Monday, June 24, 2013

2013 Minnesota Twins Trade Candidates

The end of June is quickly approaching and this means it is a little over a month away from the July 31st trade deadline. Things have started to look a little better for the Twins but the club is still in the bottom half of the AL Central. This should mean the club will be sellers at this year's trade deadline.

As I have stated previously, the Twins focus should be on contending again by 2015. Joe Mauer will be the veteran bat in the middle of the line-up surrounded by other young players like Oswaldo Arcia, Miguel Sano, and Eddie Rosario. Even last year's number one pick Byron Buxton could be ready for the big leagues at some point in 2015.

Minnesota has one of the best minor league systems in baseball and the organization has the opportunity to improve their depth by trading away some pieces this July. Power hitters and members of the pitching staff can be valuable commodities at this time of year.

Let's look at a few of the names that could be floating around as baseball's hot stove starts to heat up.

Position Players
Justin Morneau, 1B
The former MVP is in the final year of his contract and it doesn't seem likely for him to be part of the next winnings baseball team in Minnesota. His ability to play first base and hit for power might be intriguing to more than one contending team. Morneau might be even more desirable for a team that has suffered an injury to their first baseman. That being said, there are some recent injury concerns for Morneau and his power has been almost nonexistent in 2013. A team trading for him wouldn't be making a long-term commitment so this could help to strengthen his market.

Josh Willingham, LF/DH
There were a few trade rumors swirling around last season when Willingham was in the midst the best season of his career. Things haven't gone as smoothly in 2013 but that still doesn't mean other teams won't be interested in adding him for the stretch run. Willingham is under contract for all of 2014 at a reasonable amount and this could also help to add to his trade value. He will turn 35-years old before next season and some teams might be scared away by his aging body especially teams in the National League where there isn't a DH.

Dark Horse: Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Minnesota has seen some flashes of good signs from Plouffe and this could make some other clubs interested in him. The former first round pick didn't work out as a middle infielder but he continues to improve at the plate and on the defensive side of the ball. Miguel Sano is working his way through the Twins system and he looks to be the Twins third baseman of the future. Deibinson Romero has also compiled some solid numbers in the minor leagues and it might be worth giving him a look at third base. This makes Plouffe expendable if the Twins want to move him.

Kevin Correia, RHP
There isn't going to be a ton of starting pitchers available at the deadline and this could be a positive for the Twins. So far this year, Correia has put together the numbers that the front office thought he would produce when they signed him to an offseason free agent deal. The Twins gave Correia a two-year deal so he is still under contract for 2014 at a rate of $5 million. It would be nice to dump that salary on a team looking to add a back of the rotation starter for their playoff push. He might not net a big haul but he could be worth a mid-range prospect or two if the market continues to be weak for starting pitching.

Jared Burton, RHP
Things have been a little rough on the mound in the last couple weeks for Mr. Burton. After last season's outstanding job as the team's set-up man, the Twins gave Burton an extension. Something isn't quite right with Burton and this might be a reason for the organization to ship him out of town. Contending teams can usually use another relief arm especially a veteran arm like Burton. He even got the opportunity to close a few games and some teams value this "skill." In the month of July, he will need to show some flashes of the pitcher he was last season or other teams aren't even going to consider him an option.

Dark Horse: Glen Perkins, LHP
Reports were out last week that Twins general manager Terry Ryan is going to want a haul in return for Perkins. The team's closer is under contract through 2015 with a team option for 2016. It's a very team friendly deal and that's a good thing for the Twins and their fans. If Perkins stays with the Twins, he could be the closer on Minnesota's next winning team. Ryan could also get an offer that is too good to pass up and this could mean Perkins is in another uniform by the end of July. It seems like a long shot at this point but anything can happen around the deadline.

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