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MLB Trade Deadline: Minnesota Twins Redux

In spite of being clear sellers at the MLB Trade Deadline, the only move the team made was insignificant. How do you feel about that?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

When yesterday started there were, to me, two undeniable truths regarding the Twins and any potential trades that could have taken place.

  1. Most of the players who could have been seen as trade chips had little to no value due to salary concerns, performance, or both.
  2. The only player of significant value was Glen Perkins.
The only chance that Terry Ryan had to get anything of value during yesterday's incredibly boring deadline was to move Perkins. Decisions to move Justin Morneau or other, even less valuable chips like Ryan Doumit or Mike Pelfrey, simply for the sake of moving them wasn't something the organization was going to do.

The same principles apply to Perkins, although on a larger scale. As the only piece of value, at least the only piece of perceived value to most of the league, it's easy to hold Ryan's feet to the fire by believing that he should have pulled the trigger on...something. Even if we have no idea what that something may have been.

Which would put us in the ring with ESPN's Jim Bowden (quick quick change your mind!), who gave Ryan and the Twins a D grade for their work at the deadline (subscription required):

Ryan stubbornly refused to trade hometown boy Glen Perkins, which was probably a mistake for this rebuilding club. And the Twins' inability to eat salary is why Justin Morneau didn't get moved to a club like the Orioles. They were way too quiet considering how much improvement they need.

Let's deconstruct Bowden's analysis point-by-point, because almost every word of what he said is ridiculous and reeks of hack journalism.
  • Bowden refers to Ryan as "stubborn" without qualifying the statement. Calling Ryan stubborn implies that there was a deal on the table that he could have accepted but chose not to, regardless of whether or not it would actually have been a good trade. He makes it sound as though Ryan should have taken any trade, just to do something. (I imagine Ryan sitting at a table with seven phones in front of him ringing simultaneously while he sits there with his arms crossed yelling, over the din of the ringing telephones, "NO! NO! NO! NO!")
  • Bowden then says, in the very same sentence, that not trading Perkins "was probably a mistake", as though he's hedging his bets in the same breath. Based on calling the Twins General Manager stubborn, you'd expect him to firmly believe it was a mistake. Not probably a mistake.
  • Bowden also says "the Twins' inability to eat salary", when in reality the Twins were probably happy to eat some money if it meant they'd get something preferable in return. Here's the proof:
  • Finally, Bowden insists that the Twins "were way too quiet considering how much improvement they need." If the Twins didn't get an offer they were happy with on Perkins, who exactly does Bowden think they were going to trade for improvement? Josh Willingham is hurt, Justin Morneau has had a bad season and has $6 million left on his contract, and everyone else from Mike Pelfrey to Kevin Correia to Ryan Doumit to Jamey Carroll aren't performing well, either. The only player who could be traded for "improvement" would have been Perkins, who Bowden seems to insist should have been just traded for something. Which, really, would have been the dumbest thing the Twins could have done.
Bowden's lazy analysis of the entire situation is disappointing, but not surprising. Which is probably a good way to sum up the Twins' trade deadline as well: disappointing, but not surprising.

The reality is that for every player mentioned not named Perkins, there is a possibility of an August trade. And when it comes to Perkins, he's not only the one guy with a great deal of perceived value but he's also signed through 2015 with an option for 2016. Perkins is the one guy on this team besides Joe Mauer who is actually under contract through a time when I'd expect the team to be competitive again.

My two cents: don't hate on Terry Ryan for the lack of movement at the trade deadline. There wasn't much he could do, and with the one guy he could have moved it's more than possible that there just wasn't a good enough offer made. Now let's see what happens in August.