• I've been saying for a while now that the Twins would be wise to try and trade Livan Hernandez this summer. They probably have enough good young arms to contend with or without him, and letting him walk at the end of the season for nothing makes little sense when he could bring back a quality minor leaguer or two.
The counter-argument that I always get is that trading Livan when the team is in contention is tantamount to quitting. I couldn't disagree much more with that assessment, though in large part, that stems from a belief that you should never focus on any one season as a small/mid market team when you could do the organization a service in the long run. The Twins made this mistake last season - one where they were technically not 'out of it,' but didn't seem to have the horses to run with the Indians or Tigers. Indeed they didn't and trading Luis Castillo, a move decried both by fans and some players, made very little difference in the outcome of the season. That being the case, the Twins might have been well served to try and trade off some other veterans (Silva and Hunter) who they saw leave via free agency for either nothing, or the relative pittance of a couple draft picks.
In not trading Hernanez, its this mans belief they'd only be repeating the mistakes of the past.
In that vein, Buster Olney writes;
"It makes all the sense in the world for the Twins to explore this: In a season in which there is little available pitching, there will definitely be a market for someone like Hernandez, who always battles and seems capable of throwing 250 pitches. One team that could use him: the Atlanta Braves, who have been asking around about starting pitching."
Shocking *sarcasm* mostly because I have been pitching the idea of a swap for Braves third base/shortstop prospect Brent Lillibridge since about the same time the season began. Lillibridge isn't an all-star in the making, but he's a guy the Twins could use at third or short for the next 5 years almost immediately. Besides, Livan doesn't have enough value to bring in any top-end prospects, but Lillibridge is the perfect fit. Olney also cites the Astros as a possible landing spot for Livan. I hadn't given the Astros much thought heading into this year due to their status as unlikely to contend, but here we are, and they're contenders. The same could be said about the Cardinals, though they have received very good pitching so far this year, despite having an unimpressive rotation on paper.
As far as the Astros are concerned, the Twins would likely take aim at players such as 24 year old third baseman Chris Johnson, 22 year old right fielder Mitch Einerston, 23 year old starter Bud Norris, or reliever Ryan Thompson. Though frankly, I can't say any of those players strike me as capable of getting a deal done.