Twins Keep Diamond, Deal Bullock

28 Mar

The Twins were able to retain the services of lefty Scott Diamond. He cleared waivers and the Twins were able to work out a trade with the Braves to keep Diamond and be able to send him to AAA Rochester. Unfortunately, it cost the Twins arguably their top relief pitching prospect, Billy Bullock (arguably because many – myself included – have Carlos Gutierrez ahead of him).

I don’t understand the move. Diamond is viewed as a back-of-the-rotation starter, at best (not that that is a bad thing). At the absolute best, he could be another Brian Duensing. If that’s the case, then the price is probably acceptable.

That’s not to say Bullock was untradable or a perfect prospect. Despite a fastball in the upper-90s, the 2009 Twins 2nd round pick from Florida  walked over six batters per nine innings in his half-season at New Britain last year. He also struck out more than 13 per nine.

I don’t get this trade at all. I don’t like it. These are just initial thoughts upon hearing the deal. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

I’ll leave you with this, a terrific tweet from Steve Adams (who writes at MLB Trade Rumors):

Let’s get this straight. #Twins trade Hardy for Hoey/Jacobsen because they need power arms. Now trade Bullock for finesse LHP?



47 Responses to “Twins Keep Diamond, Deal Bullock”

  1. mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Bizaarro world trade from where I sit. They finally have a power arm they drafted, and they deal him for a JAG. I don’t get it.

    • Tom "TK" Krug March 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

      Does not make any sense to me. Too bad it will be a couple years until we know what type of deal this was or was not.

    • TT March 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

      “I don’t get it.”

      Maybe they want to win now and Diamond might help them this year. Bullock almost certainly won’t. 🙂

      • Seth March 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

        And likely Diamond won’t either which is why they are sending him down. I like keeping Diamond. I think that’s a positive.

      • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

        You know, that might be the funniest thing you’ve ever posted (assuming it was aimed at my usual point….). Excellent post.

    • TT March 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

      “assuming it was aimed at my usual point…”

      It was … that was the reason for the smiley.

  2. Brian March 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    If Seth Stohs, the organizational cheerleader, doesn’t like a deal, then Bill Smith must have really screwed the pooch.

  3. gobbledy March 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    pitch to contact baby!

  4. TT March 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    You have to give up something to get something and Bullock can’t find the plate consistently. He might eventually get there, but apparently the Twins don’t think his chances are worth giving up on Diamond.

    I think its important to remember the Twins were ready to keep Diamond on the major league roster despite his minimal minor league experience. He may not be the next Johan Santana, but he still projects as a pretty good pitcher.

    As for Billy Smith “screwing the pooch”, I think Seth does a great job, but I will take Billy Smith’s judgment over his any day. I suspect he would too.

    I also think people need to realize that the Twins were dumping Hardy (and his salary) because they think Casilla is better. Hardy just wasn’t worth all that much.

    • Seth March 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      Agreed, TT, I think that the Twins front office does a good job on these types of things, so the jury is certainly out. The comment that we won’t know how this move turned out for a couple of years is very true.

      When the Twins drafted Diamond in the Rule 5, I made the comment that ideally, he could get another year or at least half-year AAA, and now he can get that.

    • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

      Smith certainly knows more about this than I do, but I don’t understand always* defending him. Seems kind of boring to me. You really think they think Casilla is better than Hardy?

      • DH in Philly March 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

        Isn’t always* questioning him just as boring?

      • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

        Greg, I agree with much of what he’s done. I really liked the Nishi signing a lot. I liked the Thome signing, even if it does constrain them a tad with Kubel. I like the Mauer signing in concept, if not in total agreement on the amount (though I’d have probably done the amount too – from a marketing perspective. I’d have to talk the owner into a higher payroll though). I like that they eventually stuck with Valencia. I liked the Fuentes deal. I loved the draft last year (though I think that is the scouts, not the GM). I liked cutting ties on Harris and Punto. I think that puts me at around 50-50 probably in the last three years.

      • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

        That should read DH in Philly…not Greg.

      • TT March 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

        I really think Casilla is better. I have no better idea of what the Twins think than anyone else, but I like to think great baseball minds think alike.

        That said, if you listened to Gardy you heard some frustration with Hardy in terms of his range. He keeps making comments about athleticism. He also made a comment about Casilla was a guy who would go after the ball instead of waiting for it to come to him. Combined with Hardy’s injuries, I think they decided Casilla was a better option.

        Hardy just wasn’t very good. He was a mediocre hitter and a mediocre fielder.

      • Seth March 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

        I don’t think Casilla is better than Hardy. I don’t think he’s a ton worse, and he’s more than $5 million cheaper… I know no one wants to bring up $ and payroll limits, but it is the reality.

    • Brian March 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      So you want to make the appeal to authority argument, and say that Smith’s judgment is better than Seth’s or any other fans, so we shouldn’t question it. Well, unfortunately for Smith, he isn’t making trades with you or I, hes making them with John Schuerholz and Frank Wren. And Mr. Schuerholz and Mr. Wren have more experience and a much better track record than Mr. Smith. So I’m going to respond to your appeal to authority argument with an appeal to authority of my own. Schuerholz/Wren must have known what they were doing, therefore they must have made a good trade, and therefore Smith must have made a bad trade.

      See how that works?

      • TT March 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

        “So you want to make the appeal to authority argument”

        Actually, no. I was challenging your appeal to Seth’s authority:

        “If Seth Stohs, the organizational cheerleader, doesn’t like a deal, then Bill Smith must have really screwed the pooch.”

        ” they must have made a good trade, and therefore Smith must have made a bad trade.”

        That is a common fallacy. In fact, most trades have benefits to both teams. The Twins got a lot of value from their trades for Rauch and Fuentes. They were certainly good trades for the Twins. But I doubt either of the teams who traded them away would say they were bad trades for them. Not only do teams often place more value on a player they trade for, the player often actually HAS more value to the team getting him in trade.

        Frankly, the most likely scenario here is that neither Bullock nor Diamond amount to much. That is just the way it is with prospects.

  5. Greg March 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Best commnet made by TT. Have to agree asw fan on the outside. But, Diamond must have mroe than a 4th or 5th starter potential.

    Win Twins!

  6. JA March 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Walks will haunt! Bullock is all about velocity. So the Twins trade a AA reliever who simply put, has no clue where the ball is going, for a MLB ready lefty starter or possible relief guy. Brilliant!
    Seth. Bullock may figure things out. But there is a greater chance he does not. Let’s take both on ceiling. Diamond, a Brian Duensing clone. Bullock, a solid righty out of the pen. Who is more valuable? Clearly Diamond. Hope this helps.

    • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

      Why doesn’t most of the rest of MLB agree with that? Why did all the terrible teams with no starters pass on this great prospect in the Rule V draft?

      • gobbledy March 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

        and pass again when he was put on waivers? ??? is he anything more than perkins and we already have perkins?

      • TT March 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

        “Why did all the terrible teams with no starters pass on this great prospect in the Rule V draft?”

        This is a good point. Obviously the Twins see something other teams don’t.

        He also just passed through waivers. But the Twins saw a lot more of him this spring than other teams have. And if they grabbed him now, they would have to audition him in major league games. Not many teams want to do that unless they really think they have something.

      • Seth March 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

        Maybe that’s my biggest question. All the teams passed on him when the Twins put him on waivers, so why would it cost a 2nd round pick from two years ago. Clearly Atlanta likes him enough that they would have taken him back unless they got Bullock (or better).

  7. Greg March 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    must be the a secret Twins Scouts only see.

  8. Jay Sherman March 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    It Stinks!

  9. NickL1538 March 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Perhaps they are starting to believe in Hoey as well? If they think Hoey can contribute in 2011/2012 as a “power arm” there was no immediate need for Billy Bullock.

    • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      That’s certainly possible, but Nathan and Capps are very, very much money. You are going to need several high powered arms soon.

      • Seth March 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

        That’s right, doesn’t hurt to have multiple power arms. Look how that has worked for the Tigers. I think they have confidence in Hoey and Gutierrez. Waldrop isn’t a soft-tosser. Burnett is around. I just wrote in todays’ first blog about all of the depth in the Twins bullpen at MLB and AAA. Dealing from a position of strength.

      • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

        Seth, that could be true. They might feel they have an excess of bullpen candidates right now. Certainly bullpen players are highly fungible, and their overall worth to a team is over rated, so trading guys who’s ceiling is the bullpen makes sense in principle, if not always in practice. So, as TT points out, maybe they just dealt a prospect for a guy that will help this year. Maybe they dealt a reliever for a legit starter. I just find it hard to believe that all those teams with 1-2 starters, and none in AAA passed on this guy if he’s so great.

        Maybe this means they are about to deal Liriano, and they wanted another lefty starter….hahahahaha…..

  10. Bill in Sarasota March 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    This trade either indicates another bad 2nd round pick or a bad deal. Either way – Smith looks bad.

    Remember not even the worst teams in either league felt compelled to put Diamond on their 25 for the next year when the Twins returned him.

    Last four 2nd Rd Picks: Goodrum, Bullock, Ladendorf, Rams

    • Seth March 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      I still believe in Rams, and we don’t know enough about Goodrum at this stage to make any real comments yet. He’s incredibly talented.

      • mike wants wins March 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

        Not sure how I feel about Rams, but it is early to comment on Goodrum…..but I think draft picks are about the scouts, not the GM, so I don’t really judge Smith on the picks so much. I judge him on trades and rosters. KLAW has also commented on this several times, GMs (for the most part) let the scouts run the draft. GMs are really about trades and rosters.

    • TT March 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      Second round picks don’t usually amount to much.

      If I remember the numbers right, there are somewhere over 200 players who appear in the major leagues for the first time each year. About 40% of those are international signings. So you something like 120+ players who are drafted each year who will ever appear in the big leagues much less make an impact.

  11. Twinsoholic March 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    I think the trade is a good one. Bullock throws hard but does have trouble finding the plate. He might be the next Duane Ward for the Braves (traded to Blue Jays, I think), but he could also end up like another hard thrower the Twins drafted, Ryan Mills.

    Diamond might be like Duensing, which wouldn’t be bad (no guarantees, of course). He gives the Twins a lot of starting depth in the high minors: Gibson, Wimmers, Bromberg, Diamond, and some others. Plus, the Twins have 3 Sandwich picks in the June draft (picks between the first and second rounds), and there they can snag another hard throwing relief prospect who might miss more bats while throwing more strikes than Bullock (who, like Ryan Mills, was not impressive in teh College World Series). Just a thought.

    • SteveL March 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      Coupled with the decision to demote Hughes in favor of Tolbert, this trade of a highly ranked and potential closer prospect for a soft tosser absolutely galls me. It is little wonder that this team never progresses beyond the first round of the playoffs. That is not going to change this year either. Three of the Twins top 25 players shouldn”t even be here(Tolbert, Butera, Repko). This has to change.

      • TT March 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

        Why would you think that? Hughes is not a good defensive player and he isn’t a good enough hitter to be of any use when you have Jim Thome sitting on the bench. The only player they are going to pinch hit for is the shortstop and Hughes is not a major league shortstop. Its Hughes who has no role.

        Butera is an outstanding defensive catcher. Finding even an adequate backup with any kind of bat is next to impossible.

        Repko is a good defensive player who can play all three outfield spots. He is actually well-suited to being the 5th outfielder.

        None of these guys belong on a roto roster. But the Twins play real baseball where glove work matters. When your number 8 hitter batted over .300 last year with some power, you aren’t looking for backups who can hit.

  12. hoff March 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    I agree with SteveL. I trust the organization, but some moves do leave me shaking my head…I guess that’s hypocritical, but hey, I’m a fan

  13. Jeff Dickman March 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    I’m not suggesting he’s Duensing or JS, BUT we do have similar minor league numbers.

  14. KC March 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    I’m sick of the Hughes can’t play shortstop excuse – then slide Nishi over and play Hughes at 2nd. What good is Thome late in the game if a lefty is on the mound? I’d rather have Hughes who can actually hit lefties.

  15. JA March 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Seth, let’s revisit this one in a year. Also, remember the day Smith traded Yohan Pino for Pavano. Everyone thought he was a moron then, whose laughing now.

  16. Greg March 29, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Diamond has a career 3.28 ERA in three Minor League seasons in the Braves’ organization, striking out 357 and walking 146 in 442 1/3 innings. He’s pitched almost exclusively as a starter in the Minors, and is expected to start with Rochester.

    End of story for sideline fans

  17. Keli March 29, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    I think KC is absolutely right, but I think the move shows that they want Nishi to be comfortable and will not move him around (even though they could/should).

    Great to see you again o’holic, where’s Jan!

    • Twinsoholic March 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      Hi, Keli,

      Thanks for the kind words. Let’s see if we can send a search party out for Jan. Once DTFC ended, I lost touch with her and so many other Twins fans.

  18. BB-STC March 29, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I was a big Matt Fox guy and heard they let him go because they do not need any more back of the rotation starters. Let’s face it, they have six starters on the major leage roster and Gibson is ready when called upon. That would place him eigth in line to be called upon for a starter?

    What they lack for starting pitching prospects is top of the line ace 1-2 prospects. I find it puzzling to trade a second round pick for someone that you don’t need to fill a hole in the system.

  19. Steve L. March 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    What the duece? another Steve L? get outta here…q;). I hate this trade, as I don’t see anywhere that it matches the philosophy the Twins outlined this offseason, and just don’t see the fit anywhere short or long term. Twins rotation is pretty much set in stone for the next 2 seasons, and maybe 1 or 2 spots available in the next 4, I don’t think Diamond is more worthy than Gibson…or some others coming up…If he’s going to be made a RP, then I REALLY don’t see the point of making the deal. What’s worse is they could have kept him for nothing until he played himself out of the bullpen, or he’d succeed and stay…Like Seth, just don’t get the thought process here at all.

  20. Bo1zKLJdDfPa52 October 9, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    681461 885243Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read? 865931

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