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Jeremy Nygaard

Marketable Twins (2nd of two-part series)

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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).
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We’re going to skip Ryan Doumit and most of the bullpen. Personally, I feel like there are tradable assets there, so I maybe I’ll revisit that in the future.

Justin Morneau

I think people are holding out hope that somebody is going to overpay for the former MVP. I don’t see it happening, but there is reason to be somewhat optimistic.

A good trade comparison that happened recently is when the Astros traded 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 $6ish million to cover the rest of Morneau’s contract, the Twins could hope for a similar return.

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

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

Murphy, ranked #15, is currently 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 up the door to trade either Ryan Doumit or Butera. (In fact, 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 could debate whether or not Plouffe should be on the market. Some might 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 – his first with the Giants – 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 $8 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 would compare favorably to current farmhand Trevor May, but have 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 back 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 low 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 around 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 what teams have that trade trip 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 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? What if it was Lee and OF Joc Pederson?

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.


  1. stringer bell's Avatar
    The Twins must bring back pitching, and really not command and control types. I have said repeatedly that Doumit can and should go. I think Devil Eyes is worth a hard-throwing relief prospect.
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