• Trade Talk: Brian Duensing

    One of the players this site has discussed trading is Brian Duensing. The thought is other teams might look to him as a left-handed LOOGY.

    His line this year: 5.06 ERA, 41g, 32 innings, 29k, 14bb (over his career left handed hitters have a .580 OPS)

    Why trade him?
    Brian is 30. He will be eligible for arbitration next year. He would likely be non-tendered. Caleb Thielbar appears to be the better option, with Pedro Hernandez providing depth.


    Why keep him?
    He certainly isn’t at peak value now and has never been tried exclusively as a LOOGY. Perhaps he will find the type of success Craig Breslow found after leaving the Twins.

    Which teams might fit?
    Boston lost Miller but they have Breslow. The Indians are rumored to be looking for a lefty. The Reds are reportedly seeking a lefty.

    What is the value of a LOOGY at the trade deadline?
    I found 5 trades (and a waiver claim) over the last 3 summers involving a left-handed reliever as the primary target. I am not sure Duensing is a great match as all others had ERAs under 4. When looking at the ability to get left-handed hitters, he might be a match.

    Brain Fuentes for (PTBNL) Loek Van Mil- 25y.o., AA, 6.37 ERA

    Javier Lopez for John Bowker and Joe Martinez – both 27 year old AAAA players

    Will Ohmann for Rick Vandenhurk- 25y.o., AAA starter, 4.68 ERA

    Craig Breslow for Matt Albers(29) and Scot Posednik(36) – major leaguers

    JC Romero for Carlos Rojas – 28, AA, utility infielder

    Jose Mijares -waived by Royals and picked up by Giants.

    In these trades there were no high-potential players sent back to the team dealing the LOOGY. Some were already replacement AAAA players. Van Mil and Vandenhurk were 25 years old. Vandenhurk had started 11 games for the Marlins the previous season. None of "prospects" appeared on his team's Top Ten lists, though Vandenhurk had pitched in the Futures game three years earlier.

    Best Terry Ryan LOOGY trade
    The Twins traded JC Romero for Alexi Casilla in 2005. The return of Casilla is far better than anything in the last three years.



    How will the Twins replace Duensing?
    It seems that Thielbar already has replaced Duensing. Hernandez is six years younger and seems better suited to relief.

    Bottom Line
    When looking at comps, we can expect virtually nothing in return for Duensing. He certainly would not merit a sleeper prospect. Anything the Twins are able to get in return would be a bonus. An Alexi Casilla A-Ball type prospect would be an outright steal.
    This article was originally published in blog: Trade Talk: Brian Duensing started by jorgenswest
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      I would bet Ryan could find a useful A ball pitcher for Duensing. Probably would have a sinker in the 88-90 range.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      The only thing missing in this train of thought is that Duensing's FB averages 92 and peaks at 94ish. Also his FIP has been around 3 this season. Just unlucky (BABIP around .370). Thielbar and Hernandez average under 90 with their FB and their peaks are at just about 90. Cannot replace him. Need another lefty who can throw heat out there. If all Ryan can get is a warm body, fo'getaboutit.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Again why make the trade if there is nothing of value coming back? Don't we have 2 more seasons of control before he becomes a FA? we don't need payroll flexibility so there is no incentive to trade based on what I am reading.
    1. SgtSchmidt11's Avatar
      SgtSchmidt11 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
      Again why make the trade if there is nothing of value coming back? Don't we have 2 more seasons of control before he becomes a FA? we don't need payroll flexibility so there is no incentive to trade based on what I am reading.
      I agree, no need to sell anybody if there isn't a significant return.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Hey, saving $500k or whatever is $500k. It might be the difference between a Summit tap staying at $9 or going to $9.50.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      More to the point, the Twins need to start figuring out how to move some of this excess AAAA pitching off the 40 man. As jorgens mentioned in the article, Thielbar is better and Hernandez is younger and cheaper. Get what you can for Duensing and move on.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I'd rather the Twins move him for a high upside relief prospect in say AA thank a 88-90 MPH heavy sink starting pitcher.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      More to the point, the Twins need to start figuring out how to move some of this excess AAAA pitching off the 40 man. As jorgens mentioned in the article, Thielbar is better and Hernandez is younger and cheaper. Get what you can for Duensing and move on.
      I'm not ready to declare Theilbar better yet, based on 20 good innings to start a career. As for Hernandez, "younger and cheaper" mean pretty much nothing to me.

      He's not having a real good year, I agree. If you can get something of real value, sure, move him.

      "Move on" just for the sake of moving on doesn't sound like a sound plan, though.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      I'm not ready to declare Theilbar better yet, based on 20 good innings to start a career. As for Hernandez, "younger and cheaper" mean pretty much nothing to me.

      He's not having a real good year, I agree. If you can get something of real value, sure, move him.

      "Move on" just for the sake of moving on doesn't sound like a sound plan, though.
      Do the Twins nontender Duensing given his age and arbitration status? He is making 1.3 million this year and that will certainly go up in arbitration.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
      Hey, saving $500k or whatever is $500k. It might be the difference between a Summit tap staying at $9 or going to $9.50.
      How dumb would you have to be to spend $9 for a glass of beer? You'd never catch Jim Pohlad doing that.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      How dumb would you have to be to spend $9 for a glass of beer? You'd never catch Jim Pohlad doing that.
      He probably owns his own bar where he can drink for wholesale prices.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      There was a time when Duensing was a very effective LOOGY. Not sure if something has happened lately or if the league has finally figured him out. I would think that the Thornton trade would give us a fairly good idea of what his value would be. Thornton is having a bit better season, so the return might not be quite as good (not that it was spectacular by any means), but that's the market for LOOGYs. If Ryan could flip him for something similar, by all means do it.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      "Left handed LOOGY" is there a right handed LOOGY out there I don't know about?
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
      "Left handed LOOGY" is there a right handed LOOGY out there I don't know about?
      What's really going to blow your mind is when you find out that there are left-handed ROOGY's out there.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      I'm not ready to declare Theilbar better yet, based on 20 good innings to start a career. As for Hernandez, "younger and cheaper" mean pretty much nothing to me.

      He's not having a real good year, I agree. If you can get something of real value, sure, move him.

      "Move on" just for the sake of moving on doesn't sound like a sound plan, though.
      Hernandez, the "hard throwing" lefty (seems like a good guy) just pitched himself to the DL. Thielbar (who also is a great story and is hard not to like) has just begun his inevitable regression. Next lefty option, step up, please!
    1. RodneyKline's Avatar
      RodneyKline -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      There was a time when Duensing was a very effective LOOGY. Not sure if something has happened lately or if the league has finally figured him out. I would think that the Thornton trade would give us a fairly good idea of what his value would be. Thornton is having a bit better season, so the return might not be quite as good (not that it was spectacular by any means), but that's the market for LOOGYs. If Ryan could flip him for something similar, by all means do it.
      We need to be realistic. No way is Duensing = Thornton.

      Actually 2X Duensing < Thornton
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Thielbar (who also is a great story and is hard not to like) has just begun his inevitable regression.
      Thielbar has allowed two runs, two walks, and two hits in his last three appearances (2 IP in total). He also struck out four batters in those two innings.

      A trend? Possibly. Regression? Waaaaaaaaaaaaayyy too early to say that.
    1. BabyJesusBuxton's Avatar
      BabyJesusBuxton -
      While I tend to agree that it is too early to say Thielbar has passed up Duensing I still think he is going to be an effective member of the bullpen for the next few years for much less money than Duensing will get. Based on that Thieldbar could have passed him up purely based on the value he provides at a pre-arbitration discount.

      Thielbar is attacking hitters and keeping the ball down for the most part. The biggest question is still how effective he is going to be when he faces hitters who have seen all his pitches before. Until I see a significant rise in his WHIP and better contact made by batters I will continue to prefer seeing him out there over Duensing in the late innings of close games.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Do the Twins nontender Duensing given his age and arbitration status? He is making 1.3 million this year and that will certainly go up in arbitration.
      Yes, this will be at the front of any Duensing decision. I don't think they go so far as to non-tender him unless things really go south, but that figure sure would make me think the Twins would enthusiastically trade him. It shouldn't be an issue for the certainly very low payroll going forward, but it seems that this team too often is more offended by paying a player more than they deem he is worth.
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