• No Matter What, the Minnesota Twins Should Not be Trade Deadline Buyers

    Following the sweep of the Chicago White Sox, the talk around Minnesota water coolers has been whether or not the Minnesota Twins will be buyers or sellers on the July 31st trade deadline. The Twins are currently 33-36 and are entering a stretch of games that could bring them to or over .500 when the trade deadline approaches. With that in mind, does it make sense for the Twins to become buyers if they continue to play well and are firmly in contention as the trade deadline approaches? In a word: no.


    Photo courtesy of: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    When the Twins entered the season, expectations were low and fans and analysts thought that if the Twins could find a way to stay around .500 for the majority of the season, it would be a successful year. Many around the organization and media were looking toward the future due to the immensely talented farm system the team had assembled. As a result, the team was not very active this past off-season. The front office made cheaper and shorter-term moves, assembling stopgaps on the roster until the next wave of talented prospects becomes ready to take over full time in the majors.

    ~~~ Article originally published on RantSports.com ~~~

    The fact that some of these stopgap moves have worked out and the team is suddenly approaching contention should not alter the strategy and plans under which this team has operated. The Twins have assembled a talented farm system by trading away big league pieces for prospects, making great international signings and drafting solid high school and college players. Now that the pieces are beginning to fall into place in the minors, the Twins must now play the waiting game for these prospects to mature and make it to the majors. Once that vision materializes, it is expected that the Twins will, yet again, become perennial contenders. Why would the Twins jeopardize that vision and progress for a team teetering on being simply relevant?

    Typically, trade deadline deals are made for teams who believe they are one player or one trade away from becoming a legitimate playoff or World Series threat. As they are currently constructed, the Twins are not one player or one trade away from that unless that trade is historically lopsided. Even so, a trade that would make the Twins “instant contenders” would certainly cost their entire farm system, leaving the team bare in the future and setting themselves up for future failure and mediocrity. Thus, becoming buyers at the trade deadline makes little sense for the Twins.

    If the Twins were to rattle off a run where they win 30 out of 40 games—or something similarly impressive—the temptation will be for the team to add another piece to solidify this team; in my opinion, if the team goes on a run of that caliber, I’d rather stand pat with the guys assembled and see what happens while waiting for even more improvement once the talented prospects contribute. If the team is good enough to get themselves in contention via a long winning streak, they’d be good enough to go to battle with in the playoffs where—I believe—the Twins would still be huge underdogs because of their lack of starting pitching depth; one player or trade cannot and will not alter that perception.

    Standing pat and not selling out the future for a minimal post-season run is how a team can become a perennial contender. By not sacrificing the future and operating with the model “what is best for the franchise long-term”, a team can continue to compete without relying on free agency or trades to supplement its talent; the team would essentially become self-sufficient like the St. Louis Cardinals. They, despite losing Albert Pujols and other stars before him, have remained a perennial contender and legitimate threat at winning a championship year in and year out because they remain committed to not sacrificing the future for the present.

    While it may take restraint by the Twins’ front office, the team must resist the urge to make a deadline trade to improve a team that is not constructed to win a championship. Winning championships is the ultimate goal in professional sports, not simply contending. If the Twins become buyers at the deadline and sacrifice their future in the process, they will never reach that ultimate goal.


    Brian Wille is a Minnesota Twins writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @BeeWill15 or “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

    To view more articles by Brian Wille, click here

    This article was originally published in blog: No Matter What, the Minnesota Twins Should Not be Trade Deadline Buyers started by bwille
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. FanFromAffar's Avatar
      FanFromAffar -
      what are the odds that the Orioles will be selling Davis?
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      One of the keys for being a GM is being able to predict future performance. In retrospect the 2003 Team that Traded for Shannon Stewart despite First Half Struggles was able to see a team playing below it's talent level (they made a run and made it back to back division titles)

      This team has played above it's head and still isn't .500. Things could change (Arcia, Hicks, Gibson) yet even with all sorts of internal improvement (75-77 wins would seem to be the Team's Upside). I'm not sure the Twins have a lot of parts that could be moved for value. Morneau has no power, Correria isn't the type of guy you want starting in the playoffs, Hammer maybe but you would probably just get out from under his contract.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      Da and or hola. All this talk about the Twins don't know if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline is a ruse. The Twins can't possibly be stupid enough to think this team is going anywhere this season. Morneau and Willingham should be moved IF and this is a BIG IF captain cheap-o is actually uses the freed up salary in upcoming free agency. I just get the sinking feeling that traitor terry wants it to be Mauer and an bunch of kids that make no money. Young players are great and lots of fun to watch but this team should be a mix of GOOD veterans and the upcoming wave of young talent. This taint Oakland. The Twins draw well and would sell out every game if they would just invest some stinking money in the starting rotation.
    1. Boone's Avatar
      Boone -
      Personally, I'm hoping for the Twins to be all out sellers: Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, Perkins, and Correia. More importantly, I hope the Twins do whatever they can to get legitimate, impact prospects, even if that means packaging players and paying contracts (namely Morneau's). The Twins aren't going anywhere this year or next year, so there is no reason not to maximize return on these guys now.
      If the Twins hang on to several of our better trade pieces, we might win 75 games as opposed to 65. This is pointless, not only because it doesn't net anything in return (still no playoffs), but also because it will mean a lower draft selection.
      As for the money we save, I hope the Twins hang on to it rather than spend it in free agency. Even if we sign an ace (or two), we won't make the playoffs next year. I think we should save some money now, and then spend big on contract extensions down the road so that we can hang on to as much of our future core as possible (Buxton, Sano, Arcia, etc.).
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
      Personally, I'm hoping for the Twins to be all out sellers: Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, Perkins, and Correia.
      Absolutely.

      I'd also like to see them try and get some guys that were formerly thought of as big-time prospects that may be on the low end of their value. I'm thinking guys like James Darnell, Martin Perez, etc.

      It's no sure recipe for success, but as guys like Chris Davis show - sometimes you can get an absolute steal for nothing if you capitalize at the right times. Given that the team isn't competing, this is a perfect time to add guys like that and help them work through their struggles. I'd really like to see that be a part of our trade strategy this season.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
      More importantly, I hope the Twins do whatever they can to get legitimate, impact prospects, even if that means packaging players and paying contracts (namely Morneau's).
      Yes! This is something other franchises have successfully done and there shouldn't be any financial reasons why they can't.

      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      I'd also like to see them try and get some guys that were formerly thought of as big-time prospects that may be on the low end of their value.
      Yes! With impact talent on the way, some guys closer to the bigs would be nice. Flawless AA-AAA impact talent isn't realistic, but we might have a chance to grab someone like this.
    1. FanFanatic's Avatar
      FanFanatic -
      I believe Brian is correct in arguing that the Twins should not be buyers. They are more than one or two pieces away from being a contending team. But I honestly don't see the Twins being offered much talent for their available veterans. I would predict that lack of offers will result in the Twins not being sellers either. And, if they go quietly past the trade deadline without making a single deal, I'm good with that. Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by FanFanatic View Post
      I would predict that lack of offers will result in the Twins not being sellers either. And, if they go quietly past the trade deadline without making a single deal, I'm good with that. Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make.
      I can see that possibility, but I'm not ready to make that determination yet. It will depend largely on other trades and the value exchanged. With 2 wild cards for the first time, the hypothetical is that there'd be more buyers.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      I'd also like to see them try and get some guys that were formerly thought of as big-time prospects that may be on the low end of their value. I'm thinking guys like James Darnell, Martin Perez, etc.
      I'd like to see them to pursue that Benson kid playing in Frisco. Good value there.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I'd like to see them to pursue that Benson kid playing in Frisco. Good value there.
      Butera + Duensing = done.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I'd like to see them to pursue that Benson kid playing in Frisco. Good value there.
      FYI-

      He has 1 hit in June. They finally put him on the DL on June 20. Unfortunate for Joe. He needed the chance to get back to AAA and show he can hit over the course of the year to have a chance to make the Texas roster next year. If he doesn't get back and healthy, he is certain to be available next year. He will be out of options without any production in the three previous years.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      FYI-

      He has 1 hit in June. They finally put him on the DL on June 20. Unfortunate for Joe. He needed the chance to get back to AAA and show he can hit over the course of the year to have a chance to make the Texas roster next year. If he doesn't get back and healthy, he is certain to be available next year. He will be out of options without any production in the three previous years.
      To be clear, I was and am firmly in the camp of "Benson=Meh". I didn't agree with letting him go but didnt really care, either.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Absolutely.

      I'd also like to see them try and get some guys that were formerly thought of as big-time prospects that may be on the low end of their value. I'm thinking guys like James Darnell, Martin Perez, etc.

      It's no sure recipe for success, but as guys like Chris Davis show - sometimes you can get an absolute steal for nothing if you capitalize at the right times. Given that the team isn't competing, this is a perfect time to add guys like that and help them work through their struggles. I'd really like to see that be a part of our trade strategy this season.
      Terry Ryan anticipated your request going into this year. Don't Jeff Clement, Tim Wood and Mike Kvasnicka ring a bell?
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      No matter what?

      Let's remember that this team has a ton of payroll space . If there are teams that are dumping contracts while making room for their own prospects, I'd like to see TR add a piece to the Twin's roster/puzzle. Mind you, this does NOT mean trading our own prospects/future away. I just don't think it's reasonable to say "no matter what" and restrict the General Manager's imagination and options.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      No matter what?

      Let's remember that this team has a ton of payroll space . If there are teams that are dumping contracts while making room for their own prospects, I'd like to see TR add a piece to the Twin's roster/puzzle. Mind you, this does NOT mean trading our own prospects/future away. I just don't think it's reasonable to say "no matter what" and restrict the General Manager's imagination and options.
      That's a good point. If a good middle infielder is available, the Twins should get involved. While he's massively overpaid, Hanley Ramirez sure would look good at short.
    1. The Wise One's Avatar
      The Wise One -
      Can a sub 500 team really be considered a buyer? It would be pointless to add an expiring contract. It would be wise if there was a talent out there the other team did not want to pay for to go get it.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
      Can a sub 500 team really be considered a buyer? It would be pointless to add an expiring contract. It would be wise if there was a talent out there the other team did not want to pay for to go get it.
      Yes, it would be pointless to add an expiring contract.

      What about a contract that still had 3 or 4 big money years? For a SS? A SS who played at a GG level and hit not great, but OK?

      I cannot see the Twins doing such a thing, but they certainly have the payroll room. And with all the young players coming up, they are going to have payroll room for years unless they sign a big FA or two.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      It's a good discussion but pretty humorous if you take a step back. Even when the Twins were at the top of the division they were rarely buyers at the deadline. In the few instances where they did make a move, it wasn't for a budget buster contract and never did they trade away a prospect of high value. They traded Tyler Ladendorf for Orlando Cabrera and Yohan Pinto for Carl Pavano. Both were on die-hard fans radar but neither were difficult to part with and thus far have not made the majors. Bobby Kielty and Matt Lawton were bigger names to be moved, but neither were prospects any longer, and due to an overcrowded OF they were in fact the kinds of players the Twins would be looking to move regardless of standings.

      We don't have to worry about losing any prospects at the deadline unless it's a prospect paired with a vet to get back better or more prospects.
    1. bwille's Avatar
      bwille -
      I'd love to add a piece at the deadline to help build for the future puzzle, but what the Twins' would have to offer in order to get one of those type of players would be one of their young prized prospects. The idea of getting a solid player without sacrificing one of our young prospects is tough to fathom.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I think it will be obvious by the All-Star break that the Twins can't contend this year. The road trip to Toronto, Tampa Bay, and New York will put enough room between the Twins and contention that they will be faced with "sell, sell, sell" as the only alternative. In the last several years, the Twins have had real problems in all three of those venues. I don't see that changing this year.
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