We are now a couple of weeks into the offseason and the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine era. We’re already starting to see some rumors crop up involving the Twins, some speculative and some that has a bit more weight to it. There are two rumors that have cropped up specifically involving the Twins in the last several days, and I like both of them. I’ll touch on those, and then add three other moves I would like to see, as sort of an offseason preview. Let’s see what’s out there, shall we?
Rumor 1) The rumor that would be the most significantly impactful to the Twins next season and for the next several years, is a potential deal sending Brian Dozier to the Dodgers. Dozier has been sought after since the General Manager meetings, but the Dodgers seem to be the best fit. In a recent MLBTR chat, Steve Adams (I think. It could have been Jeff Todd) mentioned that any deal would like center around Jose DeLeon, a Puerto Rican starting pitcher who debuted in the majors this season. Terrific! And with Terry Ryan gone, it would likely be something more than a 1-1 swap.
DeLeon was the Dodgers’ third rated prospect, behind Rookie of the Year Corey Seager, and the highly sought after Julio Urias. DeLeon will probably be the top rated prospect in the system going into 2017, unless Urias is still considered a prospect. Acquiring him would potentially give Minnesota the ace the team needs, if not this year, then in the near future. When (I believe it is a foregone conclusion now) Dozier gets traded, there will likely be a package coming back to Minnesota, but if the team gets someone like DeLeon, that would just be gravy.
Rumor 2) While the initial rumor is the meatiest, the one that seems to have the most weight behind it is the one that the Twins are deep in on Jason Castro, and will meet with him this week. I think that the Twins stand a pretty decent chance of signing the catcher, which would be a boon to the efforts to shore up the rotation. I discussed Castro more here.
Idea 1) Let Trevor Plouffe walk. This isn’t the most ground breaking idea, but it still needs to be said. Plouffe didn’t have a market for a trade last year, and he doesn’t really have much of a role with the Twins next year. It will hurt, especially if Dozier is gone, but it’s a necessary move.
Idea 2) Add pitchers in bulk. Get the premier addition with a trade, but scour the market for any pitchers looking for a shot. Get a couple of legitimate relievers, but the also find some redemption projects (Henderson Alvarez?) or out of options guys squeezed in a numbers crunch. Someone will stick, like Fernando Abad. The depth will either keep the rotation and bullpen afloat, and the best additions might be trade fodder in July.
Idea 3) Strike while the iron is hot: Wait until the market is set for pitchers, then deal Ervin Santana. It runs counter to the idea that they want to build their pitching staff, but consider these three factors: 1) The market is slated heavily in favor of the Twins, who have one of the best available pitchers in a weak market. 2) Adding someone like DeLeon and a bunch of pitching depth makes Santana a bit more expendable. 3) The Twins were so bad anyways, they shouldn’t REALLY be focused on next year. Keeping Santana won’t put them in the playoffs this year, but on the other hand, they can’t get much worse than they were last year. Santana doesn’t provide nearly as much value as he seems. He is like another vote for Hillary Clinton in California.
The winter meetings are where things will really happen, and that’s coming up in a couple of weeks.