The Twins, as of right now, are a really good baseball team. They swept a contending team, Texas, at home in the last series. They have won 2 of 6 games, thanks to Kubel, against the Evil Eastern Empire. However, the Twins, if lucky enough to win the Central Division, still do not have what it takes to beat the Yankees/Tampa Bay in the first round. So, a trade idea and some DFA options after the jump....
The Twins really need an ace pitcher, a true one. Liriano has been doing fine as our "ace", but he still is not up to the level of Sabathia, Beckett, Santana, or Lincecum. The Twins have a solid 1-5 core, but in a playoff series, how often does the 4th or 5th pitcher in your rotation throw? Thus, the Twins need a pitcher who has cemented himself in the ace role. We have discussed Roy Oswalt on this site, and while that remains as a possibility, I find it highly unlikely that the Twins shift a trade for him.
A strike-throwing lefty, a repertoire featuring a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, cut fastball, curveball, and a circle change. Lee throws his fastball in the 90s, usually clocking out at 94. Lee fits the Twins bill of strike throwing, low walks, control specialist. With Lee's experience in the playoffs, he would be a great asset to this team as the #1 "go-to" guy.
What does Seattle need? Seattle has been having catching problems, with no apparent heir in the prospect list - only Adam Moore, who will have a long career, but a BA in the low .250s, a little pop, and an ability to shut down the running game.
What do the Twins have? Wilson Ramos. Ramos is blocked by Joe Mauer, and unless one or the other changes positions, they will never be on the same team at the same time. Ramos fills the Mariners need: a catcher who can shut down the running game, a guy who can drive in runs and has extra base power.
The only question would be, is this too much talent or talent going to waste for basically a rent player? We could trade Ramos for a really polished 2B, or for a young ace pitcher who is under team control. However, there is the possibility that the Twins might meet Lee's demands for a contract, or they let him go and collect the two draft picks. Its a win-win either way. The Twins get a top ace for three months, possibly more, either sign him to a long term contract or collect two draft picks, and the Mariners get a really good catcher - who is under team control for a few years.
Possible Trade: Ramos straight up for Lee, Ramos/Crain or Delaney for Lee + PTBNL or A ball prospect.
If montanatwinsfan is correct, and not being sarcastic (its really hard to tell with him), this would be an amazing chance to get one of the top 3B in the major leagues. Yes, Valencia would be blocked and probably would end up having to be traded, but the Twins would get an absolutely amazing 3B.
What do the NY Mets need? Honestly, I have no clue, but it seems like they could use a number of things. They could probably use a starting pitcher and some relief pitching. They have Santana, but not much beyond him and they have K-Rod, who is their only consistent reliever.
What do the Twins have? The Twins have Anthony Swarzak, Matt Fox, Jeff Manship, and Glen Perkins (yes, I did just say his name) among the starting pitchers. In the bullpen options, the Twins have Rob Delaney, Jose Lugo, Tim Lahey, Anthony Slama, and Chris Province. The Twins have lots of good young pitchers in their farm system, so they can afford to lose some of their prospects in addition to one of their starters.
Its time the Twins cleared some room on their 40 man roster and gave the young kids a shot in the sun. The Twins have a few dead weights on their current roster.
Ron Mahay - 6.39 ERA (10 runs/9 ER in 12.2 innings pitched.)
Mahay was signed to be another lefty in the pen along with "Cheeseburger Monster" Mijares and "The Invisible Man" Duensing. However, Mahay is not getting the job done and is only still on the roster because Gardy likes the veterans.
Jesse Crain - 5.32 ERA (14 runs/13 ER in 22.0 innings pitched.)
Crain is one of two things: Crainwreck or the Craintrain. There is no median. Crain is either going to be horrendously bad or amazingly good. Unfortunately for Crain, he has been mostly horrendously bad. Its time for Crain to have a change of scenery and most certainly a team will give it to him, possibly Kansas City or Milwaukee or the Cubs.
Brendan Harris - .163 BA (15 hits in 92 ABs), .250 OBP, More strikeouts than hits.
After being signed to a two year contract, that made us all wonder, Harris has...well, sucked! Harris is a mediocre defender and so, he must rely on his bat to carry him through. However, both have failed him. His fielding is still mediocre and his bat, which was decent in years past, has been really bad. Right now, Harris couldn't hit the broadside of a red barn if he stood 2 feet in front of it. If DFA'd, I can't really see a team picking Harris up, unless they are really hard pressed to find a filler 3B/1B (heck, the Marlins have Mike Lamb on their roster right now).
- Replacements for DFA'd:
Danny Valencia - .298 BA, .350 OBP - Replaces Harris
After a rocky start this season, Valencia has finally started to get back into the groove. Not getting any younger, this could possibly be the last year where Valencia could be considered a true prospect and not a minor league HOF'er, as he already is old for AAA. This is Valencia's year to try his hand at Major League success. Bill Smith told several teams last year that Valencia was off limits as he was considered the future 3B; yet, Smith has not given Valencia the chance to prove himself; he could have made Valencia a september call-up last year, but chose not to; he could have had Valencia on the bus ride north from spring training this year, but chose not to. He could have called Valencia up, instead of Luke Hughes, when Punto went down, but chose not to. It is time for Valencia.
Kyle Waldrop - 1.47 ERA (6 ER in 36.2 IP) - Replaces Jesse Crain
Waldrop has had a pretty nice minor league career, but it wasn't until the end of last year and the beginning of this year, that fans started to notice. Waldrop would slide perfectly into the role that Crain would vacate and be much more effective. Waldrop also is a hard throwing right hander, so the mid 90 fastball speed of Crain would not really be lost. Plus, Waldrop hardly walks anybody; he is a control artist with some pretty good pop on his fastball. Waldrop has earned a call-up.
Anthony Slama - 1.80 ERA (6 ER in 30.0 IP) - Replacing Ron Mahay (this years version of Keppel?)
Yes, I know that Slama is not a lefty, but quite frankly, I don't care. Furthermore, the Twins already have two excellent left handers in their pen: Duensing and Mijares. When Slama can slam the door on the opponents, that is all that matters. Yes, Slama has a high walk rate, but he also has a high K rate. Slama has had consistent success at each level in the minors, and it is time for SLAMA!
So, what do you think? Do you think the trades above are realistic and what do you think of the DFA and call-ups?