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  • Trade Talk: Detroit Tigers

    Buyers or Sellers

    The Tigers are certainly buyers at the trade deadline. They have completely stocked up over the last two seasons to make a World Series run. They acquired and then retained Anibal Sanchez. They added Torii Hunter this offseason. After missing all of 2012, Victor Martinez is back in the middle of their lineup. Their top four starters (Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Sanchez) are the envy of the rest of the league. Most believed that the Tigers would run away with the AL Central, but at the All-Star break, they have just a 1.5 game lead over Cleveland.



    What they Need

    The Tigers have spent to win in the very short term. They have a powerful lineup, a tremendous starting rotation and a Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly have been terrific in the bullpen. However, the back end of the Tigers bullpen has caused a lot of issues. Bruce Rondon showed that despite a 100-mph fastball, he wasn’t ready. Things got so bad they brought back veteran Jose Valverde, only quickly to be reminded why they didn’t bring him back at the start of this year. Phil Coke, Al Albuquerque, Darin Downs and Jose Alvarez all have ERAs over five. Octavio Dotel is on the disabled list. The Tigers can use bullpen help. The only other thing the Tigers may need is be another utility infielder who would play very little.

    What Might Work


    Jamey Carroll’s playing time has been limited enough in the first half that he will become a free agent after the season. Although his numbers this season are well down, his inconsistent playing time may play a role in that.

    If there is a team where Glen Perkins makes a lot of sense, it is the Detroit Tigers. If the Tigers were in any other division, it would make even more sense. Perkins has a terrific contract that any team would be happy to take on. Both teams will be leery about dealing with each other. Obviously, the Tigers want to win now, but they won’t want to see one of their top prospects in a starring role for the Twins against them for the next four to six years. The Twins won’t want to see Glen Perkins coming in for ninth innings against them. So, it would be interesting to see if the two teams can make a major trade. Minor trades are one thing, but blockbusters rarely occur within a division.

    Sleeper Targets


    Dixon Machado - 21 - SS – High A
    Two years ago, I saw Dixon Machado playing in Beloit for West Michigan. I recall thinking that I may not have ever seen such a smooth defender at shortstop. He is 6-0, and he is rail thin, almost Alexei Ramirez-like. However, he doesn’t hit like Ramirez. In 2012 in the Florida State League, he hit just .195 with a .535 OPS. This year, repeating the level, he is hitting .231 with a .558 OPS. He’s not going to hit, but his glove makes him a potential utility infielder.

    Jose Ortega - RHP- AAA
    Ortega is probably in the middle ground of prospects that make him an unlikely candidate to come to the Twins. The hard-throwing right-hander has an impressive 1.47 ERA in AAA right now and has had time with the Tigers. In 30.2 innings this year, he has 33 strikouts… to go with 19 walks. Sound familiar? To me, he sounds a lot like another hard-throwing reliever that the Twins acquired from the Tigers, Lester Oliveros.

    Dream Target

    Nick Castellanos was a supplemental first round pick in 2010 out of high school. The Tigers gave him $3.45 million (about $2 million over slot) to sign. Recently, the Tigers have said that Castellanos could be available in a trade for a top closer. Perkins would certainly fit into that category. Drafted as a third baseman, the 6-4 potential power hitter was moved to outfield a year ago when Miguel Cabrera moved to third base. Because he’s 6-4, he could be a first base option as well if the Twins have enough outfielders. With AAA Toledo, he is hitting .281/.353/.455 with 29 doubles and 12 home runs this year.

    Outfielder Avisail Garcia, who played well for the Tigers in the playoffs last year, is also said to be available. Bruce Rondon throws 100 mph but often without great control. He would also be worth inquiring about. If he’s available, that’s a great arm to consider replacing Glen Perkins with, if that’s the direction the Twins were to go.
    This article was originally published in blog: Trade Talk: Detroit Tigers started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 50 Comments
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Not if the team is going to miss the playoffs either way, which they would this season. Anibal doesn't change that.
      We could go round and round, but I'll just state that I'm not necessarily convinced that would have been the case. If the Twins had gotten 15 starts out of Anibal instead of, say, Pelfrey, then maybe Perkins makes 4 or 5 more appearances, with a lead. Maybe the bullpen doesn't show signs of getting gassed two weeks before the all-star break, and the Twins go into "buy mode" instead of "trade mode," etc etc.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      It hurts if Anibal spends 2015 on a Jamaican beach while earning $16m that could be going to a pitcher to help an 88 win team make the playoffs.

      Let's not pretend that there is no risk in signing a guy right now. There is a risk. There is always a risk when you drop $100m on a single player. Whether you want to take that risk should be the argument.
      Look towards 2015, consider payroll being shed in the next year or two, what the makeup of our team will consist of, and tell us where are all of our monetary obligations are going to be. Then tell us where his 16M is going to stop us from being able to sign players? That's even before the new TV contract 25M coming in.

      If his 16M wouldn't have hurt us THIS year, how will it hurt after the payrolls of Blackburn, Pelfrey, Carroll, Morneau, Doumit, Willingham and the like are off payroll and replaced by pre-arbitration players.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Look towards 2015, consider payroll being shed in the next year or two, what the makeup of our team will consist of, and tell us where are all of our monetary obligations are going to be. Then tell us where his 16M is going to stop us from being able to sign players? That's even before the new TV contract 25M coming in.

      If his 16M wouldn't have hurt us THIS year, how will it hurt after the payrolls of Blackburn, Pelfrey, Carroll, Morneau, Doumit, Willingham and the like are off payroll and replaced by pre-arbitration players.
      Payroll certainly shouldn't be a concern in 2015 but many of those departing free agents will have to be replaced and not all of them will come from the farm system.

      The point is that there is a risk in signing a big contract free agent. Is that risk debilitating? Probably not in this case, but it does open up holes that can't be filled should something disastrous go wrong with the pitcher. A team can get around a Barry Zito contract but it's not easy to do and it means you need to hit on almost every other move you make to overcome that wasted money.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      We could go round and round, but I'll just state that I'm not necessarily convinced that would have been the case. If the Twins had gotten 15 starts out of Anibal instead of, say, Pelfrey, then maybe Perkins makes 4 or 5 more appearances, with a lead. Maybe the bullpen doesn't show signs of getting gassed two weeks before the all-star break, and the Twins go into "buy mode" instead of "trade mode," etc etc.
      You could replace Mike Pelfrey with Sandy Koufax and it's not going to result in 13.5 games over a half season (the Twins current deficit in the standings). Adding Koufax to the rotation means you still have three bad starters on the team for a good chunk of this half season. That is simply too many holes to fill.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Payroll certainly shouldn't be a concern in 2015 but many of those departing free agents will have to be replaced and not all of them will come from the farm system.

      The point is that there is a risk in signing a big contract free agent. Is that risk debilitating? Probably not in this case, but it does open up holes that can't be filled should something disastrous go wrong with the pitcher. A team can get around a Barry Zito contract but it's not easy to do and it means you need to hit on almost every other move you make to overcome that wasted money.
      Of that list of players I listed, who do you think won't be replaced by someone in the farm system? Our backup catcher, our utility IF, our 1B, our LF or one or both of the two pitchers (one that isn't even pitching for us right now, so he doesn't really need replacing). Or even the third pitcher I forgot to mention who will also be off payroll in 2015.

      There is always financial risk when signing ANY quality player for ANY long period of time during ANY time in a team's development. That's comes with the job. Right now is the time when we can MOST afford to take the risk, when payroll is low and going much lower in the next two years while we get an additional 25M coming in as well.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      13.5 games over a half season
      Where does this number come from? The Twins are 12 games out.

      Take Anibal away from the Tigers, and you cut into their win total immediately. Maybe 2-3 games, but it could be more, or less.

      Take Pelfrey out of the rotation and replace him with Anibal, and you improve the Twins record by what, 3-5 games? More depending on how much of the the July collapse you blame on the bullpen possibly getting gassed.

      Maybe they trade for Phil Hughes. Or Nolasco. Who knows?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Where does this number come from? The Twins are 12 games out.
      I looked at the wrong page.

      No matter how much impact Anibal has, 12 games is too much for one player. Replacing Joe Mauer with Drew Butera and giving Joe to the Tigers will not result in 12 games in half a season.

      This is why the WAR stat exists. It's incredibly difficult for a player to have a WAR of 10 over one season, much less a WAR of 18 (extrapolating the 55% of this season into 100%).
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I looked at the wrong page.

      No matter how much impact Anibal has, 12 games is too much for one player. Replacing Joe Mauer with Drew Butera and giving Joe to the Tigers will not result in 12 games in half a season.

      This is why the WAR stat exists. It's incredibly difficult for a player to have a WAR of 10 over one season, much less a WAR of 18 (extrapolating the 55% of this season into 100%).
      So you have no issue with the WAR stat, a stat some people say is so arbitrary there isn't even a consensus into how it's calculated. I like the WAR stat, myself, but talk about a stat that seriously takes into account advanced metrics being right on the ball.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Back on topic, speakly purely hypothetically, would folks here accept Castellanos and Rondon in exchange for Perkins?
    1. MichiganTwins's Avatar
      MichiganTwins -
      Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
      Back on topic, speakly purely hypothetically, would folks here accept Castellanos and Rondon in exchange for Perkins?
      I think that would be close to acceptable. Throw it a bag of balls and I might consider it.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I looked at the wrong page.

      No matter how much impact Anibal has, 12 games is too much for one player. Replacing Joe Mauer with Drew Butera and giving Joe to the Tigers will not result in 12 games in half a season.

      This is why the WAR stat exists. It's incredibly difficult for a player to have a WAR of 10 over one season, much less a WAR of 18 (extrapolating the 55% of this season into 100%).
      Do you really want to argue the validity of WAR? I hesitate to engage on this but suffice to say the World Series champs had less WAR than the last place Red Sox last year. You can't just tally the individual p layer WARs and say "this team will win xx many games."

      The math doesn't even add up. Replacement level team should win 55 games right? Then the Tigers should have won 80 games last year instead of 88. The Giants shoudl have won 67 instead of 94.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      So you have no issue with the WAR stat, a stat some people say is so arbitrary there isn't even a consensus into how it's calculated. I like the WAR stat, myself, but talk about a stat that seriously takes into account advanced metrics being right on the ball.
      I use the WAR stat when the sample size is large enough to compensate for some of the incredible weirdness produced by the statistic. It's hardly the One True Metric To Rule Them All but when used in the right situations, it's useful. Especially in a situation like this where the argument basically boils down to "how many wins do you get by replacing a below replacement level player with a very good player". If you can't use WAR there, you can't use it at all.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Do you really want to argue the validity of WAR? I hesitate to engage on this but suffice to say the World Series champs had less WAR than the last place Red Sox last year. You can't just tally the individual p layer WARs and say "this team will win xx many games."

      The math doesn't even add up. Replacement level team should win 55 games right? Then the Tigers should have won 80 games last year instead of 88. The Giants shoudl have won 67 instead of 94.
      I didn't even quote the WAR of Sanchez (or of Pelfrey for that matter). I used the metric to loosely show just how bloody difficult it is for one player to basically amount to a 20 game swing in the standings in one season.

      Think about that for a second. 20 games? Really?
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Brock, you have to accept the possibility that the Twins could have run the table and won all 15/15 games that Anibal would have started, regardless of the differences in WAR. Unlikely, but definitely possible. Certainly Anibal gives you a better chance than Pelfrey.

      You can't just state "the Twins would have missed the playoffs anyway" as a matter of fact. Its impossible to know.

      edit: I'd even add that the 15 start baseline is a bit presumptuous. Maybe in this parallel timeline Anibal doesn't strain his shoulder and starts 19 games? Maybe he starts zero? Again, impossible to know.
    1. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      If any trade partner made sense it's this one. They need a top line closer we have one. they allegedly want to win now, so if that's true it is within reason to ask of one of if not their top prospectCastellanos.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Especially in a situation like this where the argument basically boils down to "how many wins do you get by replacing a below replacement level player with a very good player". If you can't use WAR there, you can't use it at all.
      But when talking about the kind of quality you've gotten from a starting pitcher, the MLB defined stat of quality start can't be used and we can clearly understand how to come up with it. Got it.

      That also doen't explain away the arbitrary nature of the stat WAR.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      But when talking about the kind of quality you've gotten from a starting pitcher, the MLB defined stat of quality start can't be used. Got it.
      You're treading a fine line between debate and condescending antics with this post.

      These are two completely different arguments and you know it.

      One argument is "how well has Kevin Correia pitched" and you used an inferior statistic to about a dozen other available statistics, which I called out, using other statistics that show that no, he wasn't all that bad.

      The other argument is "how many wins would the Twins have if they signed Anibal Sanchez", in which I didn't even use the WAR statistic to prove anything, only to illustrate the difficulty in one player essentially "winning" 20 games for their team in one season.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Brock, you have to accept the possibility that the Twins could have run the table and won all 15/15 games that Anibal would have started, regardless of the differences in WAR. Unlikely, but definitely possible. Certainly Anibal gives you a better chance than Pelfrey.

      You can't just state "the Twins would have missed the playoffs anyway" as a matter of fact. Its impossible to know.

      edit: I'd even add that the 15 start baseline is a bit presumptuous. Maybe in this parallel timeline Anibal doesn't strain his shoulder and starts 19 games? Maybe he starts zero? Again, impossible to know.
      No, one can't say it with utmost certainty.

      But the odds of Sanchez propelling the Twins to the playoffs in 2012 is mighty, mighty low.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      While Castellanos is a great prospect, the Twins already have a log jam at those positions in the next few years. Detroit's system, outside of Castellanos, sucks. I'm not seeing the benefits of this arrangement, especially with the intra-division thing. I think I pass here.
    1. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      castellanos could move to first a postion the twins don't have and you can never have to much hitting.
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