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  • Gathering The Hot Stove Pitching Rumors

    Shields will be one of the names we'll hear this weekend.This weekend is the unofficial start of the Hot Stove Season, because this weekend the MLB General Managers are having their annual offseason meetings in Indian Wells, California. It's not the more hyped "Winter Meetings" that take place next month, but it's still 30 GMs and their assistants, all in the same place, and rumor-mongering galore. Irresponsible, glorious, rumor-mongering.

    Twins fans have more reason than most to pay attention.
    Terry Ryan indicated in his TwinsCentric interview that he intends to be aggressive early this offseason, just as he was last year. Also, it was at these meetings in 2003 that he laid the groundwork for arguably his greatest trade, swapping AJ Pierzynski for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser.

    This year, he's not the only one looking to deal. There have been several reports of teams looking to make trades, and in the best possible twist, many have involved starting pitching. Let's roll through a few of them of special interest to Twins fans.

    The Devil Rays
    The Rays still are seeking a new their stadium, which means they're still hampered by payroll. Unfortunately some of their starting pitchers are getting a expensive. Even more eyebrow-raising: they are about to lose their center fielder to free agency, and don't have a great replacement. The names that have come up the most are:

    James Shields
    Shields has been #1 starter on the Rays, which means he was the anchor to the team with the best starting pitching ERA in the American League last year. He's a 200 IP horse who consistently posts a sub-4 ERA and a strikeout rate that suggests he won't decline any time soon. He'll cost $21M over the next two years, but if you subtract Spanís salary, thatí only about $11 million. There has (justly) been a TON of discussion about the Twins acquiring him, especially after it was reported the Twins inquired about him. Here are the details and discussion.

    Jeremy Hellickson
    He's not the pedigree of Shields, but he's no slouch either; he was good enough to win the AL Rookie of the Year in 2011. That also means he's still very cheap and will be under team control for the next four years. Nick wrote about the pros and cons of signing him, and it generated a lot of discussion about what fans could expect.

    Wade Davis
    Like a dozen other guys, he was covered in the TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook:
    Playing for a pitching-rich team like the Rays often means that a solid talent like Wade Davis is occasionally the odd man out of the rotation. A former Baseball America Top 100 Prospect, Davisís spot was usurped by superior talent in Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore, pushing him to the bullpen.

    This was not necessarily a bad move as Davis, similar to the transition Glen Perkins made from starter to reliever, significantly ratcheted up his strikeout rate (from 15% as a starter to 31% as a reliever). His fastball missed a ton more bats and his breaking stuff (a curve and slider) were much more effective in small doses.

    The Rays have him signed through 2017 at a reasonable amount but his salary will begin to increase steadily. Tampaís savvy front office will likely want to trade him this offseason while his value is at an all-time high.

    The Atlanta Braves
    The Braves are loaded with young pitching, and we previously talked about how their GM is focusing on finding an affordable center fielder. But yesterday, Dave O'Brien, the Braves beat writer, tweeted that the Braves were also sniffing around Josh Willingham.

    There are at least 8 young pitchers the Braves could offer, ranging from nearly worthless to likely untouchable. We walked through them in this discussion, along with who is likely and not likely with Braves writer Ben Chase. If you're looking for a name or two to tuck away, try these: Randall Delgado and Mike Minor.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks
    The GM Meetings produced a bit of a bombshell when it was revealed that the Arizona Diamondbacks would consider moving starting pitching prospect Trevor Bauer. Bauer was the 3rd overall pick in the 2011 draft, and thrived in his first full year, striking out 157 in 120 innings between AA and AAA. He may be a little strong-willed, and he certainly isn't a fan of President Obama, but his talent is undeniable.

    Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks biggest needs are in their infield, but they did just trade away their center fielder. Currently the plan is to rely on a couple of youngsters to hold down that spot, but there is certainly an opportunity there. Otherwise (or more likely, in addition), some Twins farm prospects could be involved. Needless to say, all kinds of ideas are being kicked around surrounding this rumor.

    It should be a fun weekend to track this stuff, and it's not unlikely that this weekends rumors will lead to next week's trade. We'll stay on top of the best of the best with some thoughtful unpacking of the possibilities over at Twins Daily. So stay tuned, if you're feeling a little antsy. I know I am.



    This article was originally published in blog: Gathering The Pitching Rumors For The Hot Stove started by John Bonnes
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      so terry lyan is still living on his 1 good trade(or lucky trade i claim)
      he took a young all star offensive high average with pop and solid defensive catcher who also was left handed and traded for a #2 starter and a soft tossing AAA and a A pitcher...and this is what the legend of curly lyan is built on? 18 years is enough, he would trade an oil well for a dried mummy fart

      my favorite twins moment is the day the 3 stooges get there walking papers
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      I dont remember AJ bein a solid defensive C but who was the soft tossing AAA pitcher....not Bonser, as he threw low-mid 90s. No way to call that lucky as they immediately inserted Nathan as the closer.
      I would hope that if Wash is still interested in Denard Span, that we would look around Ross Detwiller
    1. RegFCat's Avatar
      RegFCat -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      so terry lyan is still living on his 1 good trade(or lucky trade i claim)
      he took a young all star offensive high average with pop and solid defensive catcher who also was left handed and traded for a #2 starter and a soft tossing AAA and a A pitcher...and this is what the legend of curly lyan is built on? 18 years is enough, he would trade an oil well for a dried mummy fart

      my favorite twins moment is the day the 3 stooges get there walking papers


      johnnydakota ... maybe football is your sport.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      The Devil Rays?????

      You're showing your age, John.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Great article. It's nice to see all these rumors rounded up and listed together.
    1. mbents's Avatar
      mbents -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      The Devil Rays?????

      You're showing your age, John.
      I think that's a fine, payable to Joe Maddon.
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      Nice summary.
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      I dont remember AJ bein a solid defensive C but who was the soft tossing AAA pitcher....not Bonser, as he threw low-mid 90s. No way to call that lucky as they immediately inserted Nathan as the closer.
      I would hope that if Wash is still interested in Denard Span, that we would look around Ross Detwiller
      Detwiller? Interesting. That seems a lot like getting Hellickson but one year older with stats that are not quite as good. I do like the idea of acquiring a quality pitcher who is not yet 27. Neither of those guys are aces but having them in our rotation would likely go a long way.
    1. trader t's Avatar
      trader t -
      do they have any of those proverbial baseball nursing homes in Indian Wells? If they do, Mr. Ryan will be in 7th heaven. Lots of innings eaters with eras over 4, which is so important for a smallball team with a below average batting average. You can do it mr. Ryan. I know it's hard to lose 90+ games 3 years in a row, but I have confidence
      in you that you can
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Mariners allegedly talking to Twins/Royals about pitching for Wil Myers/Hicks/Revere

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      I'd rather let them have Revere than Hicks, his upside is a lot higher than Revere's. But we have plenty of options to get through the next few years waiting for Buxton if it takes Hicks to get good pitching. Anyone offering pitching for any of our outfielders should get serious consideration.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      i'm curious as why there aren't any rumors about SEA?
    1. weinshie's Avatar
      weinshie -
      Quote Originally Posted by ericchri View Post
      I'd rather let them have Revere than Hicks, his upside is a lot higher than Revere's. But we have plenty of options to get through the next few years waiting for Buxton if it takes Hicks to get good pitching. Anyone offering pitching for any of our outfielders should get serious consideration.
      First off, Hicks hasn't even reached AAA. Revere's proven he can hit big-league pitching.
      Revere's D is the best--far better than Span's. Also, on the basepaths, he forces pitchers to pay attention to him and makes Mauer better. Mauer was a .270 hitter with a propensity for double plays prior to Revere. When pitchers had to respect Revere and toss more fastballs to Joe, the DPs went WAY down and the average increased. (Mind you, I'm not attributing ALL of Mauer's success to Revere, but the speed does fit well into the lineup...)
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by weinshie View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ericchri View Post
      I'd rather let them have Revere than Hicks, his upside is a lot higher than Revere's. But we have plenty of options to get through the next few years waiting for Buxton if it takes Hicks to get good pitching. Anyone offering pitching for any of our outfielders should get serious consideration.
      First off, Hicks hasn't even reached AAA. Revere's proven he can hit big-league pitching.
      Revere's D is the best--far better than Span's. Also, on the basepaths, he forces pitchers to pay attention to him and makes Mauer better. Mauer was a .270 hitter with a propensity for double plays prior to Revere. When pitchers had to respect Revere and toss more fastballs to Joe, the DPs went WAY down and the average increased. (Mind you, I'm not attributing ALL of Mauer's success to Revere, but the speed does fit well into the lineup...)
      Mauer has consistently hit better than .300 for years--long before Revere. Revere isn't better defensively than Span. Twins' need for SP is so high that if someone wants Revere--his replacements already exist, and they project far higher.
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      Quote Originally Posted by weinshie View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ericchri View Post
      I'd rather let them have Revere than Hicks, his upside is a lot higher than Revere's. But we have plenty of options to get through the next few years waiting for Buxton if it takes Hicks to get good pitching. Anyone offering pitching for any of our outfielders should get serious consideration.
      First off, Hicks hasn't even reached AAA. Revere's proven he can hit big-league pitching.
      Revere's D is the best--far better than Span's. Also, on the basepaths, he forces pitchers to pay attention to him and makes Mauer better. Mauer was a .270 hitter with a propensity for double plays prior to Revere. When pitchers had to respect Revere and toss more fastballs to Joe, the DPs went WAY down and the average increased. (Mind you, I'm not attributing ALL of Mauer's success to Revere, but the speed does fit well into the lineup...)
      I don't necessarily disagree with anything you're saying about Revere (though I think you're a bit off about Mauer). Mostly I just feel like we've seen about the best of Ben Revere we're going to see. He doesn't have enough pop in his bat and he doesn't walk, meaning his OBP and OPS are never going to be anything special, even with his fairly high BA. That doesn't mean I think Revere is no good, but I think Hicks profiles to be a better overall player. The way I understand it he's just as fast, more patient at the plate, has more power potential, and though I'm not hugely concerned with it he has a much stronger arm. Yes, Hicks could flame out, but somebody from our glut of outfielders has to go, and I'd rather keep the one with the highest upside, even if there's still some chance at him washing out. Just a personal preference. We'd be replacing Revere's bat with Parmelee's at that point, and while obviously a different player, he might add another power hitter to the lineup which has potential to score a lot of runs, just in a different way than Revere's presence does.

      With the assumption we'd keep Span if we traded Revere, we've still got time to let Hicks develop. Long-term Buxton "theoretically" has the highest upside of all of the numerous CF guys in our system, so if we trade Hicks, that's fine too. I'll be a little disappointed, but I'll just be happy to see them cleaning a CF out of our roster for something of value. I wouldn't be surprised if Seattle was more interested in Hicks than Revere (the implication is there based on him being named first), but I'm just some schmoe on a message board, not a GM.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      I agree Revere has his limitations with his lack of power. But this is a guy that could hit 20 triples some year. No joke. He has the speed to do it. Hicks has a higher ceiling because he plays awesome D (like Revere) but Hicks has a cannon for an arm, where Revere has a mid-70's velocity from the outfield. Hicks is learning to steal more and more bases, so he could replace Revere immediately in the 2-hole if Revere were dealt to Seattle. (lets hope we do a deal with the Mariners for one of their top teir pitching prospects!)
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      I agree Revere has his limitations with his lack of power. But this is a guy that could hit 20 triples some year. No joke. He has the speed to do it. H
      Whoa, whoa, whoa. Doesn't matter how fast you are when you only hit a ball further than 300 feet when there's a blue moon, if we're talking triples. Revere had 20 extra base hits total this year between AAA and MLB, and has only had over 20 XBH's in a season once in his career, at Beloit in 2008 when he hit everything thrown at him. You should be applying this statement to Hicks, who actually can and does hit the ball into gaps, and some say he's faster than Revere over distance (like going 1st to 3rd, and long runs after fly balls in the OF). And this is coming from a guy who is a big fan of Revere as well, but as you said, he has his limitations.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      I started making a calculator for measuring probable outcomes of at bats based on zone discipline and count, and BABIP on those counts, and whether a hitter has a green light or red light on 2-0, 3-0, and 3-1. I am stuck. Maybe someone who is good with probabilities can look at this and fill in the blanks? Any help would be appreciated:

      https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5p...DRXYkk5ZjBFem8

      I think its fairly obvious what I'm trying to do, but if not, pm me.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      I started making a calculator for measuring probable outcomes of at bats based on zone discipline and count, and BABIP on those counts, and whether a hitter has a green light or red light on 2-0, 3-0, and 3-1. I am stuck. Maybe someone who is good with probabilities can look at this and fill in the blanks? Any help would be appreciated:

      https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5p...DRXYkk5ZjBFem8

      I think its fairly obvious what I'm trying to do, but if not, pm me.
      Good Lord that is ambitiously awesome. I wish the Twins front office had the foresight to hire someone like you and whoever you find to finish your equation.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by RegFCat View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      so terry lyan is still living on his 1 good trade(or lucky trade i claim)
      he took a young all star offensive high average with pop and solid defensive catcher who also was left handed and traded for a #2 starter and a soft tossing AAA and a A pitcher...and this is what the legend of curly lyan is built on? 18 years is enough, he would trade an oil well for a dried mummy fart

      my favorite twins moment is the day the 3 stooges get there walking papers


      johnnydakota ... maybe football is your sport.
      ok so in 18 years he makes 1 lucky trade and is still living on that ? wow what has he done for us lately?
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