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  • Marketable Twins (1st of two-part series)

    Earlier today I asked Twitter followers (and others) to tell me who they think the Twins will or should trade. I figured I could come up with some hypotheticals and the readers at TwinsDaily could weigh in on the different proposals. I’m not suggesting these are all trades I would make, but are deals I consider relatively fair (and that make sense) from both clubs’ views.

    I immediately got a lot of suggestions: Justin Morneau, Kevin Correia, Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Mike Pelfrey, Josh Willingham and Glen Perkins.
    There were a few Joe Mauer suggestions, but I figured they were in jest, so we’ll stay away from that. There was also one that involved minor leaguers. Now, while I do think the Twins could deal away a prospect or two in the right package, they won't be dealing the “building blocks of the future”.

    Today we’ll start out with the four easier decisions (in my opinion) and we’ll take a look at the three more difficult ones tomorrow.

    Jamey Carroll

    Carroll is currently playing out his age-39 season and will, in all likelihood, be receiving a $250,000 buyout after the season. While he’s on pace to make the lowest number of plate appearances since his rookie season of 2002, he still provides versatility and a somewhat valuable glove at multiple infield positions.

    Considering this may be Carroll’s final season, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see the Twins deal him to a contender. At this point, it’s hard to say who, but the return would likely not be a prospect.

    Would you trade Jamey Carroll and cash (likely the money to cover his buyout) for a PTBNL or cash?

    The return would probably be the “buyout money” coming back, which would essentially mean that Carroll is given away solely to give him the opportunity to play in a pennant race (and maybe the Twins save a few hundred thousand on his remaining salary). It sounds fair to me and it also allows the Twins to give a few at-bats to James Beresford or Doug Bernier.

    Mike Pelfrey

    I thought that, when the Twins signed Pelfrey, there was potential for him to be a guy the Twins could deal at the deadline. (Off topic, they could have done much worse than signing Pelfrey. See: Baker, Marcum, Myers.)

    Unfortunately, Pelfrey got off to a rough start before hurting his back. Now we’re looking at him getting only a handful of starts before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Pelfrey is on pace to finish right around 150 IP, which triggers the first of many incentives. (The first one is worth $100,000.)

    I can’t imagine there is a huge trade market for a current fringe-#5 starter, so I see very little chance Pelfrey gets moved.

    Given that Pelfrey’s agent is Scott Boras, we know that Pelfrey will hit the free agent market after the season. Call me nuts, but I think we have yet to see the best of Pelfrey. (In which case, let’s see what happens in late August.) To be completely honest, I would sign Pelfrey to the exact same deal next year that he has currently, but I think he'll get a better deal in the off-season.

    Kevin Correia

    Correia is an interesting case. He signed a 2-year/$10 million deal which fans and local media hated instantly. He then started out the season pitching much better than expected. Now he’s leveled off and isn’t doing anything to help the Twins or his trade value (though he was pretty good tonight).

    Oh, then there’s the “you can’t trade a guy in the first year of a multi-year deal” thing you've gotta deal with.

    I think Correia has less value than Pelfrey because of the $5.5 million owed him in 2014. Is Correia the piece that’s going to put a team over the top and into the playoffs? I don’t think so, Tim. Is there a team that would add Correia to help stabilize an overused bullpen? I don’t even think that’s a possibility.

    But let’s pretend for a moment that the Rockies, who liked Correia last offseason and are a handful of games back, get hot and decide to become buyers. (I don’t think it’s likely, but just for the sake of saying…)

    Would you trade Kevin Correia and cash for Christian Bergman, a AA starter who doesn’t throw hard but could be Kevin Correia in a handful of years?

    I can’t imagine the Twins get much of anything after asking a team to cover all of next year’s salary. In this scenario, maybe the Twins cover $2 - $3 million and get a guy that would be a fringe Top 30 prospect. If you’re not okay with chipping in a couple million, replace Bergman with any AA relief pitcher with either control issues or one who is older than the competition.

    Josh Willingham

    It’s actually quite a simple question with Willingham. Are you okay with trading damaged goods for two low-level, limited-ceiling pitchers right now just to get out of his 2014 salary? Or would you rather see him get healthy and shop him at the winter meetings and hope to get something back with better value?

    Listen, I like Willingham and given what the potential returns were last deadline (rumored to be not much), I’m glad the Twins didn’t deal him. It was a calculated risk, sure, and it didn’t work out the way the Twins had hoped.

    There is a chance he can recoup some value and be traded still, whether by the August deadline, over the winter or next July. But being honest here, if the return value wasn’t going to be high in the midst of a career year, when is it?


    Tomorrow we’ll look at Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe and Glen Perkins.
    This article was originally published in blog: Marketable Twins (1st of two-part series) started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Good article Jeremy. Better news tomorrow?
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      You never know, but none of these 4 will bring back much value except salary relief. Pelfrey has a chance to be good the next 2 weeks and actually bring back some value. He could be of use here next year. Correria do not think will be traded, little value and decent contract.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      Good article Jeremy. Better news tomorrow?
      I hope it's better. Definitely more complicated.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
      You never know, but none of these 4 will bring back much value except salary relief. Pelfrey has a chance to be good the next 2 weeks and actually bring back some value. He could be of use here next year. Correria do not think will be traded, little value and decent contract.
      Liriano was lights-out for almost a month and the return (at the time) wasn't exciting (though it provided two more productive players than anticipated). Pelfrey could deal for two weeks and the return wouldn't be great, though I think there could be a market.

      I don't think Correia will be traded either, but I'd take "decent" down a notch to describe his contract.
    1. B Richard's Avatar
      B Richard -
      Not gonna lie, I read the thread title and laughed that this could be a two-part series
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Correia is an interesting case. He signed a 2-year/$10 million deal which fans and local media hated instantly. He then started out the season pitching much better than expected. Now he’s leveled off and isn’t doing anything to help the Twins or his trade value (though he was pretty good tonight).
      N/M
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Correia is an interesting case. He signed a 2-year/$10 million deal which fans and local media hated instantly. He then started out the season pitching much better than expected. Now he’s leveled off and isn’t doing anything to help the Twins or his trade value (though he was pretty good tonight).
      Our standards for minimal expectations have dropped significantly if KC's start was "pretty good". I will grant that he was pretty good at dodging bullets last night (literally and figuratively). He had his worse stint in terms of wildness on the season- 5 BBs and only 58 strikes out of 108 pitches. His single-game ERA was 5.06 and with the 5 hits given up had a WHIP close to 2.00. The big problem is how predictably ineffective he becomes in his "big out situations." On 3-1 counts this year, Correia is giving up an unbelievable .1825 OPS with a .483 OBA. Guess what the count was on Kelly Johnson in the 6th inning?

      Guys (like Kelly Johnson) batting 7-9 in the batting order have a BA of .320 and an .845 OPS on the season, unacceptable.

      Though not applicable tonight, on the theme of big-out situations, with 2 outs, KC for the season is letting batters hit .342BA with a .893 OPS.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      What's sad is that there has been a rush to forgive Ryan for KC because he hasn't been as awful as expected (deserved to a degree) but he still is basically acknowledged as worthless? Ouch, worthless even in a surprisingly positive season really illuminates why that signing got so much criticism.

      Also, Willingham should be dealt or it dealt based on return....definitely not to free salary. That's a non-issue.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I'd throw Casey Fien's name there as well. He has been pitching over his head and will never have as much value.
      As far as what the Twins can get in return for some of these guys, I'd wait to see who the MLB will suspend. If there are names of 3-4 pitchers in contending teams, Pelfrey's and Correia's value will increase. Get a couple of 1B out of the picture and Morneau will actually have some value (and he leads the team in RBIs ; hope that there is another organization out there that values RBIs... )
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Jokin - I hadn't had that line in there... but then thought he was thisclose to actually getting a win, which someone would have pointed out had I not mentioned that. After posting and looking closer at his stats, ugh. Though I think Gardy said he did "pretty darn well", which made me chuckle.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      I agree that Pelfrey should continue to get better the rest of the season as he gets further from his surgery. That would lead to the expectation that he could be the pitcher he was again in 2014, which was pretty good.

      Unless Mr. Ryan gets something worthwhile in July, I see him standing pat until the year end. Pelfrey then becomes one of two players he could consider offerring arbitration to. If Pelfrey accepts, one year of the good Pelfrey is worth $13mm dollars, especially with where the overall budget is. If Boras gets him a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Twins get a lot more than they will later this month.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      As far as what the Twins can get in return for some of these guys, I'd wait to see who the MLB will suspend. If there are names of 3-4 pitchers in contending teams, Pelfrey's and Correia's value will increase. Get a couple of 1B out of the picture and Morneau will actually have some value (and he leads the team in RBIs ; hope that there is another organization out there that values RBIs... )
      This is the wildcard to the whole trade deadline deals. NY needs a first baseman and Morneau and Moralas (Sea) are the headliners. Boston and maybe Tampa(see above quote) a 3B

      I will say paying 2-3 million of KC contract next year for a fringe organizations top 30 prospect is no bueno. Why pay 2-3 million when you can get a FA reliever for a million or less? Also with what the Twins have in their rotation right now why would they want to trade KC or Pelfry? There isn't anyone ready to step up in their place. Albers and Hernandez and maybe Hendriks is all we got left in the cupboard until next year...oh and Swarzak. But I do agree that they do not hold much value.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
      This is the wildcard to the whole trade deadline deals. NY needs a first baseman and Morneau and Moralas (Sea) are the headliners. Boston and maybe Tampa(see above quote) a 3B

      I will say paying 2-3 million of KC contract next year for a fringe organizations top 30 prospect is no bueno. Why pay 2-3 million when you can get a FA reliever for a million or less? Also with what the Twins have in their rotation right now why would they want to trade KC or Pelfry? There isn't anyone ready to step up in their place. Albers and Hernandez and maybe Hendriks is all we got left in the cupboard until next year...oh and Swarzak. But I do agree that they do not hold much value.
      I agree with your assessment on the pitchers, I dont think they will trade them. I got responses that they will/should trade them so that's why they're included. One hidden benefit though is the part you don't like - you give guys like Hendriks and Albers extended looks to help make a decision on next year.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      What's sad is that there has been a rush to forgive Ryan for KC because he hasn't been as awful as expected (deserved to a degree) but he still is basically acknowledged as worthless? Ouch, worthless even in a surprisingly positive season really illuminates why that signing got so much criticism.

      Also, Willingham should be dealt or it dealt based on return....definitely not to free salary. That's a non-issue.
      He hasn't been as awful as expected, yet...but he's starting to move in that direction and his FIP right now is 4.70. He has stayed healthy and he's giving us innings, which helps I guess. Half his starts have been quality ones, though 5 of them were in April and only 4 since then. For those who put stock in Fangraphs value numbers, he's in line to be worth what his salary is...so far.
    1. gil4's Avatar
      gil4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      I think Gardy said he did "pretty darn well", which made me chuckle.
      I would expect a manager to say that in public and something else in private. My concern would be that maybe Gardy actually meant it.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
      This is the wildcard to the whole trade deadline deals. NY needs a first baseman and Morneau and Moralas (Sea) are the headliners. Boston and maybe Tampa(see above quote) a 3B

      I will say paying 2-3 million of KC contract next year for a fringe organizations top 30 prospect is no bueno. Why pay 2-3 million when you can get a FA reliever for a million or less? Also with what the Twins have in their rotation right now why would they want to trade KC or Pelfry? There isn't anyone ready to step up in their place. Albers and Hernandez and maybe Hendriks is all we got left in the cupboard until next year...oh and Swarzak. But I do agree that they do not hold much value.
      I'm sorry, I probably misread, but did you say Tampa needs a 3B?
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Any trade that gives them salary relief has great value so we can get the Pohlad brothers off food stamps!!
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Willinghams 2014 salary should not be a concern for this team, with the current team as of now and arbitration etc the Twins will be heading into 2014 with about 55 million owed. That means that even with Willingham on the books the Twins have between 30 mil and 50 million they could legitimately spend in free agency/trades before next year.

      The best bet with Willingham is to let him come back and produce, if he does then maybe you can trade him in the off-season, if not, go ahead and roll with him as a DH/LF for 2014, if someone like Buxton is ready by June then deal him for whatever you can come the trade deadline, if you are still in contention at the all star break and Willingham is preforming well then maybe you think about just holding onto him and taking the comp pick at the end of 2014?

      Either way, no reason to sell low on him.

      Pelfrey is a "unique" Boras client, he most likely took less money to come to Minnesota and it wouldn't shock me if he did the same again. We aren't talking about the difference between a 7 year 140 mil contract and a 5 year 90 mil contract, we are talking about maybe a mil or two less to stay in Minnesota. If he remains healthy I would offer him a 2 year 10-12 mil contract with plenty of incentives.

      If we want to keep Pelfrey, then I would trade Correia for anything we can get, I do like Correia but we don't need a bunch of #4/#5's to compete. I would rather take some of that saved 5 million and put it towards a Hughes signing.

      If you can get something for Carroll then do it, if not, just don't give him away for literally nothing. I think having a veteran amongst a bunch of rookies/youngsters in the INF actually is beneficial and I believe the Twins have said as much. Besides, its not like anyone is really pushing him for those at bats...
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      There are 45 starting pitchers in the AL that have enough innings to be considered qualified for stats. While he's started enough games, the fact that he has given us barely 5 innings an outing in his 15 starts doesn't quite put him over the edge to be considered qualified for stats. If he had just a few more innings, he'd be ranked 45th out of 46 in ERA (right below Diamond at 44). He's been bad. His FIP says not as bad as his ERA shows, though. His FIP says he's been better than Correia.

      He is getting better though. Three of his last four outing have been quality starts.
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      Liriano was lights-out for almost a month and the return (at the time) wasn't exciting (though it provided two more productive players than anticipated). Pelfrey could deal for two weeks and the return wouldn't be great, though I think there could be a market.

      I don't think Correia will be traded either, but I'd take "decent" down a notch to describe his contract.
      I wouldn't consider Hernandez and Escobar productive. A 5.54 ERA and 1.69 WHIP and .596 OPS are very easily replaceable. Nick Blackburn and Matt Tolbert were better.
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