Thursday, February 27, 2014

Should the Twins trade for Didi Gregorius?

The Arizona Diamondbacks will be dealing with a problem this spring that many other organizations would love to have to deal with. There are two shortstops on their roster who look to be ready to be everyday players at the big league level. Incumbent Didi Gregorius will be battling with top prospect Chris Owings for the starting spot over the next few weeks.

Owings, a 21-year, won the Pacific Coast League MVP last season by hitting .330/.359/.482 with 51 extra-base hits. He is clearly a better offensive weapon than Gregorius who hit .252/.332/.373 with 26 extra-base hits in 103 games last year. For Gregorius, he was worth 1.4 WAR and that puts him in some elite company among rookie shortstops age 23 or less.

From the sound of things out of Arizona, the Diamondbacks might be ready to hand the starting job over to either one of their candidates. The team also knows both players need to be playing on a regular basis. This could leave Gregorius back in Triple-A at age 24 with not much left to prove at that level. Many teams would be happy to have both players on their roster but it is all about development for these two at this point.

It has been a long time since the Twins have been able to develop a long-term option at shortstop. Pedro Florimon has used some strong defensive skills to earn the starting job but his offensive skill leave something to be desired. Danny Santana is working his way through the system but there are questions about his long-term ability to play the shortstop position. This leaves Minnesota with an opportunity...

By simple supply and demand, the Diamondbacks have a surplus of shortstops and the Twins are lacking in this department. This could set-up the opportunity for the two teams to make a deal. Arizona has a lot of value stored up in Gregorius as he was the key piece they got in return for Trevor Bauer when he was traded to Cleveland. This could price the Twins out of any kind of Gregorius deal.

It would be nice for Minnesota to get some long-term stability at the shortstop position after trading away JJ Hardy and trying to work through the failed Tsuyoshi Nishioka experiment. If the Twins could form a trade package around a young player like Oswaldo Arcia or Eddie Rosario, it might only take another piece to get this deal done. If the Diamondbacks want an upper-level catching prospect, maybe start the conversation with Josmil Pinto.

Overall, this could be a pipe dream at this point in the season. One injury to a player in the comings weeks and the Diamondbacks wouldn't have a surplus of shortstops. There also might be more value for a player like Gregorius as teams in contention get closer to the trade deadline. The absence of Terry Ryan from the Twins front office could also be a detriment to a big time trade.

A young shortstop would be nice to have but maybe just not at this point.

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