Sweep Complete! One More Day

30 Jul

Also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Alright, as you know, about a month ago, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson and I started a venture which on July 13th turned into the TwinsCentric 2009 Trade Deadline Primer. We are pretty proud of the e-book and hope that those of you who did purchase it really enjoyed it and found it interesting, thought-provoking and entertaining. For a little over a month, the trade deadline has been a fairly consuming part of my life. Doing the research, writing the pages of the book and also on this blog, and the never-ending cycle of rumors are exhausting. And now here we are, one day away from the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, and I need sleep. But I suspect the rumors and predictions will only be stronger today and tomorrow, right up until Friday’s 3:00 central time deadline. It should be a lot of fun to see.

So where are we as Twins fans as it relates to the trade deadline? Just a month ago, the team had two alarming needs, in the middle infield and in the bullpen. Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert and Nick Punto were terrible. Jesse Crain had just been sent down. Sean Henn had been DFA’d, and the bullpen situation was horrible. Since then, the Twins have brought back Alexi Casilla and Jesse Crain and signed 2B Mark Grudzielanek to a minor league contract. And the Twins still have holes. The middle infield, both SS and 2B now, have holes. The bullpen still needs one or two arms. The bench is in need of upgrade. And now with Kevin Slowey out for the season, Francisco Liriano having forearm issues and pitching pretty poorly, Glen Perkins up and down starts, Nick Blackburn’s struggles since the All-Star break and Scott Baker’s inability to put hitters away quickly, this team could use a starting pitcher. This team is in need of change and improvement, and yet, we are at the end of July and they are just two games back of the Detroit Tigers after sweeping the White Sox tonight. 

That tells us two very different things. First, it is very much possible that this team could still win the AL Central division even if they don’t make a move. I don’t think it would happen, and I would still argue that their chances of finishing 3rd would be as good as their chances of finishing 1st. It also says that a couple of additions in key spots could be enough to put the Twins over the top in the division. And once you make the playoffs, you jus never know what could happen if the Twins are playing well then. 

I know many Twins fans are more than frustrated that Twins GM Bill Smith is yet to make a move. I admit, I have been too. The key to remember is that the trade deadline is July 31st, not July 29th or 27th. From rumors we have heard, teams who have been in talks with the Twins about sending veterans to Minnesota have asked for a couple of names; Aaron Hicks and Danny Valencia. And why wouldn’t they? If they don’t start negotiations there, they should be fired. And on the same hand, if the Twins front office traded either of those players at this time, they should be fired. With time on their sides, the teams (like the Pirates or Blue Jays) have the right to ask for a bunch. But as that trade deadline approaches, some of that advantage is gone. If those teams want to add prospects and/or reduce payroll, they need to deal as much as the Twins or other teams in contention. So, it is very possible that asking prices could be down by waiting.

That said, the jewel of available middle infielders this July, Freddy Sanchez, is now not an option. He was traded by the Pirates to the San Francisco Giants for AA pitcher Tim Alderson. Keith Law ranked Alderson the 26th best prospect in all of baseball. Don’t let the fact that he is generally ranked the 3rd or 4th best prospect in the Giants system fool you. They have Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner at the top of their list. The Twins don’t have a prospect in their system that is as highly thought of as Bumgarner or Posey. Aaron Hicks would be close. And I know I wouldn’t trade Aaron Hicks, or Danny Valencia, for anyone, including Freddy Sanchez

Cliff Lee was traded from Cleveland to Philadelphia. Last year’s Cy Young winner in the AL was exchanged for three solid AAA prospects and the jewel of that deal, Jason Knapp, who is still in A ball. A very nice haul for Mark Shipiro. Could the Twins have acquired Lee? Maybe, but it would require four top 10-12 prospects in the system, and how many of them would come back to bite the Twins over the next six to eight years that they are in the same division. 

The interesting thing is that none of the prospects in the Roy Halladay to the Phillies rumors were needed to acquire Lee. That means, in theory, that the Phillies could still get Roy Halladay too.

Hey, I’m all in favor of the Twins dealing from their stable of prospects. I fully understand the you have to give up something to get something. My opinion is simply that it has to make sense. Yes, it has to make sense for 2009. But it also has to make sense for 2010, and beyond. If the Twins literally had just one hole to fill, I’d be willing to give up a little more, maybe, but this team si likely more than one player away from being a good baseball team, not just a good AL Central team. But each trade needs to be judged on its own merit. And it has to make sense.

David Eckstein – not going to make a difference. I think I’d rather wait for Grudzielanek. My guess is that the Twins will still try to make a move for a bullpen arm. It will be seen as minor, and probably will be. But that is a need. They could use a starting pitcher. Maybe Arizona would be willing to move Jon Garland or Doug Davis for a lesser package? Starting pitching is at such a premium, and as much as some of the Twins young starters have struggled, there is tremendous value in keeping them.

 

Any thoughts as the deadline approaches? What do you think?   

TWINS 3, WHITE SOX 2

I went to last night’s game with my parents, who were celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary, my sister and my daughter. So that was a lot of fun, and thankfully the Twins no only won the game, but it wasn’t too long. A few notes:

  • Brian Duensing found out just a few hours before the game that he would be starting in place of Francisco Liriano who was experiencing some swelling in his left forearm. Then he went out and pitched a very good game. He went five innings and gave up just two runs. The first was on a solo home run to Jayson Nix that was just out of the reach of Denard Span in left. The second was a no-doubter to dead center by Carlos Quentin. He gave up just one more hit, a single, and he walked just one. The team had to be thrilled with getting that from Duensing.
  • Then Jesse Crain came in, which I’m sure still makes a lot of Twins fans nervous. But he did just fine too. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced, but got out of that inning. He gave up another single the next inning and was able to get a double play ball to end that inning. The Metrodome radar board showed him hitting 95 a few times. If he can come back and be what he was from 2004 until his injury in 2007, the Twins will be thrilled.
  • Matt Guerrier was excellent again in the 8th inning. He had a perfect inning which dropped his ERA to 1.99 and his WHIP to 0.85. I know he doesn’t profile as the dominant 8th inning type that we all want, but he’s been incredible.
  • And Joe Nathan got the 9th. He certainly made things interesting as it took him two or three batters to find any control. Gordon Beckham got ahead in the count and laced a single to left. Then after striking out Jermaine Dye looking, he walked Paul Konerko. He was able to strike out Chris Getz on a slider in the dirt, but in doing so, the two runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd. Bobby Jenks was now warming up. Mark Kotsay, who just arrived with the team that day, came up and on the first pitch hit a hard line drive that Michael Cuddyer did not have to move for at all to end the game and give Nathan his 29th save. After a cheap, one-out save the night before, Nathan had to work for this one!
  • The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd when Alexi Casilla knocked an RBI ground-rule double to the left centerfield gap. The second run scored on a ground out by Denard Span. Then with two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning, Casilla lined a soft single into centerfield that scored Joe Crede from second base with the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run.
  • Casilla needed that. He was 2-3 with two important RBI. He also added a stolen base and advanced to 3B. His average is at .171, and like with Crain, if Casilla can go on a run the last two months, he could be very important. I don’t think any of us expect him to hit .300 the rest of the way, but if he can hit .270, play good, smart defense and run a little, he could be decent at the bottom of the order. And again, Mark Grudzielanek is putting his work in and could be ready in a couple weeks.
  • Denard Span did a nice job of being a leadoff hitter again. He was on base three times, with two singles and a walk. You can’t ask for much more than that.
  • The Twins managed just two other hits in the game. Jason Kubel singled in the first. Carlos Gomez had a single and a stolen base in the game.
  • The Twins have a much-needed off day at home today. They have now won four straight games and are 52-50, one game ahead of the White Sox, and two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central

Now a couple of other baseball game etiquette notes:

  • I think people here know about how dumb I think that The Wave is, right? Well, sitting near the left-field foul pole, I now have a new-found dislike for the beach ball. I just don’t get that thing at all. After the first out of the 4th inning last night, people in the left field upper deck must have agreed to something ahead of time because as soon as the first out was recorded, about 40 beach balls were knocked into the air. Some would fall to the lower level. A couple fell onto the field. Explain this to me. First, why is that fun? Second, watch the game. Third, because some people then don’t watch the game, anything can happen. As this was happening, a White Sox batter lined a foul ball into the bleachers behind the Twins bullpen. Someone got hit in the head and needed assistance. Now yes, that can happen any time, but it could also be not paying attention. And finally, it’s inevitable that one or more will fall onto the playing field, and that means that a ball boy has to run out there and pick it up. It delays the flow of the game. Anyway, there is my game rant of the day.
  • Secondly, do people at games realize there is a reason that ushers generally ask fans to wait until the end of an at bat before letting people go back to their seats? It’s so that people can watch the game and see. I don’t know how many times people were asking people to stand up and let them through to their seat mid-at bat. Maybe that’s a left-field thing? But that is annoying.

Any other thoughts on the Twins sweep of the White Sox or what they need to do by tomorrow at 3? Leave your thoughts here.

MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

Wednesday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Deibinson Romero, Ft. Myers Miracle – Aaron Hicks, Beloit Snappers

Wednesday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Santos Arias, Ft. Myers Miracle – BJ Hermsen, GCL Twins

ROCHESTER REPORT

Wednesday –Rochester 4, Gwinnett 4 – Reid Santos got the start in this game. He gave up four runs on ten hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out two. Juan Morillo came in and struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. Trevor Plouffe went 2-4 with his 15th double. Steve Tolleson was also 2-4.  

ROCKCAT RECAP

Wednesday – New Britain 4, New Hampshire 5 – The struggles of Matt Fox continued in this game. He fell to 6-7 on the year after giving up five runs on five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out three. Frank Mata pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Anthony Slama walked one and struck out two in a shutout inning. Erik Lis provided the offense. He went 2-4 with his 13th home run.    

MIRACLE MEMOS

Wednesday – Ft. Myers 4, Brevard County 2 Deibinson Romero had a great day at the plate, and Santos Arias was excellent on the mound in the Miracle win. Romero went 2-2 with two walks and his fourth home run. Evan Bigley knocked his 15th double. Estarlin de Los Santos went 1-3 with two walks and his fifth stolen base. Arias improved to 5-1 with seven shutout innings. He gave up just five hits, walked one and struck out three. Blair Erickson got the next five outs, but he left the game in the 9th with the bases loaded. Loek Van Mil came in and allowed two inherited runners to score on a hit before recording the final out and his third save.   

SNAPPERS SNIPPETS

Wednesday – Beloit 2, Great Lakes 4 Aaron Hicks and Angel Morales both had good games at the plate, but it wasn’t enough for the Snappers on this night. Hicks went 2-3 with two walks, his second triple and fourth stolen base. Angel Morales was 2-4 with his 13th double. Dan Berlind got his 10th loss of the season. In five innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and three walks. Kyle Carr struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings. Bruce Pugh struck out the only guy he faced. Billy Bullock pitched another scoreless inning.   

E-TWINS EXTRAS

Wednesday – Elizabethton, Johnson City – Postponed by Rain again.

GCL TWINS GOINGS ON

Wednesday – GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 0 BJ Hermsen continues to impress. He improved to 5-1 and reduced his ERA to 1.05. He threw six shutout innings and allowed just four hits and a walk in six innings. Zach See threw two scoreless innings before Jean Mijares pitched a perfect ninth. Brian Bistagne went 2-3. Mark Grudzielanek went 1-3. Oswaldo Arcia went 1-3 with a walk, his fifth double and sixth stolen base.  

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

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33 Responses to “Sweep Complete! One More Day”

  1. TT July 30, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    I would trade Valencia for Alderson in a second and I suspect the Twins would too. Sanchez is more valuable than either one in baseball terms. His salary next year is really the problem.

    I am not sure what the Twins do with another starter. Its not like you can point at one starter and say that is the weak spot in the rotation that we are fixing. It could be any of them over the next two months. We won’t know which until after the fact. Bouncing guys in and out of the rotation based on their last couple starts is a great way to permanently mess up all the young starters. Unless they can get a clear ace who will give them a stopper now and strengthen them in the playoffs, they ought to pass.

    I also doubt that another middle reliever is going to help. If the Twins can’t get a setup guy who they can confidently send out there in the 8th inning, they ought to stand pat.

    In short, change for change sake is a bad idea. And its not clear there is anyone the Twins can get that will really improve their chances over the next couple months. In the meantime, they ought to stay the course and improve as their young players get more experience.

  2. Han Joelo July 30, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    Didn’t Casilla seem to catch fire last year about the time the deadline passed (or was that after Castillo was traded). Maybe he needs to feel secure. Gomez might be warming up a little with the more consistent playing time.

    Sanchez was expensive, but if the Twins had prospects to spare I’d have said go for it. I just don’t think the Twins had something comparable to offer (outside of Hicks, et al,) unless other teams are willing to value Delmon Young as a ‘prospect.’

    Right now the haul for Lee looks great, but it strikes me as rather similar to what Santana netted in essence, each one yielding a couple of mediocre upper level starters, a well known position player with questionable upside, and a sexy lower level pitcher with bigger upside. We’ll see.

  3. Han Joelo July 30, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    The Sanchez deal makes me think back to the Luis Castillo trade. I don’t know how they compare stat wise, but it seems like they were both about the same age at the time of the respective trades. The Twins got him for Travis Bowyer.

  4. jps July 30, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    Seth, I couldn’t agree more about the beach ball thing. Not that I’m glad that someone got hit, but I’m glad that there is a glaring example of what happens when the crowd does stupid stuff like the Wave or beach balls: if you don’t watch the game, you could get hurt. However, I do understand that baseball is a boring game for most people who aren’t geeks like us, and need something like that for their A.D.D. I guess we should be happy that people who don’t appreciate baseball as much still come to games. I guess I would take the wave over the beach ball, because then it doesn’t disrupt the game. However, when watching tv, you get cheers and hollers by the crowd at strange times, and I think is distracting to some players. I’m glad you mentioned it, because I was frustrated seeing game interupted last night.

  5. Nealcp July 30, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    Here, here, Seth! About the stupid beach ball thing and ESPECIALLY the morons getting up and down in the middle of a frikkin’ at bat!! In my estimation, not only should the ushers not allow people to go down during an at bat; they should actually wait until the half inning to allow people to come down. There is no way the majority of the people at the games can make it from the top to their seats between batters; especially if they’re in a lower row. And then they act like YOU’RE being rude not to stand right up in the middle of a pitch! I’n not a hockey fan in any way but I do love the fact that ushers WILL NOT allow anyone down until a stoppage of play ay hockey games. At the Dome and, actally most ML venues I’ve been to, they actually encourage you to “move along” even during a half inning. I can’t say how many times I’ve had to argue with an usher, telling him/her I’m not “moving along” until the half inning as I don’t want to be rude to other fans trying to watch the game. OK, there’s my rant! And don’t even START on the stupid beach balls. I’m with you, aren’t you here to watch the actual game??

  6. Rick Blaine July 30, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    I totally agree with you on the Delmon Young issue. Trade him so he can be free of Gardy and show what he can do. Gardy never gave him a chance. With four (five counting Kubel) outfielders to choose from— someone has to sit. Span surprised most people last year with his production and it looks like Gardy likes Gomez’s defense too much for Delmon to get a chance. I am sure Smith is afraid Young will come back and haunt him– and I hope he does for Delmon’s sake. He has talent– but it is wasted here.

  7. gobbledygookguy July 30, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    a guy his age (look at the age of our aaa and aa outfielders) and what looks like some decent talent should be playing every day. he did start hitting in june and then went back to the bench most days. TRADE HIM give him a chance to play, and get the distraction away from the team. it will be best for both sides. even if you get a few middle prospects get this over with, it hurts the team and it hurts him.

  8. roger July 30, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    Seth, I believe trading Young will be a huge plus for the tream by elimination. They then can play their three best outfielders without always worrying about who is sitting. I don’t know what we can get for him and I suspect that is a problem for Smith…but sometimes it just makes sense to admit a mistake and move on. I would hope they could package Young with a pitching prospect and get a good reliever. What do you think they could get?

  9. mike wants wins July 30, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Seth, love your work. But, the fact that they TWins would never make a meaningful deal means you may want to write books not focused on Twins and trades.

    If the Twins don’t have the horses in the minors to make a deal for a real player, and they don’t have the horses in the minors to fill the holes from the minors, then the minor league system just isn’t that good, is it?

  10. travistalks July 30, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    honestly the Twins farm system is not what it used to be. We are middle of the pack right now in the system but that could change if guys like Guerra, Manship, Robertson, Bromberg, Hicks, Valencia, Weller, Tonkin, Hermson, Benson and so on keep developing. As much as I would like to make a trade and wanted Freddy Sanchez Bill Smith should of been fired on the spot if he had traded either Valencia or Hicks for Sanchez. Sometimes you just dont have the horses to acquire the player you want. Also SF will regret the day they traded a A prospect for Sanchez

  11. Dan July 30, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    As I posted in my blog this morning, I think the Twins are running out of options fast. The last attractive option is Marco Scutaro, and he might not even be available depending what happens with Halladay.

    I also think that the Twins should not be afraid to trade prospects, but only if they are getting a return that helps them for more than one year. If they could get a package with any combination of a Starter,Reliever,Middle-Infielder that would be able to make an impact for two or so years, I say go ahead. If it’s to get a single player for just the rest of this season (Cabrera and Scutaro?), no thank you.

    I do have to think, though, that the Twins would be nuts to trade Valencia. He’s supposed to be taking over at third, which has been a question mark and stop-gap heaven (or hell) ever since Koskie left.

  12. mike wants wins July 30, 2009 at 10:07 am #

    Liriano was untouchable 3 years ago. Since then he’s missed a year with an injury. Been good then bad the next year. And now been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this year.

    No one should be untoucahble, for the right return.

    I agree SF gave up a ton to get Sanchez, but if they make the playoffs this year, it will likely be worth it for them (both financially and baseball wise). Even if this pitcher turns out to be good, that is off in the future. Meantime, SF had a good to great present. Why is that discounted so much? Perhaps they did give up too much, perhaps they didn’t. But, they had what appears to be excess starting pitching prospects, they dealt from a position of strength, and they appear to have filled a galring hole in their system. That’s the kind of deal a team should be making, isn’t it?

    As for Valencia, you can’t trade your 3B away to get a 2B. Opening a gaping hole to fill another gaping hole makes no sense.

    The fact that they had no one to trade for Sanchez (and likely not Scutaro), and that they have no one that can hit over .200 at 2B in their system, and that they keep running retreads out to the pen, tells you a lot about the current quality of this system (which is irnonic, because everyone says they should rely on the system and not make trades…..).

  13. Dan July 30, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Hey, do you guys think maybe the Mariners are building a package of Lowe, Washburn and Wilson for the Twins? Who they would send to Seattle I have no idea….

  14. Bill in Sarasota July 30, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    These are my top prospects that I would protect (not necessary the top ranked prospects)
    Hicks – high five tool ceiling
    Valencia – next year Twins 3B
    Ramos – insurance if Mauer doesn’t resign
    Guerra – high SP potential (still only 20)
    Hermsen – only in GCL but high SP potential

    Surplus of OF (Revere, Tosoni, Benson, A. Morales) and Surplus of SP (Gutierrez, Manship, Bromberg, Robertson, Tippett, McCardell) make them available in the right deal (Washburn?).

  15. rosterman July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    It was student night. So many come to drink and socialize, and maybe watch the game, sadly. The beach balls then come out in force.

    Yes, no beach balls…but the only way to stop them is to have dogs at the doors that smell the rubber, or ushers that can catch and deflate them. Maybe on student night the Twins need to “pay” some plants to randomly sit in sections to inetrcept the balls.

    The cardinal rule is that you go to and from you seat between innings. You can soemtimes sneak back in right after a batter makes an out and another is taking a slow walk to the plate. It’s especially a pain at the Metrodome because of the long walks up and down, especially on the main floor. That’s why seats on the end of aisles aren’t always that great. My only other pet peeve is folks who come in a group and rather than walk in front of their buddies, will hop a row, or go the other way. Right up there with the person who comes down the wrong steps and decides they can cross thru the tight row to get to the next aisle. Arrgh!

    Student nights are a pain. They sell a lot of beer. And otehr stuff, I’m sure. But it’s a fan nightmare!

  16. rosterman July 30, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    Hey, tradebait.

    The question is: who on the 40-man roster won’t be there in 2010. Those names immediately avaiulable.

    Who is far from untouchable (again, 80% of the names on the 40-man, if you really want to dream).

    Next, who will be minor league free agents in 2010, and who will the Twins need to protect that could be gotten for $50 grand.

    Then you look at the bigger picture. Each year, a team maybe brings up 2-3 rookies (Duensing, Pridie, Morales) to play on the team, and maybe another couple of grizzled vets get a shot with the team (Keppel, Henn, Dickey, Morillo). Maybe one from eah category will stick around come the next season or two, as there are always repalcements to be had with new draftees pushing oithers up thru the system, and the waiver wire.

    Out of the 30+ players the Twins draft in a season, maybe 5-7 will make the majors, and chances are only a half od them with the Twins. Go back and look (the killer being a couple eyars when no one made it).

    So out of 150 players curently in the minors, how many truly have a chance to contribute to the Twins, or stay for 3+ seasons or more? That would make an interesting analysis.

    Still waiting to see if the trade deadline does bear fruit. If one or two faces are added, one or two faces have to depart from the 40-man roster (Macri, maybe Butera, Pridie, is Gabino necessary, maybe Young will be traded). So, you lose double when you trade prospects for ready talent, as someone ahs to be pushed aside for the new guy (like when Grudzielanek comes up, who does he bump for the season).

    • sam July 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

      what will the 40 mam look like in 2010?

  17. TT July 30, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Young is not going to bring much in return. If they are going to deal someone, it should be Cuddyer in the off-season. They have guys like Pridie/Winfree/Martin in Rochester who can be a fifth outfielder. And if Young never develops, they can stick Kubel in the outfield until Revere and Benson are ready, maybe after next year.

  18. Dome Dog July 30, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Sounds like David Ortiz tested positive for steroids back in 2003 (not a surprise, unfortunately). At least now I can stop feeling guilty about what seemed to be the biggest mistake in Twins history…Now I need to think about what the biggest mistake would be. In no particular order…

    1. Trading Tom Brunansky for Tommy Herr
    2. Garza/Bartlett for Young/Harris
    3. Not having mandatory glaucoma testing in the 80’s
    4. Not resigning Torii Hunter
    5. Trading Johan Santana

    Now, 2,4,& 5 need to play out more for me to be completely convinced they were mistakes, and I’m sure I’m missing more. What else can you all think of?

  19. mike wants wins July 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Thinking the market would “correct itself” and waiting to sign Knoblauh, only to have salaries continue to escalate, signing him, and then trading him because he’s too expensive. Ryan actually said he didn’t sign him when he had a chance because he thought salaries would drop. Amazing.

    Not signing Santana the year before.

    Trading Castillo (which was a good baseball move, but apparently really, really, really pissed off the players and made them think the FO never tries to win now).

    Not trading a prospect at the begining of this decade for a mediocre/average hitter to be your DH, and being stuck with Tyner and others, when one more hitter may have put you over the top.

  20. drnkmn July 30, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    AS far as the 40 man goes, the team is already at 39 officialy with Neshek being on the 60 day dl. Slowey and Bonser could be put on the 60 day also to make the roster 37. Making room for new players wont be a problem.

  21. tree9546 July 30, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    It blows my mind that Sanchez brings in a better prospect than either Cliff Lee or Santana did. This could be Pitt’s best in many years.
    I am tired of the FO never going for it. They are always at even keel and never go for broke. They have needed a RP or 2 for over a year and BS has failed to fill the hole. SS & 2B have been horrible at the plate all year and he has done nothing to fill those holes either.

  22. TT July 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    “It blows my mind that Sanchez brings in a better prospect than either Cliff Lee or Santana did.”

    He really didn’t. He brought one guy – the Twins got Gomez, Humber, Mulvey and Guerra. Lee brought a similar package. There are plenty of great players who weren’t always on the Baseball America top prospect list and plenty of washouts who did. Prospects, but especially pitching prospects, is largely a numbers game.

    ” never go for broke.”

    Going for broke sounds great until you are broke. Those of us who followed the Twins for longer than the last decade are painfully aware of what broke looks like. The complaint that the Twins haven’t made a deal at the deadline recently only has legs because the Twins have always been in the race at the deadline.

    • tree9546 July 30, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

      The Twins got crap for Santana! Unless Guerra keeps up with his new found success he was given away for warm bodies.
      I have been a Twins fan since the early 80’s so I know what the meager years are like. But the last time we made to the WS we had a GM that would go out and fill in some holes when needed. BS & TR before him guard these prospects like the are gold, prospects should be advanced but they also should be used as chips to improve their team. Humber, Mulvey & Go-Go have virtually no trade value now and yet less than 18 months ago they were vital prospects that brought Sanatana to the Muts.

  23. Bill in Sarasota July 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Sherill just went to the Dodgers for two good AA prospects (3B & SP).

    I think Dodger’s prospect pair is a little higher than Tosoni & one SP (Bromberg, Gutierrez, Robertson, or Manship).

  24. Bill in Sarasota July 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    From ESPN-Rob Neyer:

    I’m not going to criticize the Dodgers for trading Josh Bell. Who knows? Maybe Casey Blake will live forever.

    What I will do is send up a big hip-hip-hooray for the Orioles, because the single best thing any rebuilding manager can do, ever, is trade a relief pitcher in late July for a couple of solid prospects.

    Let me repeat for anyone not paying attention: a relief pitcher.

    Relief pitchers are … well, I would say that they’re “fungible” except that word always makes me think of a massively fun and rigid airship. Instead I’ll say that a relief pitcher, purely in terms of value, is not worth two solid prospects.

    Bell and Johnson are solid. Bell opened the season as the Dodgers’ eighth-best prospect, and has done nothing this season to damage his credentials; he’s got mid-range power and a .364 career on-base percentage. Johnson’s 21 (almost 22), he certainly throws hard enough (90-93) and has struck out nearly a batter per inning in his five minor-league seasons.

    If I were an Orioles fan, I would be organizing a party right now.

  25. Joe July 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    If there was one trade that you guys would have not made what would it have been.

    Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett and Eduardo Morlan for
    Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie

    or

    Johan Santana for
    Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra

    Weigh options like this. The Twins were game 163 away from making the playoffs last season. Imagine how many more games they would have won last year with Johan Santana making 30 starts instead of Glen Perkins. You could have let him walk and collected a first round draft pick in the 2009 draft and if the Mets signed him. That would have been higher ranking the KRod and the Twins would have got the Mets pick. 24th overall. My opinion is the they kept Santana they, I guarantee they would have made the playoffs.

    If they kept Garza and Bartlett. Well the rotation would still be young but you would have a true hard throwing right hander in Garza. Lets face it, his stuff is just electric, 95 MPH fastball not afraid to go inside and dirty secondary stuff when he is on. Jason Bartlett has been improving every year with his bat, and is always a sure thing with the glove. If they kept these guys there would be no Delmon Young. Thus the oufield would have been Gomez, Span and ? who. Remember Michael Cuddyer was injured majority of last year. Kubel could play outfield everyday but was not as consistent as a hitter as he is this year. Remember Jason Pridie would not be here either making the most ready outfielder behind Span and Gomez would be David Winfree or Dustin Martin?

    My thoughts is if I could go back I would have kept Santana, tried to have a rotation of Johan, Baker, Liriano, Slowey and Blackburn. 1 Year of that would have been enough to make the playoffs. Imagine even if they were in game 163 again. Johan starting instead of Blackburn. I have looking back but that is what I have been thinking about a lot recently.

    • tree9546 July 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

      If BS would have known how good Span was going to be I doubt he pulls the trigger on either trade. He was desparate to find a true CF with Hunter leaving. An OF of Span, Cuddy & Kubel isn’t fabulous defensively but it would have been better than some.

  26. Matt in SoDak July 30, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    Seth-

    What are your thoughts on the Twins trying to pry Hardy from the Brewers? He isn’t playing well, but maybe a change of scenery would be of benefit. I have no idea what it would take to get him, but if the price is right, maybe that could make sense?

    I realize that the Brewers aren’t “sellers” at the moment, but, with their SS of the future banging at the door, would this be possible?

    I just don’t really want to see the Twins get Scutaro or Cabrera, I guess. Hardy is younger and cheaper….

  27. Juanie July 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Good point on Delmon. I would love to see the Twins trade him to get everyday playing time, but I don’t think it’s possible to get a decent return. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make sense to trade any of the other guys either, so the only way he plays is if someone else gets injured. Cuddy makes sense to trade with his contract situation, but it may hurt the team more than you think by dealing a high character guy who tries to be the leader. As much as it hurts me to say it, it may make the most sense to trade Kubel. I know, he’s a great hitter (no one hits more clutch HRs on this team), but he’s injury prone and doesn’t hit lefties. Remember you have to give up something in order to get something in return. Plus, if Revere is as bad a fielding OF as reports indicate, he would be a good DH candidate in a few years.

    A lot of people list Hicks as being untouchable, but I think the Twins should listen to legitimate offers for superstar caliber players if they come along. They have some of the league’s premier talent in Mauer, Morneau, and Nathan in the prime’s of their career, and this opportunity doesn’t come along very often (this team has far more talent than the 2002-2004 teams did that won the division). How often do top prospects pan out anyway? Look at the top pick in the Twins’ draft over the past 10 years or so and find the guys that actually came close to reaching their potential? Who’s to say it will be different with Hicks?

    One final note: I hate the trade deadline because all the rent-a-players get traded for far more talent that what they’re worth. More often than not, the rent-a-players have a very minor impact on the team that wins the WS anyway. How many players acquired at the trade deadline can you name that have made a major impact in the playoffs and WS?

  28. TT July 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Neyer never lets reality trump his pet opinions. You don’t really need to read him to know what he will say. If the Twins traded Nathan, or even Guerrier, for a couple prospects right now everyone here would understand that it was idiotic.

    Of course most relievers are not Joe Nathan. But at the deadline you have market conditions in which both teams often come out ahead. For a contender, another solid reliever can make the difference in the last couple months of the season. A team that is out of the race is going to put a premium on the future. If that costs them a couple games down the stretch, they will pay that price.

    I don’t doubt Cuddyer would be a loss in the clubhouse. But he is the oldest of the outfielders and would have the most value on the market. At worst, you would lose the difference between Cuddyer and Young. I think Cuddyer would bring more than that in return.

  29. Matt July 30, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    Get anything you can for Delmon now. He might end up being a .300+ guy with good power….but he will NEVER be a “Baseball Player,” a true grinder that does anything and everything to help the team win. This may be impossible, but try and get a A or AA shortstop that will hopefully replace the Bartlett mistake down the road.

  30. dctwins July 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    hey seth, what do you think of my take on jp ricciardi and bill smith taking the same route with their staff ace? http://dctwins.wordpress.com

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