Twins Retain Scott Diamond Through Trade

The Twins have retained Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond by working out a trade with the Braves, tweets MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger.  The Twins are sending righty relief prospect Billy Bullock to the Braves in the deal.  Diamond was assigned outright to Triple-A, according to the Twins.

Diamond, a 24-year-old southpaw, posted a 3.46 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, and 0.3 HR/9 in 158 2/3 innings across 27 starts at Double and Triple-A last year.  Baseball America ranked him 29th among Twins prospects, noting that his ceiling is as a fourth or fifth starter.

Bullock, 23, put up a 3.53 ERA, 12.8 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 74 relief innings for the Twins' High-A and Double-A clubs last year.  BA ranked Bullock 15th among Twins prospects, praising his repertoire but questioning his command.  Having swapped their #15 prospect for their 29th best, the Twins clearly don't agree with Baseball America's rankings in this case.


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63 Comments on "Twins Retain Scott Diamond Through Trade"


4 years 5 months ago

This is a blockbuster for Bill Smith.

Michael Brown
4 years 5 months ago

I do have one fear with reading up quickly on Bullock. He sounds a little much like *gulp* Kyle Farnsworth. Big guy, live fastball. Average or below off-speed pitches thats prone to walks and long balls.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

That would not be the first time I’ve seen that comparison..

Michael Brown
4 years 5 months ago

That’s what I was afraid of. I just did quick glances at 2 or 3 scouting reports. It was the first name that came to mind.

I’ll say hopefully it pans out to be a win-win deal for both teams.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

I think Bullock has walked more guys than Farnsworth did at the same age though. Who knows really? He could go either way. He could find his control or he could be Farnsworth. I’d say there’s still two to three years for that to work itself out, unless he goes one way or another quicker than that.

The Twins used to think of him as a future closer, now it looks like they think of him as less than that. And for a team who’s closer position will be up in the air in 2012…it’d be very risky to give up a guy you still see as a closer, even if they do have another guy who can be (Carlos Gutierrez) that’s even closer to being ready.

4 years 5 months ago

Glad we got to keep Diamond.

Brv Rocks
4 years 5 months ago

I hate that the Braves traded Diamond. I have no faith in George Sherrill’s ability even as a loogy and Diamond would have been a good back-up to have. Also, since they did trade him, I wish they could have traded him for a position prospect rather than yet another pitching prospect.

$1529282
4 years 5 months ago

All you did was upgrade from a marginal pitching prospect to a guy who has a legit MLB future. Look at any of the comments from guys like Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein, etc. right now. This is an absolute steal for Atlanta. Sigh.

Brv Rocks
4 years 5 months ago

Check out Atlanta’s minor league system. They are stocked full of high upside young arms. What they need desperately are position players. Sigh.

diskoteque
4 years 5 months ago

Wow, terrible move for the Twins.

sploorp
4 years 5 months ago

Not really. It would have been nice to keep both pitchers, but under the circumstances, that just wasn’t possible.

The Twins need middle relievers now. Diamond is much closer to being major league ready.

ProfessorIronHorse
4 years 5 months ago

Why did the Twins trade away another one of their power pitcher prospects? They have so few as it is.

BravesRed
4 years 5 months ago

HAHAHAHALOLOLOLOL. Twins got owned. A team can trade a crappy reliever for Slowey after this trade.

4 years 5 months ago

Good one..

MinnesotaTwins
4 years 5 months ago

I want to hear Bill Smith explain this, based on what I read here this sounds ridiculous.

BravesRed
4 years 5 months ago

Bullock is a superior pitcher to Diamond.

MinnesotaTwins
4 years 5 months ago

If that is the GM’s explanation we are in trouble… Although, I do remember when we got Diamond in the Rule 5 many Braves fans being disappointed, so he must not be terrible.

BravesRed
4 years 5 months ago

I would be one of those fans, but from what I have seen on different sites, Bullock is better.

4 years 5 months ago

This could be another win/win. There was really no way that Diamond would realistically break the Braves’ rotation in the next 5 years competing againt Hanson, Beachy, Minor, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, and Medlen. Diamond could be a good 4/5 starter for a team searching for SP depth. I just wish the Braves could have gotten a hitter instead.

However, I do like Bullock’s peripherals. Sounds like another arm that needs some taming by those famous Braves’ pitching coaches…

NYBravosFan10
4 years 5 months ago

Frank Wren strikes again lol. I almost feel bad for the Twins with this one. I’ve always liked them and if I were forced to express a 2nd favorite team, it’d be the Twins.

4 years 4 months ago

you are not a good braves fan then… never forget 91!

4 years 5 months ago

Kent herbek still scars my view of the twins

PostMoBills
4 years 5 months ago

Everybody knows Ron Gant was clearly out!

If if makes you feel better though, the Braves seem to have won this trade.

nick1538
4 years 5 months ago

Make sure you come out to Target Field on Aug 4 for the “Kent Hrbeck/Ron Gant Bobblehead giveaway!”

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

August 5th! Let’s not give him another reason to hate us…haha.

nick1538
4 years 5 months ago

You are right! Thanks for catching that.

wachsta
4 years 5 months ago

Bill Smith is destroying my team. There had to be somebody worse than Bullock that the Braves would have taken.

Michael Brown
4 years 5 months ago

No. Frank Wren is a genius who doesn’t settle for a prospect just to get one…See ie: Jurrjens, Vizcaino, etc…

$1529282
4 years 5 months ago

Nate McLouth, Yunel Escobar, Mark Teixeira (both times), signing Garret Anderson, $60M for Derek Lowe, etc.

Clear win here for the Braves, but it’s not like Wren is without his mistakes.

4 years 5 months ago

Yunel was clubhouse cancer, Braves wanted at least some return for Tex, and needed a starting pitcher after 2008 and Lowe was the best out of the 3 potential signees (Burnett, Perez).

BG921
4 years 5 months ago

It’s funny, Escobar has been a model citizen since joining the Jays. Braves fans are a funny group that buy into whatever Joe Simpson or the rest of the Atlanta media feed them. To this day there isn’t any evidence that Yunel Escobar was a “clubhouse cancer”. They loved him when he almost lead them to the playoffs, but when he wasn’t hitting they traded him for a player that will be lucky to post a .290 OBP. The Blue Jays are very thrilled to have Yuni and he has had a great spring.

NYBravosFan10
4 years 5 months ago

#1-No evidence?! Where have you been looking?
#2-What team are you a fan of? Your pic is of Turner Field but the putrid, ignorant stink coming out of your keyboard screams “Blue Jays Fan”
#3-On a more professional note. Maybe he’s been a model citizen because getting traded to the Blue Jays has humbled him. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out he was acting like a jerk because he didn’t think the Braves would trade him and his huge upside. Also he now plays about 1500 or so miles from his home in Florida as well as now playing against teams like the Yankees and Redsox rather than the Nationals and Mets.

4 years 5 months ago

Yunel’s laundry list of offenses was long and detailed, on and off the field. If you never read a story about Yunel causing problems, you simply weren’t paying attention.

He had several times that he never ran out ground balls. Several instances of lackadaisical and uninspired play in the field. Drinking buckets of Coronas in hotel lobbies by himself all evening while several players were commiserating in the bar. All are merely pieces of evidence, but plenty of these small incidents occurred.

My personal favorite anecdote, while not evidence of being a problem with the team, is about his legendary smooth-talking of ladies in Atlanta nightclubs. I’m sure someone else has a better version than mine, so I’ll leave that story for them.

-C

NYBravosFan10
4 years 5 months ago

well he never smooth-talked any american girl in a club…the dude refused to learn english!!!

4 years 5 months ago

ill give you teixeira and anderson, but i dont see your point with escobar and mclouth. the braves gave up NOTHING to get mclouth and the book is still out on him. escobar was a headcase and a showboat who thought he was better than the other 25 guys on the team. alex gonzalez is no superstar, but at least he looks like he wants to be there.

$1529282
4 years 5 months ago

Gave up nothing? Seems to me they’re paying him. As for Yunel, you can justify it however you want, but 1.5 years of Alex Gonzalez and his .280 OBP isn’t a good return. Especially not when you turn around and flip Tim Collins for Farnsworth and Ankiel.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

In fairness, trading to GET Tex wasn’t Wren.

TomahawkChoppin609
4 years 5 months ago

FYI….John Schuerholz made the initial trade for Teixeira, the one that included Andrus and Feliz among others…

4 years 5 months ago

It was John Schuerholz acquired Teixeira from Texas and paid the heavy prospect price. Escobar showed great potential but became one of the most unpopular players in the clubhouse. Paying Garrett Anderson $2.5 million was hardly a catastrophe – he was just old. Jury is still out on McLouth.

If the worst signing a GM ever makes is bringing in Derek Lowe for 25% more than he would have gotten somewhere else, and having him win 15 games per year on a club that plays in October, I can live with that.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

Mark T wasn’t Wren it was John S. Nate McLouth was still a good trade. Braves took a risk of a high upside player and traded away two guys they will never need and a decent lefty. The Anderson signing I blame on Liberty.

The problems I have with Wren is lying for Liberty about our money issue & paying Lowe too much. I’d been happy with 4/48. You also forgot about Kenshin Kawakami. Don’t know if the Braves were just that desperate, because I didn’t see any other teams bidding.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

I’m not sure how I feel. I wanted to keep Diamond but I like Bullock as well. Diamond can be a starter or a reliever while Bullock is a reliever only. He could become an elite reliever, possibly a closer though. Or he could become Slama v2, dominate the minors but fool no one in the majors. Bullock’s walk rate keeps increasing which is not good and the further he goes, it’ll likely get worse unless he fixes it. Not sure what his K rate will do. If he’s a nibbler like Slama then he’ll have a tough time fooling ML hitters as well.

That may be unfair for Slama, but it’s what’s been true so far, but I know small sample size…

Bernaldo
4 years 5 months ago

Quite evidently, the Twins like Diamond a lot. Also quite evidently, they didn’t like Bullock as much as Diamond. Nobody wins or loses on this minor league deal until some time in the future. Even then, like a lot of these minor league deals, it is just as likely it becomes a wash in the end.

nick1538
4 years 5 months ago

I bet Bullock wasn’t one of “Gardy’s Guys.”

notsureifsrs
4 years 5 months ago

unlike most of guys at AA with whom he’s very close

NYBravosFan10
4 years 5 months ago

is “Gardy’s Guys” an actual Twins thing or just something you made up? Honest question, no sarcasm.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

A lot of Twins fans believe that if a player doesn’t have the “robot personality” or Gardy doesn’t like them then they are gone.

In some cases I think it’s true (Garza), but I think it also gets blown out of proportion where now “Gardy’s guys” is a phrase for every move made that a fan doesn’t agree with. “He must not be one of Gardy’s guys” as if that’s the only thing they base a decision on in the organization. Like I said, in some cases…there is evidence, but it’s not every single move.

NYBravosFan10
4 years 5 months ago

oh ok, gotcha. Sounds interesting lol

nick1538
4 years 5 months ago

It is pretty well known that the Twins have a specific mold that they expect their players to fit. For pitchers, the mold is “pitch to contact.” In addition to the player’s approach to the game there are certain things that can “get a player in the doghouse.” Recent examples include Pat Neshek posting an injury diagnosis on Twitter before letting the team say anything and Kevin Slowey apparently “acting like he knows too much about pitching for his own good.” Basically, you need to play the game the way the Twins expect you to, give it your all and listen to the coaching staff. The quintessential “Gardy’s Guy” is Nick Punto (scrappy, gritty, good defense) and the model Twin’s Pitcher is Brad Radke.
Like it or hate it… it has worked for the most part. Although it would be nice to see a pitcher that can throw some gas, or a mean power hitter (let’s be honest, Justin Morneau isn’t mean).

4 years 5 months ago

It is most definitely a real Twins thing.

Example: Nick Punto

nick1538
4 years 5 months ago

Perhaps the Twins organization is starting to believe that James Hoey can be the “power arm” they need at some point in 2011/2012, and there is no reason to keep Billy Bullock if Hoey is essentially the same pitcher and a level ahead.
That being said, Bill Smith still overpaid.

4 years 5 months ago

I hope so. He’s already 28 (Hoey), so he’s not a hot young prospect anymore.

4 years 5 months ago

I don’t see why Twins fans are jumping off buildings (maybe Hrbek’s pushing again…) or why Braves fans are jumping for joy.

Sure, you can look at their respective “prospect ranks,” but Bullock is a reliever while Diamond is likely a starter. Bullpen guys, usually, are only highly-effective for a few years. Then they flame out. That’s just the way it is, time and time again. There are a few star-caliber exceptions, sure, but that’s not the norm.

Even if Diamond pitches at a #4/5 level for only a couple seasons, his value will likely outweigh Bullock’s in the long run. That’s to be expected, and that’s okay. He wasn’t cracking the starting five in Atlanta, so getting something in return was really nice for the Braves.

Bullock may be better at what he does than Diamond is at what he does, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Braves are going to get more out of Bullock than the Twins get out of Diamond. A better prospect doesn’t always equate to better results.

-C

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

And we also have the option of “demoting” Diamond to the bullpen if he doesn’t succeed as a starter or if there is no room for him as a starter. If Bullock doesn’t work out as a reliever he’s done all together or bouncing around from team to team.

If the Twins decide to make him a reliever right away, then that lessens the value of Diamond. I’m not sure what they’ll do yet, they’ve just announced that he’s gone to AAA. And if he does go straight to the bullpen, it also could mean that they’d want another guy ready in case something happens to one of the guys in the major league bullpen…but doesn’t necessarily mean they never see him as a starter. Lots of scenarios….

We really won’t know how this will play out. I think it will take 2-3 years before Bullock does anything. Diamond could make an impact this year or next, hopefully next because he needs the AAA time and I don’t want anything to happen to our ML guys.

DK8
4 years 5 months ago

“If the Twins decide to make him a reliever right away, then that lessens the value of Diamond.”

That holds true for a guy who will likely be an average to above average starter. I don’t think Diamond fits that mold though. For a fringe starter, he might very well be more valuable in the bullpen. If a guy can put up 1 WAR over 60-70 innings, but is replacement level over 180, you put him in the pen. A good example of this is Johnny Venters.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

Nick Blackburn, who people think is crap (I don’t agree with that), has put up WAR’s of 2.5, 3.0 and 0.4 (2010 was a rough year) in his career.

It sounds like Diamond is more talented then Blackburn and Blackburn’s putting up +2 WAR a year. I think Blackburn will go back to normal, he was injured last year and couldn’t throw one of his best pitches.

If things swing right, Diamond should be able to put up better numbers than Blackburn who is also a back-end starter. He induces just as many groundballs or more and he also K’s more players. I think Blackburn walks fewer guys, but not by much and Blackburn seems to allow fewer hits. Diamond has things to work on but I feel like he can be better than Blackburn and I am one of the few that was completely okay with Blackburn being a starter.

4 years 5 months ago

I like how you say Diamond wasn’t cracking the Braves Rotation… Twins: Pavano (signed through 2012), Liriano (arb. eligible in 2012), Scott Baker (signed through 2012, option for 2013), Nick Blackburn (signed through 2013, option for 2014), Brian Duensing (under team control for 4 more seasons), Kevin Slowey (under team control for 3 more seasons), Kyle Gibson…that’s 7 starters… I don’t see the fit for the Twins, and Bullock has a bright future, even if its as a “Kyle Farnsworth” (he was damn good for a while). I don’t like this at all from the Twins, but maybe one of you Braves fans can enlighten me with something about him? For a team lacking upside RP’s and stock full of #4 or #5 SP’s, I’m flabbergasted…

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

Good points with all the starters, very valid. You might be able to even add Perkins and Manship to that list as they will, besides Slowey, likely be the first guys called on if something happens to one of the other starters.

From what I’ve read/seen, the Twins have liked Diamond for years. They were really surprised he was left unprotected (which can be done for a number of reasons, not just because “the Braves didn’t like him enough”). And they were more surprised that he wasn’t taken before their spot in the drafting. He appears to have done well on all levels so far.

He’s also another lefty. I feel like “you can never have enough lefties” is just as common of a phrase as “you can never have too many starters.” Duensing, Hughes, Liriano, Mijares and Perkins are all lefties on the team. Now we’ve got Dumatrait, Diamond, James and Mullins at AAA. I think they liked him and I think they wanted another lefty. Diamond seems like he’ll contribute sooner than Bullock will. Bullock’s walk rate keeps increasing at every level and maybe they thought he wouldn’t reach his closer ceiling. This is all basically speculation on my part, but I do know the Twins have liked Diamond for a long time now and they liked that he was a lefty.

4 years 5 months ago

That the Twins were “surprised” he went unprotected, and “more surprised” no one else drafted him before their spot, is an Alarm Bell for me.. If they thought they had no shot to get him at their spot in the draft, but did; that tells me their reports were extremely skewed from what any other teams thought. We’ll find out I guess. Hopefully Diamond works out as something, because as a fan I really wanted to watch Bullock’s progress this season, that 14.73 K/9IP at AA New Britain is hard to ignore.

twins33
4 years 5 months ago

Baseball America:
“Lefthander Scott Diamond has taken the long road to being a prospect but is now on the cusp of the major leagues. A nondrafted free agent out of Binghamton, Diamond signed with the Braves in 2007 and reached Triple-A in 2010. His four-pitch mix features a curveball that can be a plus pitch, and BA pegged him as one of the likeliest Rule 5 draft picks in December.”

Even Baseball America figured he’d easily be picked, they didn’t say how quickly though. Baseball America believes that Bullock might have become redundant because of Carlos Gutierrez but it does side with the Braves being the winners for right now.

And I agree, those K numbers are hard to ignore, but so is 5.9 BB/9. I want the Twins to have power arms, but I don’t want them to have crappy power arms. Control issues with a power arm are a given, but that’s pretty bad. I’m not a Hoey fan either. If he can get his speed down a little while gaining control he’d be an insane pitcher. Major League hitters aren’t the same as minor league hitters, they aren’t going to be fooled just because of speed. You’ve got to hit the strike zone too.

I wouldn’t call Shooter Hunt a power arm, but he was once considered in high regard. He hasn’t even made it to AA yet because he walks an ungodly amount of people. Most think he won’t even be in baseball for much longer. Control is a big key, just as speed is, but you can get by without blazing speed in the majors. Control will be the death of you if you don’t have it.

nick1538
4 years 5 months ago

Very true… 180 IP in 2-3 seasons with a ~4.50 ERA from Diamond would be more valuable than 40-50 IP in 3-4 seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA from Bullock.

Starters make a greater contribution to the team than relievers, but I don’t see Diamond getting a shot at the rotation before Gibson or Slowey, and that still leaves Alex Wimmers (2010 1st rounder) in the mix for 2012/2013. This would leave Diamond as a reliever, and we currently have Jose Mijares, Glen Perkins and Dusty Hughes on the ML squad for lefties out of the bullpen.

My Ranking of Twins Starting Rotation Options through 2012:
Francisco Liriano
Carl Pavano
Scott Baker
Kevin Slowey
Brian Duensing
Kyle Gibson
Nick Blackburn
Alex Wimmers
Dave Bromberg
Scott Diamond

I just don’t see Diamond Starting in 2011 or 2012…

4 years 5 months ago

ya, that’s a pretty close ranking to what I’d have too in the 2012 scenario. One thing Diamond does have going for him, is he doesn’t give up the long ball…but that also seems contradictory to what the Twins should be valuing more while playing in Target Field…just. don’t. see it…

thrylos98
4 years 5 months ago

I’d rank Slowey ahead of Baker and Pavano at this point, and also add a few more from the minors like Dan Osterbrock ahead of Diamond

$1529282
4 years 5 months ago

Ahhh — point taken on the GM change. I’d forgotten that. My mistake. Still an uninspiring return for him (Kotchman and Marek).