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  • Marketable Twins (2nd of two-part series)

    Yesterday we took a look at four Twins who will have minimal value on the trade market. Today we’re going to look at the three who probably have the most value (if they’re made available… and no, Joe Mauer isn’t available).

    We’re going to skip Ryan Doumit and most of the bullpen. I feel like there are tradable assets there, so maybe we'll revisit that later.
    Justin Morneau

    Some people are holding out hope that a team will overpay for the former MVP. I don’t see that happening, but there is reason to be somewhat optimistic.

    A good trade comparison that happened last year was the Astros-Marlins trade: Carlos Lee and $9 million to cover the rest of his contract to the Miami Marlins for P Rob Rasmussen and 3B Matt Dominguez. Both Rasmussen (7) and Dominguez (4) were Top 10 prospects in the Marlins system. Dominguez is currently the Astros starting 3B (which really doesn’t mean much) and Rasmussen entered the year as the Astros #19 prospect.

    If the Twins were to pump in the $6-ish million to cover the rest of Morneau’s contract, the Twins could hope for similar return.

    Would you trade Justin Morneau and cash to the Yankees for RHP Brett Marshall and catcher J.R. Murphy?

    Marshall ranked as the Yankees’ #6 prospect coming into the season. His BA blurb is likely music to the Twins' brass' ears: “Marshall profiles as a durable, sinkerballing #4 starter – not the Yankees’ prototype prospect but a useful trade chip.” In May, Marshall made an appearance out of the Yankees bullpen, but has otherwise spent his season in the AAA rotation. Marshall turns 24 in the weeks leading up to Opening Day 2014.

    Murphy, ranked #15 on Yankee prospect lists, is catching in AAA after a promotion about a month ago. Murphy is more advanced offensively than defensively, but he is making progress. Adding another catcher to the group of Pinto, Herrmann and Butera would give the Twins added flexibility and open the door to trade either Ryan Doumit or Butera. (Maybe Butera could/would be thrown into this deal.)

    Plus, the icing on the cake (for me, anyway), is that the Twins could re-sign Morneau this winter. That is, if he’s open to a 2-year deal that doesn’t exceed $15 million total.

    Trevor Plouffe

    We debate whether or not Plouffe should be on the market. Some argue that he should be part of the long-term plans and I get that. In my mind, though, he’s still just a placeholder for the next wave. The issue with moving Plouffe is that the next wave isn’t ready yet.

    Plouffe is from Los Angeles and currently there are two teams that play in his hometown that could use an upgrade at the hot corner.

    At 27 – and under team control for four more seasons – Plouffe has value. He’s a replacement-level defender and is OPSing at about .770.
    Juan Uribe, who turns 34 next week, is having his best season since 2009 and statistically is almost the exact same player that Trevor Plouffe is both offensively (OPS of .764) and defensively (replacement-level) this year. Oh, and Uribe’s $7.3 million contract expires at the end of the season.

    I’m not sure if the Dodgers have a more expensive, accomplished 3B in their crosshairs, but Trevor Plouffe could be a guy that helps them out.

    Would you trade Trevor Plouffe and International Slot 4 ($203,300) to the Dodgers for (as @Jederdyer suggests) LHP Chris Reed plus (my suggestions) RHP Angel Sanchez, SS Darnell Sweeney and 3B Juan Uribe (and his expiring contract)?

    Reed would be the headliner. A first round pick out of Stanford in 2011, Reed, 23, is in the AA rotation and profiles as a mid-rotation starter with a mid-90s, heavy fastball and a plus slider. He compares favorably to current farmhand Trevor May, but has the same control/is he a bullpen guy questions.

    Sanchez, who had a dreadful 2012 in high-A has just recently been re-promoted there and has a live, projectable arm. He will turn 24 in November.

    Sweeney is a true shortstop but has had a ton of errors. He’s handling the bat pretty well in high-A, though and could be a sleeper prospect.

    Of course taking Uribe and saving the Dodgers about $4 million is part of the reason the prospect haul is better. Uribe can serve as the stopgap for the rest of this lost season.

    If you’d rather trade Plouffe to the Angels, who have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball, you’d probably have to take back Alberto Callaspo’s contract (almost $2 million for the rest of this season and $4,875,000 next season) and a couple Dominican pitchers who may have a higher ceiling, but a lower chance of reaching it.

    Glen Perkins

    Oh, and the hardest decision of them all. The Pony, Glen Perkins.

    If I dealt from my head, I’d trade Perkins in a heartbeat; the value of his return would be significant. If I let feelings get involved, though, I’d want Perkins here for the turn-around. A recent article on Fangraphs talks about how dealing Perkins should be the obvious answer.

    My asking price would be high and set in stone: A top 50 prospect (preferably a pitcher) and another really good prospect (preferably another pitcher).

    So which teams have those trade chips to offer and could use a left-handed closer? Well, the second part is easy to answer… in a nutshell, everybody.

    The Red Sox have been linked heavily to Jon Papelbon. I’d rather have Perkins.

    Would you trade Perkins for RHP Anthony Ranaudo (who is carving up AA and should be in AAA – or the Majors – soon) and RHP Francellis Montas (struggling in hi-A, at 20, but can hit 100). You could probably also talk the Red Sox into adding a close-to-the-majors reliever too.

    Ranaudo is a guy you could start in a playoff game, so he’s no worse than a #3 starter and he’s close. Montas is essentially a super-cool lottery ticket. Plus, when push comes to shove, the Red Sox will hopefully throw in a sweetener (or two).

    The Dodgers could use Perkins too.

    Would you trade Perkins for a deal centered around Zach Lee (currently in AA)? What if it was Lee and OF Joc Pederson(BA's mid-season #35 overall prospect)?

    I’d ask for a sweetener, but Lee and Pederson would be hard to turn down. Heck, I’d throw them some International Money too.

    How about the Pirates? Wouldn’t a Grilli/Perkins combination be pretty dynamite? I’d say so. Plus, they have motivation to make a move.

    You’re not getting Jameson Taillon. I doubt you’re getting Luis Heredia. I don’t know if they’d part with breakout starter Tyler Glasnow either.

    But what if they offered Heredia or Glasnow (both a few years away) plus SS Alen Hanson, who after having a breakout year in low-A at 19, is struggling in hi-A?

    On the record, the Pirates would be idiots to do that, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. You know what would hurt, though? Teasing the fans of Pittsburgh with a great record only to miss the playoffs for the 21st consecutive year! They have motivation to make a move… and if they need a sweetener (Is Chris Parmelee an upgrade over Travis Snider?), I don’t think twice. Adding two Top 55 prospects to a system that will probably already have six (plus rookies Arcia, Hicks and Gibson just graduating) would be quite a feat.

    The Diamondbacks, who Seth recently profiled, would be a fit, too. But they’re on record saying they won’t move Tyler Skaggs or Archie Bradley. I’d probably take whichever one they’d want to give up, but, hey, the Twins are on record saying they aren’t moving their closer either. (If I were the Diamondbacks, I’d hold on to both… especially Bradley and wouldn’t trade either for a closer.)

    So what do you think? Do any of these moves excite you? Do any of these moves seem possible? Obviously these are only a few of thousands of scenarios. The fact remains, though, that the Twins are sellers and they need to (learn how to) behave like one.
    This article was originally published in blog: Marketable Twins (2nd of two-part series) started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 38 Comments
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Can't see anyone trading anything of value for Morneau the way he's hitting lately.
      You trade Plouffe and who is your RH power hitter?
      I'd hate to see Perkins go.

      OK, I lack imagination.
      These are engaging scenarios. It will be interesting to see if anything happens.

      Edit: and you should have had a link to Part 1. Thanks
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Chris Colabello could serve as a RH power 1B if multiple moves are made.

      I added the link, good call.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Perkins would bring the highest return. Depends on if a trade partner will bite the bullet and make an offer TR cannot refuse. 2015 is the best bet for a Twins resurgence and Perkins would be in his last year. MLBtraderumors says on reliefers take the money and run. I sort of agree.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Jeremy, I don't care which Perkins deal you do, as long as you do one. Getting 2 starting pitching prospects would be huge. That leaves us with our first pick for a SS next draft.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Jeremy, this is a very interesting article and I enjoyed it a lot.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      If we trade Perkins now, who would be our closer? Its not about this year. Its about the future.

      We still have 1/2 a season to play. If we can't get much for Morneau, why not keep him to be an example for the young talent. If the young hitters start hitting with men in scoring position and the rotation develops 3 or 4 consistent pitchers, the Twins could play .500+ ball for the rest of the season.

      In my opinion, trading Plouffe would be a mistake unless somebody would give us a couple pitchers better than Meyers and May. Sano may be 2 years away and Plouffe is a versatile player.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      This is a very interesting article for discussion. I don't know squat about the non-Twins mentioned, but I am curious to know how likely any of these teams are to offering what was written.
      Trading Perkins is risky, but plausible. However, I think a good closer is worth someone very close to ML-ready and I would be very reluctant to make a trade that involved solely Class A "prospects".
      Trading Plouffe is even more risky than Perkins. Sano's numbers at AA aren't even at the "replacement player" level yet and to simply hand him 3B is courting disaster. Plouffe might even improve somewhat too.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Great piece, Jeremy. Like the last point about needing to learn to be sellers. Selling Perkins is an oppurtunity that shouldn't be missed. I would happily endorse any top 50 prospect return for him. As for the Yankees, how about TJ sidelined Manny Banuelos as a piece?

      Second question. Long-shot targets: Jurickson Profar or Starlin Castro. Obviously very unlikely, but what might be a package that could possibly net one of then? (I was thinking Morneau/Perkins/Top 15 prospect like Harrison?)
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      I think the Rangers are going to hold onto Profar until the Marlins make Stanton available.

      Castro is interesting, and I hear he could be available. The issue is that the Cubs are in rebuild mode too, so it would take prospects (likely a stud pitcher as the headliner). If Alex Meyer were healthy, he would probably be the only one that fits that description. I don't see the Twins going that route.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I don't see Plouffe as something to trade unless the return is great. The reason is pretty simple. Plouffe is a useful piece now who is young enough and cost controlled enough to be a part of the next wave. He's versatile enough to play any infield position, so if someone falters, he can come in and at worst put up average production for the position.

      For Perkins, I tend to agree with you. One top 50 guy (a pitcher or a SS) with another high ceiling guy. Boston is a really good match in that they could use help there and have the prospects worth dealing. They have 3 guys in their AA rotation that would fit that mold (Ranaudo, Barnes, and Webster) as well as middle infield help in Bogarts (probably untouchable) and Marrero. They have the pieces, the question is whether they'd bite.

      The Morneau trade is underwhelming, but that's about what you'd likely get for him. Not sure I'd target a catcher given that the Twins have a decent prospect in Pinto who will be there next year.
    1. Dman's Avatar
      Dman -
      I don't think the Twins will trade Perkins. He gave the team a hometown deal to stay in his hometown in Minnesota. The Twins are loyal and will honor that gentleman's agreement. Yes I know they don't have too but I think they will do what Perk wants and he wants to stay here.

      It does make some sense to trade Perkins as he likely won't be around when the young guys get things going. If he continues to pitch this well then another team will step in at the end of this contract and offer crazy money and if he gets hurt then likely is done anyway. His value will likely never be higher than it is right now.

      If by some miracle they do trade him get ready to read about another former Twin turned All-Star for another team.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      I think the Rangers are going to hold onto Profar until the Marlins make Stanton available.
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post

      Castro is interesting, and I hear he could be available. The issue is that the Cubs are in rebuild mode too, so it would take prospects (likely a stud pitcher as the headliner). If Alex Meyer were healthy, he would probably be the only one that fits that description. I don't see the Twins going that route.
      Well, here's hoping Stanton doesn't become available.

      Sounds promising that Castro could be available; you'd think with the strength of the Twins farm system, Theo would be interested. As for pitching prospects in return for Castro, what about May or Berrios?
      They'd have to include more, such as...Jorge Polanco? I know that in general proposals such as these underestimate what would be required, but two top-10 prospects might be enough?
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Very interesting, Jeremy. It seems to me that it really comes down to our willingness to be a little worse now in order to make an already good farm system even better. Personally there is no difference to me between being bad and really bad. Therefore, I say sell. I also hope for a silver lining in that moving veterans makes room to give more guys a shot to make in at the MLB level. How great would it be if one or two players out of Colabello, Albers, Tonkin, Hendricks, Worley, etc could surprise us and step it up if given the opportunity to develop in the majors.

      Morneau – If he is willing to sign an extension for 2 years at $14M it becomes an interesting decision. If not, and we can get a prospect with a decent shot at making the ML roster, you let him go. We can still try to sign him next season if that makes sense.

      Plouffe is actually the tough one to me because he has shown signs that suggest he might finally reach his potential. He has had a much better approach and been getting the barrel of the bat on the ball. At times he has drilled the ball the other way quite a bit but they were hit at someone. So, even if Sano does replace him, he could be a super utility player / DH. Holding on to him for another might also yield better prospects if he does in fact continue to improve.

      Perkins is pretty easy to me if he brings the kind of offers you have suggested. The twins are likely not going to be a serious contender until his current contract is up and a closer is not critical to a poor or mediocre team. Meyer, May, Sano, and Rosario likely will not be here until mid 2014. We can’t expect to be serious contenders their first full year in 2015. I think we need to be realistic about when this team could be a serious contender. Perkins does not fit into that equation.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post
      ...
      Meyer, May, Sano, and Rosario likely will not be here until mid 2014. We can’t expect to be serious contenders their first full year in 2015....
      I like the optimism, but the point you were making is actually stronger to me, as I would be shocked if any of those players sees MLB before September, 2014.

      Oh, yeah, and I really like Jeremy's point about Chris Colabello. That would be great!


    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I like the Zach Lee idea best and it also happens to be the most realistic/likely of the trades IMO.

      I'd avoid the Red Sox, it may be unfair bias but their prospects always seem overhyped.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      Morneau can and should be traded. Just like the Carlos Lee example, someone will pay to get the last few drop out of Justin Morneau. Morneau can still hit, btw. He just isn't hitting HR's. He is a much better player than Lee was last year at the same time. Look at what James Loney is doing in TB, compared to his recent time in LA. A change in scenery may be what gets him going.

      No on the move of Plouffe. There is not an in-house option to replace him until likely late 2014 (Sano) and he isn't part of the problem.

      MOVE Perkins. His value is through the roof. He's the best pitcher on the market and he's cheap, so every team could be bidding for his services, not just the high-rollers. His vaue will never be higher and his value to a losing team is miniscule.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      It would be a nice change if they dealt a guy at his peak, rather than later.......but I keep plouffe, I think he can be part of the future. Perkins should go. There is plenty of evidence teams can make closers......
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that all these scenaria are extremely optimistic.

      Re: Perkins: He is a good closer. And potentially he would not be a closer in a contending team that already has one. Last time someone paid that much for a closer, were the Twins for Capps. I just do not see it. I can see him bringing back max a lower level higher ranked prospect and maybe an intriguing guy who needs redirection. You cannot trade MLB-ready mid-rotation potential SPs for a closer.

      Morneau: I think that the Twins should stay away and not re-sign him, unless he is willing to do it for Thome money and accept Thome duty. They have enough first basemen in the organization to fill in until Mauer makes the transition. That said, they should trade him by all means, but adding another soft-tossing, contact-inducing, back of the rotation/AAAA/long relief guy who is "ready" is the least the Twins need. The have about 8 of these guys right now. They got to go low minors/high risk/ high return again, because they need the high return. I would even take a younger toolsie guy with some flaws.

      I am all for the Twins to go out and get another catcher (esp. if that means that Butera would be gone), but it looks like they think they are set in the minors, since they just officially listing Rohlfing as an OF. Pinto, Herrmann (and Koch) would be fine as long as Mauer is playing behind the plate with some regularity. 2-3 from now is a different story and that need they might need to address, depending how the aforementioned 3 develop.

      I see no reason to trade Plouffe and they would be selling low at this point. Trading Doumit on the other hand makes a ton of sense and he would bring something back.

      The one thing that the Twins got to do, is to try to package "prospects" in some of these to get better returns. I am just not convinced that they could not get more for Benson, Robertson, Manship, Slama, Solarte etc if they included them in trades when their value was high. Pavano for Pino and Rauch for Malvey are somewhat of examples here, but that was a different GM. So, do you add someone like Kennys Vargas or Tyler Jones in a trade to really get better prospects out there? That is the question. Not players like Sano or Buxton, but players who do have value, but can go either way and there is a lot of risk associated (like being old for their league etc)
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Morneau: I'd trade hime for your proposal to the Yanks, his value will rely on more players getting suspended for PED use. it may be more than you think if a contender loses someone important. I would also be ok keeping him and signing a 2 year 14 million with huge incentives to reach past glory.

      Plouffe: why trade him now when you can trade him later? he'll be just as valuable next year or beyond and is versatile.

      Perkins: I'd trade him for Boegarts and one of those pitchers but there is not much else I would trade him for several AA pitching prospects that are close to majors.... Though I could be convinced otherwise if i were the GM and the offers were better.

      I do like the idea of making this team worse to get better draft position next ear and get more prospects this year. THat could set this team up to compete for a long time.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Siehbiscuit View Post
      Morneau can and should be traded. Just like the Carlos Lee example, someone will pay to get the last few drop out of Justin Morneau. Morneau can still hit, btw. He just isn't hitting HR's. He is a much better player than Lee was last year at the same time. Look at what James Loney is doing in TB, compared to his recent time in LA. A change in scenery may be what gets him going.

      No on the move of Plouffe. There is not an in-house option to replace him until likely late 2014 (Sano) and he isn't part of the problem.

      MOVE Perkins. His value is through the roof. He's the best pitcher on the market and he's cheap, so every team could be bidding for his services, not just the high-rollers. His vaue will never be higher and his value to a losing team is miniscule.
      Agreed on all. I really like the Morneau to Loney comparison. The problem with it highlights how over paid Morneau is to his production (currently). The Twins would need to eat 6-7M of his existing contract to get any return. They should and must do so.
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