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  • Twins Recent Trade Deadlines Have Been Underwhelming

    For the Minnesota Twins, the last handful of trade deadlines have been mostly uneventful. This seems out of character for a team that has posted one of baseball's worst records the last few seasons. There are different ways for a team to rebuild and the Twins were very active during last offseason by dealing away Denard Span and Ben Revere. Minnesota doesn't necessarily need to now move pieces that will still be with the club in the offseason.

    That being said, it would make the most sense to say goodbye to Justin Morneau. His contract will be expiring at the end of the season and the Twins won't be in contention this year. This would give him a chance to help a contender and the club could go after him in free agency if they felt that was in their best interest.

    Here is a look back at the moves made during the last three trade deadlines. Even though there haven't been any major moves in the last couple years, there has been an impact on the depth of the organization. There have been ripple effects from dealing away the team's best catching prospect and last year's pair of players has helped the current team, a bit.

    2012 Headline: Liriano dealt to White Sox for pair of players
    The potential was always there with Francisco Liriano but the on-field results were spotty. Since his contract was expiring at the end of the year, it made sense for the Twins to deal him. Many fans thought the Twins should have been able to get more for Liriano. Instead the club got infielder Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Pedro Hernandez. Liriano went 3-2 with the White Sox and he posted a 5.40 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP over 11 starts. According to Baseball Reference, his time in Chicago was good for 0.3 WAR.

    Escobar has played 69 games over the last two seasons with the Twins. He has hit .217/.268/.303 with three home runs, two doubles and two triples. He got plenty of playing time at the beginning of this year when the Twins were still trying to sort out their middle infield situation. He has been worth 0.3 WAR for the Twins. Hernandez has started seven games and pitched in nine games for Minnesota. He has a 3-1 record with a 5.54 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. He has added some depth to the minor league pitching staff but he probably won't have a long-term impact on the big league club, unless it's as a reliever.

    2011 Headline: To trade or not to trade, that is the question.
    There were expiring contracts for Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel but the team still wasn't able to make any moves before the deadline. After a brutal April and May, the Twins posted records above .500 in June and July. This might have given the front office a false sense of hope. Minnesota was only seven games under .500 in the first half of the year. At the end of July, the club had a 50-58 record and they were only seven games out of first place in the AL Central. Unfortunately, the second half of the season turned out to be dreadful.

    Fans were forced to have faith that the club would climb back into the race. This would never happen and Cuddyer and Kubel left the team in the offseason. There may not have been deals on the table for these corner outfielders and it is hard to know what goes on in the general manager's office. Still, it looked silly to have veteran players with expiring contracts on a club that was headed very close to a 100-loss season.

    2010 Headline: Capps acquired for stretch run
    In one of the most scrutinized deals in Twins history, Matt Capps was acquired from the Washington Nationals for prized catching prospect Wilson Ramos. The Twins were in the middle of another tight division race and the back end of the bullpen might have needed a little boost. Joe Nathan had suffered an elbow injury in spring training and the club had used Jon Rauch as closer for most of the first half. Adding Capps to the mix only strengthened the bullpen and he could have been a key piece if the club had gone on a lengthy run in October. As fans know, this didn't happen but the deal would have looked better with Capps closing out games in the ALDS, ALCS, and even the World Series.

    The cost for Capps was steep. Ramos was working his way toward the big leagues and he had even had an impressive debut in Minnesota. The Twins already had Joe Mauer entrenched behind the plate so keeping Ramos around wasn't a necessity. Since joining the Nationals, there have been some injury concerns as he played only 25 games last season and a little over 30 games in 2013. He continues to hit for power and he has posted a career .271/.334/.447 batting line in the National League. Ramos hasn't turned into the next Johnny Bench and that might be a good thing for Twins fans.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Recent Trade Deadlines Have Been Underwhelming started by Cody Christie
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Forever34's Avatar
      Forever34 -
      In hindsight we actually did okay with the deals we made or didn't make.

      I still don't like the Ramos/Capps deal, but if he can't stay on the field he isn't helping anyone.

      The comp picks and players drafted from them probably have more potential value than anything we could have gotten in trade for Kubel or Cuddy.

      There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth on this site (I remember an article called 10 things I hate about the Liriano trade that eventually became about 50 things long) but it turns out we actually won that one. The guys we got in return might not be anything more than AAAA type guys but it was still better than what the White Sox got: a rental on a mediocre pitcher that contributed to them missing the playoffs. As much as we wanted to believe he was back to his ace caliber self, Francisco was still a maddeningly inconsistent pitcher whose bad seasons outnumbered the good. Even his starts where he was striking guys out left and right weren't quality ones. Sure he has returned to borderline elite this year, but we still overestimated his fair market value by a ton this time last year.
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