Well, Zack Wheeler is off of the FA board. The Twins waved 100 Million dollars in his face and he turned it down. To all of you that had hopes that we'd land him, I applaud your optimism. To all of you who said Rawr Rawr Rawr, they'll never sign anyone, I feel for you. I find myself in the middle here. On one hand, I still have hopes that the Twins will find some pitching help, but on the other hand I know deep down that they aren't going to spend a ton to do it.
What the Twins don't have in massive salary dollars, they make up for with depth and a loaded farm system. That leads me to hope that they may try to trade some of their farm assets for pitching help during the off season.
Who would they want to acquire? As we mentioned, they aren't looking for players with huge payroll numbers. I think they'll look for a controllable player with a year or two of arbitration left that they think has something that the current team isn't getting out of them.
What would it take to get someone like this?
We can look at a recent trade to get a baseline. Dylan Bundy of the Orioles has never quite lived up to the status of being the #4 overall pick in 2011. He is, however a solid pitcher and was just traded to the Angels yesterday. They gave up 4 pitchers (about #22-45 in their farm system).
- He is probably the most familiar on this list because he is from the AL Central and the Tigers were reportedly asking the moon for him at the trade deadline last year. To me, it's a hard sell to trade within the division. Although Detroit had above average defense, their offense was atrocious last year.
Boyd is scheduled to make $6.4 million in 2020 and has 2 years of ARB left on his contract.
I don't know if you know this... but Miami is a bad ball club. However, their farm system is LOADED with pitching talent. They may want to consider swapping some of their current pitching staff for solid hitting prospects to pair with their up-and-coming pitching talent.
Caleb Smith looked like an absolute ace at the beginning of the season, before he went to the IL with a hip issue in June and didn't return to form for the rest of the year.
Smith is scheduled to hit arbitration next year and will be under team control through 2023.
What it might take:
Twins Get: Caleb Smith - SP
Twins Send: Jake Cave - OF (becomes every day starter in Miami), #5 Trevor Larnach - OF, #23 Travis Blankenhorn - UTIL
In my opinion, Jon Gray is the most solid option of these three. He was the #3 overall pick in 2013 and has impressed with a 4.46 ERA in the toughest ballpark in the majors to pitch in. While Gray is the best option here, the Rockies are the team with the least likely chance that they want to go into full-rebuild mode. It'll take major league talent and players ready to contribute soon.
Gray is scheduled to make $5.6 million in 2020. He has 1 year of arbitration left, making him a free agent going into the 2022 season.
(Added Vilade and Jeffers swap because the Twins will be looking for an option at 3B and the Rockies don't have a catching prospect in sight.)
Here are three viable targets and ways that the Twins could possibly acquire them. When we compare these trades to what the Angels gave up for Dylan Bundy the Twins are giving up better prospects in a little bit less volume. I think we'd be giving up some very quality pieces, but that's what it takes to acquire solid starting pitching in this league.
What starting pitching options do like for the Twins and what/who would you be willing to give up to go out and get them?