The Twins made a couple of moves today, both tied closely with each other. The first move was a small trade for recently designated outfielder Jake Cave, formerly of the Yankees. The Twins gave minor league pitcher Luis Gil, who really hasn’t participated in the Twins organization yet, not yet moving out of the Dominican summer league.
The bigger news, as you might establish from the headline, was that to make space for Cave, the Twins needed to designate Kennys Vargas for assignment. Vargas was never likely to make the team, and less likely when the Twins added Logan Morrison. He always seemed like he should be a more significant power threat, given his size, or at least a more formidable batter, given his ability to bat on either side of the plate, but in the end, he never got a long term look at the DH spot, and wasn’t sensational when he did get an extended run.
Now that he is out of options, and the Twins have a better choice to take on his role, the writing was on the wall for Vargas, but for a team that needs a bit of offense, and can afford to leave him on the roster for the whole year, he can be of value. Don’t expect Vargas to get all the way through the other 29 teams and end up in Rochester to start the season. Vargas will likely end up continuing his career elsewhere.
As for Cave, he will provide another left handed option for the Twins in the outfield, and perhaps just as importantly, he still has options remaining. He had a breakout season at AAA last year, but was squeezed out of the future by the Yankees outrageous depth. Cave will be a back up offensive option, in particular, if one of the other outfielders gets injured, but Byron Buxton stays healthy. The hotter of Zach Granite or Cave could be used in such a scenario.
It’s not terribly difficult to see why the acquisition of Cave was made, nor is it really a surrise that Vargas is going to be moving on (eventually) but it’s always a bummer to see a generally liked player be pushed off of a roster. Good luck to Vargas, and I hope you end up outside of the AL Central.