MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline came and passed today, and it was quite the whirlwind for the Twins. The Twins traded away five players in all: Ryan Pressly, Eduardo Escobar, Zach Duke, Lance Lynn, and Brian Dozier.
There was rumored interest in several other Twins players, who the team opted to keep — most notably, Fernando Rodney, Kyle Gibson, and Jake Odorizzi.
Fernando Rodney seemed the most likely to be traded from that group, as relievers are always in demand at the deadline. For as much as we joke about him and the Fernando Rodney Experience, the truth is Rodney has actually been surprisingly solid this year. He has a 3.40 ERA over 39.2 innings, along with 22 saves. Sure, those six blown saves of his aren’t pretty, and neither is his 1.361 WHIP, but he tries his best and has fun.
I mean, look at this gem from last night:
Fernando Rodney caught a spike and threw a pitch 5 feet off the plate, but Francisco Lindor's reaction has me SCREAMING pic.twitter.com/Z4KPaQrL4A— Born Salty (@cjzero) July 31, 2018
According to some rumors, the Twins seem to think it’s more valuable to keep Rodney around so they can utilize his $4.25 million club option for next season. That’s a pretty small amount for someone who has been as effective as Rodney. Plus, they can still use all those fancy graphics when he comes into games! Long live the FRE!
As for Kyle Gibson, it seemed pretty clear the Twins weren’t looking to trade him unless a team was really willing to overpay. Gibson has had a breakout season this year, holding a 3.42 ERA and 1.209 WHIP over 129.0 innings. His 126 strikeouts have been stellar, along with his swing and miss rate, which is among the highest in the game. Gibson won’t become a free agent until 2020, he’s relatively cheap, and the Twins need pitching, so it makes sense.
The Twins also declined to trade Jake Odorizzi, although I’m not sure exactly how much interest there was in him in the first place. Odorizzi has a 4.58 ERA with an ugly 1.420 WHIP over 112.0 innings. He’s been serviceable enough, however, and is under cheap team control until 2020. I imagine teams weren’t offering much to make trading Odorizzi worth it.
Of course, it’s still possible to move players via waiver trade until the end of August — but I doubt any of these three will be moved. They’re all cheap enough that a team would likely claim them, but all of the same concerns the Twins seem to have had for not trading them in the first place still remain.