3 ripple effects Manuel Margot trade will have on Twins

Trading for Manuel Margot has an impact in a few different corners of the clubhouse.

Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Four
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Four / David Berding/GettyImages
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While it appeared the Minnesota Twins were done making offseason moves, the front office had one more trick up its sleeve.

On Monday the Twins traded prospect Noah Miller to the Los Angeles Dodgers for veteran outfielder Manuel Margot and a third base prospect. Margot checks a few different boxes the team was looking to take care of before Opening Day, not the least of which is being a right-handed hitting option to come off the bench.

It's not the splashiest move in the world, and it was a trade quickly overshadowed by the corresponding move the Dodgers made to sign Kiké Hernández as Margot's replacement. He's a useful acquisition, though, one that has an impact beyond just what he might do in the field.

Twins have Byron Buxton insurance in centerfield

Aside from needing to replace starting pitching losses, the biggest need for the Minnesota Twins this winter was figuring out the situation in centerfield.

Byron Buxton didn't play a single inning in the field last year, although all signs point toward him being fully healthy to start the season. Thankfully the Twins had Michael A. Taylor to fill in for Buxton last year, as he unexpectedly became Minnesota's everyday centerfielder, but that safety net wasn't present for most of the winter.

We all knew the Twins needed someone to play behind Buxton and act as insurance in the event he once again misses significant time due to injury. Even if he remains healthy, the wear-and-tear of a full season isn't worth the risk and the Twins needed someone to take the load off Buxton when he requires some time off.

Margot is expected to provide that support.

Since 2020 he's ranked third in outs above average among all qualified outfielders, which rivals the elite defense that Taylor provided in Buxton's absence. His bat is more of a question than most would like, but Taylor wasn't providing much power and there's upside with Margot who is a career .281/.341/.420 hitter against left-handed pitching for a .761 OPS.

Minnesota has learned the hard way that Buxton's health is no guarantee, and team has finally found some much-needed insurance depth -- and peace of mind -- behind him.