In his latest blog entry, Peter Gammons lists Minnesota as one of four teams "on the prowl for relievers". Who does he list as possible targets?
|2009 - Huston Street||0-1||17||0||0||0||5||0||15.1||16||7||7||3||3||18||4.11||1.24|
Street's doing a lot of things right this year, in spite of the ERA and hits allowed. He's stranding more than 80% of his base runners, he's not giving up an inordinate number of line drives and he's still striking people out. His issue has been the home run ball, with a very high percentage of his fly balls ending up over the fence. Still, it's just three home runs and considering the sample size things could even out pretty quickly.
Still just 25, Street is making $4.5 million this season. He'll be arbitration eligible for the third time following 2009. The Rockies will likely ask for a significant return for the talented young arm.
|2009 - Danys Baez||2-1||14||0||0||0||0||0||21.1||11||5||5||2||9||17||2.11||.94|
Baez is currently a study in playing over one's head. He's still too liberal in handing out walks, but his BABIP is a meager .182 thanks in parts to a 9.1 line-drive percentage and a 65.5 percent ground-ball rate. It'd be hard for anyone to make it much easier for his defense to convert batted balls into outs. The great fastball is still there and he's always been a moderate strikeout threat, so even if he's playing better than he's historically been, Baez would still be an improvement over the Twins' current bullpen options.
At 31, Baez is a seasoned veteran. He's in the final year of a deal he signed prior to '07, making $5.5 million. If the Orioles choose to trade him, Baltimore and the suitor would need to work out who'd pay Baez his $500,000 trade bonus.
|2009 - Jose Valverde||0-1||8||0||0||0||2||2||8.0||7||5||5||3||3||11||5.63||1.25|
Valverde's got a wicked fastball that, if he can control it, is good enough to be relied upon a vast majority of the time as long as he simply shows his other pitches once in a while. The main issue with Valeverde is that he's currently on the disabled list, recovering from multiple hematomas (collection of blood outside blood vessels, usually resulting from internal bleeding) in his calf.
He's just turned 30, but he's still just over five years of service time. If he can come back healthy and pitch the rest of this season he should be able to reach the full six years required to make him a free agent. While he did some throwing on Thursday, he's still a fairly substantial trade risk once off the disabled list, I'm not sure what Houston could ask for in return, but it couldn't be much.
|2009 - Russ Springer||0-1||17||0||0||0||0||1||16.0||17||5||4||2||7||18||2.25||1.50|
Springer is actually a guy I wanted the Twins to target over the winter. He's been a very effective flyball arm over the last few seasons, and even with the struggling Athletics he's putting together another fine season. With a fastball, cutter, curve and occasional slider he has plenty to offer opposing hitters, and has so far found a way to strand nearly 90% of his base runners. That's just astonishing.
While he's 40, Springer is still a top target. He's due to make $3.3 million this season, with an additional $300,000 in appearance incentives. If the A's continue to flounder there won't be much they can gain from trading him, but if a lot of teams come to call there's no telling whether he'd be a prospect guy or simply a take-his-salary guy.
|2009 - John Grabow||1-0||18||0||0||0||0||1||17.0||23||11||10||1||9||15||5.29||1.88|
What's interesting about Grabow is that if someone could show him how to not walk people, he'd be an incredible bullpen presence. He strikes guys out, he usually strands a fair percentage of his base runners and he isn't abnormally susceptible to the long ball. But he does offer up the walks, and it hurts him. This season he's been a little unlucky in regards to balls in play, but he still shouldn't be a top target on this list. The tools are there, but the performance is shaky.
Grabow is 30, and the Pirates are paying him $2.3 million in what is his last arbitration-eligible season. He'll likely hit the free agent market in November, and I'd be surprised if he came back to Pittsburgh. If anyone calls the Pirates for Grabow, they'll probably listen and take what they can get.
|2009 - Manny Delcarmen||1-1||16||0||0||0||0||0||17.2||16||5||2||0||8||14||1.02||1.36|
Gammons insists the Red Sox might be willing to move Manny for the right price, which would be an impact hitter. He also says Delcarmen might be able to close in the National League. Both of those things cross the Twins off the list of potential trade partners pretty quickly.
If you're Bill Smith, are you looking at any of the guys on this list? If so, what are your trade proposals?