Monday, July 21, 2014

Reviewing the Twins Trade Candidates

The buzz surrounding baseball in the Twin Cities was high after last week's All Star festivities. Fans turned out from all around the country to watch the best players in the game. Minnesota and even more appropriately Target Field provided a picturesque backdrop from the Midsummer Classic.

After winning five of their last seven games entering the break, the Twins flopped over the weekend against lowly Tampa Bay. This pushed Minnesota even further into the depths of the American League. Entering play on Monday, there were only two teams with worse records than the Twins in the AL, Texas and Houston.

Baseball's none waiver trade deadline is only a handful of days away and it's looking much more likely that the Twins will be sellers rather than buyers. During the break there was plenty of talk in the Twins clubhouse about the team still being in contention and the overall mood was that the club wanted to avoid a trade deadline fire sale. Since then the tone has changed and Terry Ryan makes it sound like trades will be coming.

The rough series with the Rays means the Twins might want to see what they can get for some of their veterans with expiring contracts. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the men who might find themselves in different uniforms before the calendar turns to August.

Kurt Suzuki- Catcher
The All Star catcher is in the middle of his best offensive season and he is no stranger to being dealt at this time of year. In 2012, Suzuki was traded from Oakland to Washington and the very next year he was sent back to Oakland from Washington. Catchers can be a valuable commodity especially late in the season. It is a grueling position and team's might be looking to add depth or replace an injured player. A Suzuki trade would also open the door for the Twins to get an extended look at catching prospect Josmil Pinto. Suzuki might be the Twins most valuable expiring contract and he could be gone in the next few days.

Josh Willingham- Outfield/DH
There were some calls for Willingham to be traded after his monster 2012 season. He won a Silver Slugger that season after being one of the few bright spots in the Twins line-up. Fast-forward a couple of seasons and things haven't been as rosy. Age might be catching up to the 35-year old veteran of 11 seasons. Over the last two seasons, he has struggled to keep his batting average over the .200 mark. There have been some signs of power but he only has one home run since June 25. Teams might like to add a right-handed bat to bolster their bench but how much does Willingham have left in the tank.

Kendrys Morales- First Base/DH
Scott Boras, the agent for Morales, was in Minneapolis over the All Star break and he talked about the possibility of Morales signing a long-term deal with Minnesota. This might not make a ton of sense with younger players like Oswaldo Arcia and Miguel Sano figuring to get chunks of time at designated hitter in the coming years. It would also be interesting to see the Twins trade a player that has only been with the team since the beginning of June. Like Willingham, there could be team's interested in adding a bench bat for the home stretch. It doesn't seem likely for Morales to be part of the next winning club in Minnesota so the team could try and get something for the 31-year old.

Kevin Correia- RH Pitcher
Correia's time in Minnesota might be best described as unmemorable. In two seasons with the club he has pitched close to 300 innings and his ERA is over 4.00, a mark lower than his career total. He currently leads the entire American League in losses and he is in the top ten for most hits allowed. This might not look like a player a lot of teams would want on their roster for the stretch run. He isn't a top of the line starter but this also means his price will be a lot lower. Some teams like to give their front of the line starters a break in the second half so they are ready for a playoff run. Correia could eat some inning for a contending team. A trade would also open a rotation spot for top pitching prospects Trevor May or Alex Meyer.

No comments: