One of the biggest moves we’ve been waiting all winter for the Minnesota Twins to make finally went down on Monday. After making us all wait, the Twins pulled off a five-player trade that sends Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners, with four players coming back to Minnesota in return.
Two of the players coming back are going to the Major League additions, with the Twins adding a pair of prospects to boot. One of whom, Gabriel Gonzalez, is a Top 100 prospect who can be added to an already loaded class Minnesota has bubbling under the big league surface.
Losing Polanco is a tough loss, though, and one that’s not easily shrugged off simply by adding four players. As decent as the return package was — and a four-for-one is nothing to sneeze at — Polanco was a fan favorite who Twins Territory is mourning as he prepares to head out to Seattle.
It was an expected move, but it didn’t make the finality of hearing it any easier to take.
Twins fans have mixed reaction to Jorge Polanco trade
One of the big sticking points in the reaction to the trade was how unproven the return is. Justin Topa, Darren Bowen, and Anthony DeSclafani were the other pieces in the trade coming back to Minnesota but none of them are the big frontline starter the team was excepted to add to replace the loss of Sonny Gray in free agency.
The reaction was a mixture of sadness and anxiety over how it will all play out.
Seattle feels like the early winner of the deal. The Mariners are getting one of the most reliable infielders in baseball, and a player the team can instantly plug into the lineup and know it just got a little bit better.
One of the unforeseen aspects of the deal, or something that won’t show up in trade graphics, is how it clears up an infield backlog for Minnesota. The Twins have Edouard Julien and Kyle Farmer at the Major League level, with Brooks Lee and Austin Martin expected to get called up this season.
That’s four infielders who can fill in for Polanco, with a lot of potential offensive firepower to boot. The excitement around Lee getting called up could be an elixir to the disappointment of losing Polanco, and it also means there’s absolutely a spot for Julien in the lineup — which feels like a non-starter.
Polanco was beloved by Twins fans, and it feels similar to when the team traded away Luis Arraez last winter. Here’s to hoping this deal lives up to even half of that one.