We’ve been waiting all winter for the Minnesota Twins to make a trade, and our patience has paid off. On Monday the Twins agreed to trade Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners.
It’s not at all surprising that Polanco was traded, as he’s long been viewed as the most valuable currency the team has to help add to the roster. Replacing Sonny Gray has been a major priority — and need — for the Twins if they plan on replicating the success from last season and a lack of flexibility in free agency hamstrung the team’s ability to add through spending.
Trading Polanco was always the move.
Losing Polanco is a tough blow, as he’s always been a fan favorite who has been a productive member of the team. That’s the price of doing business, though, and the upside is that Minnesota got four players back in return.
Seattle is sending reliever Justin Topa, outfield prospect Gabriel Gonzalez and pitcher Anthony DeSclafani back to Minnesota.
Twins trade Jorge Polanco to Mariners in five player deal: Trade grade
While the Twins are gettting a nice four-player haul back, the early winner here is clearly Seattle.
The Mariners are getting a premier infielder who is still in his prime, and a player who they can instantly slot into the lineup and make the team better.
Meanwhile the Twins get a mixture of Big League players and prospects, but not the big pitching replacement we all thought the team would net in return for Polanco. Gonzalez is a Top 100-ish prospect while Bowen is still in his early-twenties and was in low-A last year. DeSclafani gives Minnesota much-needed innings, which is what the team wanted to try and replace Gray’s production, so it’s a notable deal from that standpoint.
We will be breaking this down from all angles in the coming days, but the knee-jerk reaction is lukewarm at best for this deal. The Twins offloaded some payroll, however it doesn’t feel like the team got back enough for what Polanco provides.
The good news is that the Twins have infield depth, which is why Polanco was expendable in the first place. Edouard Julien is going to slot into second base and there could be an opening for Brooks Lee to take over if Eddy is moved to first base.
Either way, with Polanco the Twins have a bevy of options for how to replace him in the lineup at second base. It also likely means that Kyle Farmer is going to stick around, which makes his $6 million arbitration deal feel more like a free agent signing at this point than anything else.
There’s also the prospect upside to the deal.
A four-for-one swap is good on the surface, but we’ll have to wait and see just how impactful the deal is in the long run.