Posted by: gravessack | July 25, 2017

It is Trading Season and We Have You Covered!

It is the end of July and the Twins are still contending for a spot in the play-offs. This is the time of year where teams decide whether to be buyers or sellers at the July 31 trade deadline. Due to the circumstances that the Twins are in, they turned to selling mode as they lost all three games in Los Angeles this week.

The Twins will be looking to improve their pitching staff, which cannot consistently perform well as Ervin Santana, Minnesota’s best pitcher, could not make it through the 4th inning July 21 versus Detroit. The bullpen has been struggling lately, so they could use some help there to keep leads. Below I will list all the recent trades that the Twins have made as we get closer to the deadline.

  • The first trade the Twins completed was on July 23. This meaningless transaction sent rarely used starter Nick Tepesch to Toronto for cash. Tepesch, who signed a minor league deal over the winter, started just one game going 1.2 innings on May 6. Tepesch never gained much confidence with Manager Paul Molitor. In regards to the Twins end of the trade, I bet that they will find use for the money they received.
  • On July 24, after a weekend of rumors, the Twins swung a trade to get their preferred man. By sending pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa, who had been pitching in Rookie ball, to Atlanta, the Twins received starter Jaime Garcia and catcher Anthony Recker. This trade was discussed for days but a hiccup with Twins pitcher Nick Burdi temporarily delayed it. Garcia is 4-7 this year, resulting in a 4.30 ERA with 85 strikeouts. His career record is 66-52, mostly pitching for St. Louis. Garcia is expected to debut for the Twins July 28. Meanwhile, Recker is a 7-year veteran who has played on four teams. He has a career average of .199, racking up 18 home runs and 70 RBIs. Recker will be assigned to Double-A Chattanooga.
  • The Twins sent catcher John Ryan Murphy to Arizona for minor league pitcher Gabriel Moya on July 27. Murphy, who has been with Triple-A Rochester all season, played in just 26 games with the Twins in 2016. Murphy was way overmatched when he was on the Twins, batting .146 with 19 strikeouts. In Moya, the Twins get Arizona’s 25th best prospect. As a closer in Double-A this year, Moya, who has 17 saves, is 4-1 with an outstanding 0.82 ERA to go along with his 68 strikeouts and .148 opponent batting average. The 22-year-old will be assigned to Chattanooga. This is a slam dunk deal as the Twins give up a poor hitter for a possible future set-up man or closer.
  • In a spine-tingling move, the new bosses performed a sneaky maneuver by sending starter Jaime Garcia (yes, him!) to the New York Yankees for pitching prospects Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns on July 30. Garcia, who was looking forward to helping the Twins, just started one game, going 6 2/3 strong innings, striking out 7, in a win. Littell, who has never reached the majors, is 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA this year in Double-A. The fifth-year starter has a career winning record and has an overall ERA of 3.24. Enns has had a really odd 2017 so far, as he made 7 starts at Triple-A before being sent all the way down to Rookie ball for a relief appearance. In his starts, Enns went 1-1 with a 2.29 ERA with 37 strikeouts. Throughout his six-year minor league career, the 26-year-old is 27-14 with an ERA of 1.87. Unless Littell and Enns are ready for the big leagues, this is an eerie move that signifies that the Twins have given up on this year. Hopefully, this deal won’t come back to haunt them.
  • With moments to go before the deadline, the Twins traded all-star closer Brandon Kintzler to Washington in exchange for minor league pitcher Tyler Watson. Kintzler, who took over for Glen Perkins last year, had 28 saves this year. In his two-year stint with the Twins, he had an 2.98 ERA, had 62 strike outs, and recorded 45 saves. Watson, who is perceived to be an up-and-comer, was 6-4 and had an ERA of 4.35 this season as a starter in Single-A. This is the 20-year-old’s 3rd year in the minor leagues, where he is 9-8 in 33 starts. The Twins are hoping that Watson “is just scratching the surface of who he can be.” This trade all-but signifies the Twins have thrown in the towel for this season, which is not sitting well with second baseman Brian Dozier.

Please check back in a few days as I will recap all the moves and look ahead!

Written by: Michael L. Sack

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