Let’s Talk Trade

27 Jul

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Alright, it was  rough week for the Twins and their fans, but on Sunday they were able to get back into the win column. Tonight, the Twins are back home and playing the Chicago White Sox in what has to already be considered a pretty important series. Glen Perkins will be making the start for the Twins opposing John Danks. But again, looming in the background this week will be the July 31st trade deadline. There will be a billion rumors between now and Friday afternoon, but we shall see what will happen.


I think we have to start with this because it is the one being discussed everywhere. And the Twins are certainly not hiding their interest in the A’s shortstop. Ron Gardenhire chose his words wisely, but clearly he likes what Cabrera could bring. In this Susan Slusser article, Cabrera was basically saying that Twins players, including Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, were telling him that the team is trying to acquire him. The article goes on to say that the A’s did not like the Twins first offer, but that the Twins will likely increase the offer just because they like him so much.

So, what do I think of Orlando Cabrera? I really, really was a big fan of his back in his days with the Expos. He was such a good defensive SS, got plenty of extra base hits and ran a little bit. But let’s again check the Twins needs, and the big one is for a middle infielder who can hit second. What do you want from a second place hitter? The Twins need guys that will get on base in front of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel. Cabrera has a .313 on base percentage this season. For his 13 year career, his on base percentage is .322. Now, don’t get me wrong, that would be an improvement over what the Twins have been getting out of the #2 spot so far this season, but certainly not an ideal guy for that role. 

I would encourage everyone to listen to Twins Weekly last night and some of the discussion between Phil Mackey and Justin Gaard on Cabrera.  They brought up some good points including a comparison between Cabrera and Brendan Harris. On the season, Cabrera is hitting .276/.313/.366, a 679 OPS. Brendan Harris is hitting .263/.306/.373. That’s right, his OPS is .679 as well. Now defensively, Cabrera used to be excellent, but most defensive statistics this year show that Cabrera is below average. Harris’s defensive stats actually indicate that he has been very average. Now, the obvious comeback to that is that Gardy obviously will not trust Brendan Harris with the job, so might as well go with Cabrera over Nick Punto. I can’t dispute that. Cabrera would be an improvement. But don’t worry, if Cabrera is the team’s shortstop, rest assured that Punto will still be the team’s 2B. 

Finally, the one positive I could think of regarding Cabrera was the silly reality that he could be a Type A free agent again… somehow. But again, stealing directly from Phil Mackey, there is an interesting clause in Cabrera’s one year contract that he signed with the A’s. A clause states that the team he ends the season with can’t offer him arbitration. Obviously after this past offseason, being a Type A free agent proved not to be a great thing for those second tier Type A’s. That said, Cabrera would not be a guy you would want to offer arbitration to anyway because he just might accept it and you’d be stuck with him next year as well.

I guess the hope, if such a move was made, was that Cabrera would somehow find a way to be adequate over the final two months of the season. That can happen with such a small time frame and sample size. He could be a minor improvement over the current roster and provide a spark to a team that desperately needs it. That’s what we could hope for.


Now I do believe that the Twins should be willing to give up something decent to Oakland if it means acquiring reliever Michael Wuertz. The Austin, MN, native just might have the best slider in baseball. After having a very good five year run with the Cubs in Chicago, the 30 year old has been amazing for the A’s this year. In 45.2 innings, he has 62 strikeouts to go with just 13 walks. His WHIP is just 1.06. For Wuertz, I would give up two second tier prospects. Now, this may seem strange, but I would give up more to get Wuertz than I would to get Wuertz and Cabrera. For the two, I would give up one second tier and one third tier prospect. 

Looking to baseball-reference.com, Wuertz’s second more similar player is listed as Heath Bell, the Padres closer. That should be another name that the Twins are at least calling about. That said, you have to wonder if the two teams have even talked after Cla Merideth was sent to the Orioles for nothing. Anyway, Bell is 3-1 with a 2.06 ERA and 24 saves for the Padres. He has 46 strikeouts and 15 walks in 39.1 innings. 

I’m not quite ready to give up on the Freddy Sanchez dream.   

The thinking, in my mind at least, of any trade made this week, is that it should address 2010. That should be the priority. I think that this team has shown too many holes to do a lot in 2009, so all moves should be with the 2010 season in mind. Now, that’s not to say that with each move you aren’t also improving 2009 because that would be even better.   


Apparently Anthony Swarzak is the team’s stopper, at least when it comes to being the starter who has the ability to end a losing streak. On Sunday afternoon, Swarzak won his third game of the Twins season. He gave up one run on four hits in 6.2 innings. He walked three and struck out four. Matt Guerrier got four outs. Then Jesse Crain struck out two in his inning. Justin Morneau hit his 25th and 26th home run. Nick Punto went 2-4 with his sixth double and three RBI. Denard Span went 2-4 with his sixth home run and four RBI. Michael Cuddyer and Brian Buscher each went 2-5.


Sunday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Jason Pridie/Justin Huber, Rochester Red Wings

Sunday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Jason Jones, Rochester Red Wings  


Sunday –Rochester 13, Charlotte 10 (11 innings)  – Steve Tolleson played hero twice in this game. He came to the plate in the top of the 9th and drove in two runs with a double that tied the game. Then in the 11th inning, he drove in the eventual game winning run with a single. Matt Tolbert then drove in two more to give the cushion. Things definitely did not start out well for the Red Wings. Kevin Mulvey gave up eight runs on eight hits and three walks in just 5.1 innings. He struck out seven. Juan Morillo came in and got just one out. He gave up two more runs on two hits and two walks. Jose Lugo got a strikeout got end the sixth inning. Then Jason Jones came in and pitched terrific. He struck out five in four shutout innings for his third win of the season. Rob Delaney pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th, including two strikeouts, for his fourth save. With 13 runs scored, you would rightfully expect a lot of offense. There was! Jason Pridie went 4-7 with his 18th double and 21st stolen base. Justin Huber was 4-5 with his 15th home run. Matt Tolbert went 4-7. Jose Morales went 2-6 with a walk and his first home run of the year. Dustin Martin was 2-3 with three walks. David Winfree and Steve Tolleson each had two hits as well.     


Sunday – New Britain 6, Connecticut 10 – Cole DeVries was back on the mound for the Rockcats. He went just 4.2 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits and five walks. Frank Mata got two outs and gave up a run on one hit and two walks. Spencer Steedley made his AA debut. In one inning, he gave up three runs on two hits, an intentional walk and he hit a batter. Alex Burnett got two outs to get out of the seventh inning by getting two outs. Carlos Gutierrez got the eighth inning and struck out one. Rene Tosoni went 3-5 with his 22nd double. Matt Moses and Jeff Christy went 2-4. Luke Hughes went 2-5 with his fourth double. Whit Robbins hit his eighth home run.       


Sunday – Ft. Myers 4, Brevard County 8 Michael Tarsi started this game and got his first FSL Loss. In five innings, he gave up eight runs (3 earned) on eight hits and two walks. Matt Williams struck out three in three one-hit innings in his return to the Miracle. Loek Van Mil pitched a scoreless ninth inning. Joe Benson and Jair Fernandez went 2-4. Rene Leveret hit his third home run. Nick Romero went 1-2 with two walks.   


Sunday – Beloit 1, Lansing 3 Bobby Lanigan started and went six innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five. Bruce Pugh struck out three in two shutout innings. Billy Bullock pitched a scoreless ninth. Ramon Santana went 2-3 with a walk. James Beresford went 2-4 with his 12th stolen base of the season. He stole home on the back end of a double steal.         


Sunday – Elizabethton 6, Kingsport 3 (11 innings) Josmil Pinto led the offense by going 4-5. Brian Dozier went 3-6 with his seventh double. Reggie Williams was 2-4. Derek McCallum and Paul-Michael Klingsberg went 2-5 with a walk. Klingsberg hit his fourth double. Buddy Munroe went 2-6 with his first double. Brad Stillings made the start. In 5.2 innings, he gave up three runs (1 earned) on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four. Ramon Acosta got the final out of the 6th inning but not until he gave up a hit and a walk. Matt Tone then struck out five (and walked four) in three shutout innings. Winston Marquez struck out two in two scoreless innings.    


Sunday –GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 2 Mark Grudzielanek made his first in-game appearance with the GCL Twins. He was the DH and went 1-3 with a walk. Nick Lockwood went 2-2. Rory Rhodes went 2-4. Jhon Garcia gave up one run on five hits in six innings. Edison Alvarez went an inning and gave up a run on three hits and a walk. Nelvin Fuentes and Kelvin Mota each threw a scoreless inning.     

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


31 Responses to “Let’s Talk Trade”

  1. Alan Harrer July 27, 2009 at 12:40 am #

    How about Adam Kennedy from the A’s? He has cooled off, but he seems to provide more potential then the players we have. He also can back up 3rd.
    Also, instead of bringing up Casilla over and over, maybe give Tolleson a shot? We need offense more then stellar defense. If he can make all the regular plays he may be a better fit for the long haul.

  2. BigD1123 July 27, 2009 at 12:53 am #

    Has anyone heard the latest on Boof Bonser? Is he still ahead of schedule? Still out for the year?

  3. Joe July 27, 2009 at 6:23 am #

    Boof is on schedule. But on schedule is good enough to bring him 100 percent by spring training. This goes same for Pat Neyshek.

  4. Joe July 27, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    Lets talk a little Gulf Coast League
    BJ Hermsen (19), Adrian Salcedo (18), John Garcia (21), Blayne Wheller (19) and Andrei Lobanov (19) have all dominated with ERAs below 2. They all have great K/BB rates as well. Do you see any of these guys making the Twins top 10 prospects next year. I see Hermsen and Lobanov are on Josh’s thoughts I believe in the 40’s. Do they all start in Elizabethtown next year or do any of them have a shot at Beloit. Adrian Salcedo looks like a golden jewel.

    • roger July 27, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

      Not my top 10 because I have seen to many pitchers be phenoms in the GCL/Appy Leagues and never make it to AA. Now, Hermsen and Salcedo do appear to be special pitchers and I am excited as anyone to see how they do the next couple years.

  5. TT July 27, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    “A clause states that the team he ends the season with can’t offer him arbitration.”

    This seems more rumor, than fact. There is at least one other version of that “clause”. That version is that they can’t offer arbitration if he is a Type A free agent, but can if he is a type B. I am skeptical that any clause like that would be allowed/enforceable under the collective bargaining agreement.

    “The thinking, in my mind at least, of any trade made this week, is that it should address 2010. ”

    I am not sure it makes sense to pay a premium price now based on needs in 2010.

    The real question, the same one the Twins faced in 2007, is whether this team warrants further investment from the future. After this week, you can ask whether one starter, one reliever or a better number two hitter are going to make a difference. Four of the starting pitchers are struggling, the fifth is on the DL and his replacement has six major league starts. If they continue to struggle, no deadline deal is going to make any difference.

    Joe Nathan says trading Luis Castillo at the deadline in 2007 still leaves a bad taste. But the Twins didn’t finish 17 games back because they had Casilla playing second base instead of Castillo. My guess is Terry Ryan rightly concluded they didn’t have the team to win in 2007 and hoped Casilla would provide a spark. He didn’t.

  6. Dome Dog July 27, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    Cabrera wouldn’t excite me at all. The only possible reason I could see it is that Cabrera seems to really want to play for the Twins. There is something to be said for guys at this level being motivated. Maybe he comes here and plays over his head for 2 months. It’s possible, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    What really scares me is the comments from Mauer, Morneau, and Nathan about wanting a deal to be done. We heard the same from Santana & Hunter, and now they’re both gone. I feel like another crappy period of Twins baseball is coming…hope I’m wrong.

  7. TT July 27, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Dome Dog,

    We heard the same thing from Nathan and then he re-signed. I think too much is made of these deadline deals. They rarely make the difference, which is why you have to go back to Stewart to find one that did for the Twins. That deal, far from being heralded at the time, was widely trashed in the blogsphere because the Twins gave up Bobby Kielty.

    Last year, they got Guardado for the stretch run and he didn’t really help much. They traded for Rick Reed at the deadline back in 2001 and he didn’t make the difference that year. I think that is more typical. Whatever deal the Twins do will, at best, make a marginal difference.

  8. mike wants wins July 27, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Yes, because trading for a washed up reliever is the same as trading for a legit 2B. Of course the Twins deals rarely make a difference. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy when you trade for bad players that you are going to get bad results.

    I’m normally one for playing for today, but the way these starters are going, I’d rather they play for today and 2010. Sanchez is the obvious target. Washburn (as much as his age scares me) should be a target in the off season.

    Cabrera does nothing for me, other than to show that they are “doing something”. He’s probably worse than Harris right now. It makes no sense to acquire him – that would make some marginal differnce, no real difference.

  9. mike wants wins July 27, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    Just read La Velle’s article. My guess is that BS will make a crap deal, just to make a deal and try to placate the players. I have ZERO confidence that this FO will do what it takes to win. They are paralyzed by fear, inaction, and the belief that their prospects are AWESOME.

    I’m glad M&M&N are speaking up. I hope they keep the pressure up. Because apparently handing the team hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize their revenue didn’t do anything.

  10. gobbledygookguy July 27, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    it’s the business model mike, make money! sanchez maybe wins us a few more games at what cost an extra couple mill this yr and 8 m next when they can have tolbert or casilla play there for 350-400?
    will they resign mauer? think about it. min 15m morales 400 how many fans have to stay home to make that up. it’s not about winning it’s always about the money!

    • Kunza July 27, 2009 at 10:02 am #

      I 100% disagree with that statement.

      Of course it’s about winning. That is why these guys are owners in professional sports. The reality is that owners try to make money, as any business person would, but their passion for the game is what drives them to be owners.

      Now, Mauer is going to have to accept 15-18 million a year for 5 years. That IS ABOUT MONEY – the question that Mauer is confronted with is this….

      1. Do I take the money and leave Minnesota – basically making himself enemy #1 in Minnesota

      2. Stay for a bigger hometown discount so the Twins can afford more players – Mauer owns this state and if he would sign for around $15 mil per year for 5 years, he would go down as the greatest Minnesota athlete ever in the public’s eye

      Now, your thoughts of Tolbert and Harris playing for peanuts as the starter next year is another shot in the dark. This is a major league club. They are not going to say “well, let’s not sign someone for 5-8 million a year because we have some cheapies that can play there” Eventually management has to reap what they sow, and if they are constantly screwing things up, fans stay away. If you don’t think so, look at Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, the T-Wolves, and many more

      • gobbledygookguy July 27, 2009 at 11:20 am #

        i 100% disagree with “their passion for the game drives them to be owners.” (actually they inherited the team)
        maybe you have, but i haven’t seen one instance of the owners of this team (carl’s sons) showing any passion for this team period, let alone winning a world series.
        it’s all about money, they were going to move the team for money, they were going to let the team be contracted for money, only when they got a new stadium (more income) have they stopped bitching about not making money.
        in a brief period around the 2 world series wins a case could have be made that carl was really enjoying the winning, i.e. signing kirby and herbie to a big contracts.
        after kirbie retired it turned into pure 100% business, imo!

  11. Seth July 27, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    Joe, in my Twins Prospect book that came out last November, I ranked Salcedo and Arcia as the top two Twins prospects in the DSL last year. Both have come over here this year, and at age 18 now, are doing well. But Salcedo is pretty exciting.

    The thing is, and I agree with TT on this, the Castillo trade wasn’t a bad trade. The Twins didn’t fall out of contention because of that trade. The front office can not and should not listen to players, fans or media when making these types of decisions. They have to make the decisions based on Baseball Reasons.

    Bringing in Orlando Cabrera wreaks of making a move just to make a move. But who knows, could turn out great. We all thing Freddy Sanchez makes a ton of sense, and he does, but if they trade a bunch to get him, still doesn’t guarantee anything.

    And to the point of making money, that should absolutely factor into any decisions. Making dumb decisions doesn’t help anyone in the long run.

    I have no doubt that Bill Smith is working the phones and that his scouts and the rest of the front office are truly doing their due diligence. But all deals have to make sense on a number of fronts.

    I don’t really have a problem with the players speaking out. But again, the GM and FO have been doing their job regardless of what the players say.

  12. travistalks July 27, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    Bottom line if the Twins do nothing the starting catcher in 2011 is Wilson Ramos and the starting first baseman in 2012 is Chris Parmalee. It is as simple as that as the Twins need Mauer and Morneau more than Morneau and Mauer need the Twins

  13. Michael M July 27, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Seth et al,

    What can you tell me about Billy Bullock and how he grades out? He seems to make the recap quite a bit.

  14. Seth July 27, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Michael – I should point out that unlike hitters (where I typically show big hits, multi-hit games, home runs), with pitchers, I generally show all of them in a given game, good or bad or in the middle. That said, Bullock has been very good. After quickly working through Elizabethton, he has done very well with Beloit. I believe (and this is without going back and looking) that he has only allowed a run once, maybe twice.

    In my draft recap a week or so following the draft, I mentioned that he had only recently become a closer at the U of Florida, but that in doing so, he now hits the upper 90s with his fastball and has a power slider. He could move up the system fairly quickly.

    As for the business side, it would be stupid to just lose money, but I agree with Kunza, that you would hope that your owners would have some passion for the game and be willing to go outside the box. That said, they didn’t become billionairre’s by being dumb!

    • TT July 27, 2009 at 11:51 am #

      “they didn’t become billionairre’s by being dumb!”

      No, they were born to it. Remember it was their father, Carl, who made the money.

      That said, lets hope the Pohlad kids take after their dad. The Twins have one of the best run franchises in baseball. The Twins have been competitive for the last decade and still look like they have a bright future with a very young team. That is largely because the owners are smart enough to let the baseball people run the business. That doesn’t mean they aren’t fans. It means they understand that being a fan has virtually nothing to do with running a baseball team.

      • roger July 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

        The three sons may have been born into a family which gives them an opportunity all of us can only dream of. The fact is that two of the sons have been running the family businesses for a long time…very successfully.

        Had an interesting discussion with a waiter Saturday who works at another restaurant downtown that Jim Pohlad frequents. They were talking and Mr. Pohlad asked him what he thought of the Twins of late. The waiter responded, “not much to like about how they are playing.” Don’t recall the exact words but he said that Mr. Pohlad commented that he agreed. I suspect that this generation

      • roger July 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

        I suspect that this generation of Pohlads are huge fans of the Twins and will work with the front office to make the team better. Don’t expect them however to get involved in areas that are the responsibility of management.

      • TT July 27, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

        I suspect the Pohlad’s “run” most of their businesses much the same way they “run” the Twins – which is smart. But whether they are smart or dumb has nothing to do with why they are billionaires. They are billionaires because their father was both quite smart and absolutely ruthless in pursuit of making money.

  15. tree9546 July 27, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Read in the Pitt paper that the Twins were in town scouting Wilson &/or Sanchez and have had scouts in the minors looking at Ian Snell. Snell is intriguing b/c he is dominating in AAA but has some bad attitude towards the Pirates. Just 2 yrs ago he looked to be an All-Star caliber pitcher.
    BS could take on Snell’s salary and Sanchez for a package of Paramlee, Robertson & Delmon?? With the crap Pitt has acquired at the deadline the past 2 years we might be able to get them both for Martin, Pino & a bag of balls.

  16. Joe July 27, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Looks like all possibilities of getting Jarrod Washburn are dead. Rob Neyer is reporting the Brewers are prepared to offer JJ Hardy or even possibly sending top prospect Alcides Escobar. This would blow away a Glen Perkins and Alexi Casilla deal.
    Moving on to Orlando Cabrera. Billy Beane loves his draft picks and is not willing to lose a possible first rounder to the Twins. Beane is a great trader unlike BS. If the Twins end up shipping out a Chris Parmalee or a Rene Tonossi for Orlando I think they will become the loses of this trade. And if this trade happens I am almost positive that they will let him walk after the year. With the down economy what is the chance that another team would sign Cabrera and lose a draft choice. I say low.

    • TT July 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

      Here is Hardy’s line this year – .231/.298/.374 – and he is a free agent after next season. I think the Mariners would take Perkins alone over Hardy.

  17. tree9546 July 27, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    I love that trade for the Mariners. Either way they solve their major hole at SS.

  18. Jim July 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    I know the thought is to win now, but Seth bought up last week about the 40 man roster…some big decisions ahead there. They have to factor into the decisions we will make this week. Of course, this is no different than any other team in baseball.

    Bill Smith has made a number of mistakes. But most of us Twins fans were excited about Delmon Young. Only in hindsight does the trade look so bad. And look, for the Twins to get Boof, Liariano, and Nathan for AJ worked out for us…SF I am sure laments the trade like we do about Young. Time will tell if we rue the day trading Santana for what we got.

    I think the Twins do need to make a move…look at the Wild and their non-moves at the trade deadline. Finally, even those drinking the Wild Kool-Aid had enough and that is why there was no bemoaning the fact when both LeMaire and Risborough either walked out the door or was pushed out.

    I think they need to do what they can to get Sanchez…could solve a lot of problems.

  19. roger July 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    Seth, am going to make a prediction. Expect that Bill Smith will make a deal and Cabrera won’t be the key part (could be Oakland deal with another player as well). There is a good chance that the pressure from the Big 3 will cause him to what will likely appear as overpaying for whomever he gets. Personally, am hopeful it is Sanchez and Delmon Young is part of the trade.

  20. Seth July 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    I was 80% certain that the Twins would make a deal by the deadline before the All-Stars’ comments, and I’m not 85% certain.

  21. gobbledygookguy July 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    imo a swap of liriano for snell would be fair. both have shown a lot and stunk a lot. both could use a change of scenery.
    start with casilla to fill their hole at 2b and pick one from our top prospects 6-15 and one from 16-25 for sanchez. we get to protect our top five but we will give up something decent, given sanchez could be dealt next july if it comes to that.

  22. Michael M July 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    I don’t know how we can give up on Liriano so easily. I think next year is the make-break for him.

    I’ve also heard that the Twins are looking at Scutaro, and the Baltimore paper said that MN might be a landing spot for Melvin Mora, but this was more of the ponderings of the writer than anything concrete.

  23. mike wants wind July 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    Liriano is the one of the 5-10 worst pitchers in baseball right now. I don’t know how they can keep running him out there (well, now that Slowey is hurt, I can see how, but before, not so much). They could have sold a lot higher on him in the off season. I remember Seth posting about that at the beginning of the year. Nearly everyone thought it would be a bad idea. Some others were undecided.

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