Right around early dinnertime last night, Dustin Morse of the Twins quietly announced a minor trade for the Twins as C/OF Chris Herrmann was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league 1B/OF Daniel Palka.
Chris Herrmann has been with the Twins since making his debut in 2012, playing both catcher and some corner outfield in the majors. Though never tabbed to be a future starter, Herrmann always had shown a decent bat and good plate discipline in the minors, but he was never able to make solid contact with the Twins as evidenced by his career .181/.249/.280 batting line in 389 plate appearances. Just to give some context, no one thought highly of Drew Butera's bat and yet Herrmann just barely bested Butera's career .185/.241/.266.
Palka is an intriguing power prospect and ranked #29 on MLB.com's Top 30 Diamondbacks Prospect List, but he's also relatively old as he played his entire 2015 season at High-A Visalia at age 23 and just recently turned 24 a couple weeks ago. However, his advanced age is due to him being drafted in the 3rd round out of Georgia Tech back in 2013, so he hasn't been playing professional baseball for very long. Last season, he hit .280/.352/.532 with 29 home runs and 90 RBI, along with easily setting a career high in stolen bases with 24, but he also struck out in nearly 30% of his plate appearances. Without knowing much about Palka, I look at these numbers and think of Twins minor leaguer Adam Brett Walker, another power hitter with some strikeout problems.
With this trade, the Twins now have only Kurt Suzuki and Josmil Pinto as catchers on the 40-man roster. While someone like Eric Fryer can always be added, this definitely fuels even more speculation that the Twins will look outside the organization for another catcher.