, play first if Jared Walsh continues to struggle, DH when Shohei Ohtani is on the mound, and add something offensively that the team desperately needs.

Minnesota Twins get: Alejandro Hidalgo, RHP

For the Twins, Urshela was always going to get non-tendered. He wasn’t going to be a backup for Jose Miranda at third and Luis Arraez and Alex Kirilloff at first, not for $9+ million dollars. To get anything for Urshela was a big win.

In return for Urshela, the Twins landed Alejandro Hidalgo. Hidalgo, who was signed by the Angels out of Venezuela in 2019, currently ranks as the No. 22 prospect in the Angels organization, and at just 19, he has some upside.

His fastball is a bit slow, sitting in the lower 90s, a curveball that has some above-average potential, and a decent changeup. He struggled a bit with control and got hit at a higher rate, but he posted an incredible strikeout rate of 13.4 K/9 over his 39 innings. There’s definitely some upside here as he gets older.

Final Verdict:

The Twins were boxed into a corner with Urshela. They had a full 40-man roster, Urshela would would cost too much for a backup, and they don’t have a spot for him as a starter. With absolutely no leverage, they turned Urshela into a Top 30 Prospect and $9 million in payroll space. That’s a huge win for the Twins, even if it means losing a player who was quite good in 2022. Grade: B+.

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