The Twins are looking to add pitching depth to their organization, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. General manager Terry Ryan said he’s not set on acquiring a certain type of pitcher — he’s just looking for outs.
"We don't have enough pitching," Ryan said. "We need pitching, and we need it bad."
The Twins are 29th in baseball with a 5.05 team ERA. Only two teams have obtained fewer innings from their starters and no team induces fewer strikeouts per nine innings (5.8 K/9).
The Twins selected pitchers with seven of their first nine selections in this year's draft and they’ve signed every one of those arms except J.T. Chargois and Luke Bard. Executives from other teams have wondered if the Twins would trade players such as Denard Span and Josh Willingham for young pitching, according to Olney.
They dont need pitching that bad…. They had there chance at drafting any college/high school pitcher they wanted two weeks ago, and took a high school OF.
You go with the best talent at the time. By the time Buxton is ready, they might have their pitching concerns dealt with and Buxton might be the player they need to get them over the top.
“Over the top”…? I like the Stallone reference, but they’ll need a few more Buxtons to get over the dead weight that the knee-less Mauer provides. Not to mention if they keep holding out hope for Morneau. Trade Span for pitching to WSH and let bygones be bygones.
“Span for pitching to WSH”
What is Washington going to give us for Span? Gonzalez, Strasburg, Zimmerman, Detwiler? NO Way Nats make that deal!
Lannan or Jackson? No thanks! Ryan would never give up Denard for a mediocre starter that pitches once every five days.
Best Player Available – Sounds great but lets face it the baseball draft is a total crap shoot. You never know what you will get out of a 1st rounder or a 10th rounder for that matter. That being said – given pitching is always the highest priority, in such demand, and the biggest weakness of the organization why not “gamble” with a P over a OF???
And i would argue that the Twins will need much more than Buxton to get them over the top in “however many years”. I guess what i am saying is that as a organization the Twins lack talent. Who is at fault for this??? Scouts/past drafts. And this would be the same scouts who just draft Buxton.
They actually have some good young hitters in Sano, Rosario, Arcia and maybe Hicks. I mean, I can’t defend some of the decisions they’ve made, but there are some good everyday guys down there. Also, we’re starting to see some real good production out of guys like Revere and Plouffe, who had their share of detractors at the beginning of the season.
(1) Every team has “good young hitters”…. You name the team, i can name 4-5 young hitting prospects. The question becomes – will they be average/good/plus hitters at the major league level….
(2) If the twins scouting department were doing there job as a whole, the big league team would not be in a situation it is currently in…. One draft doesnt kill a organization, but multiple poor drafts (along with other factors – FA signings & etc) has caused the lack of talent in the twin cities. And nobody is to blame but the scouts.
You can thank Bill Smith for all of those poor drafts and subsequent trades (Matt Bashore now with the Yanks) a couple unfortunate injuries within the system (2008 first round pick Carlos Gutierrez who came back and has been awful, 2009 first round pick Kyle Gibson suffers from the same story). Levi Michael hasn’t figured it out yet and is struggling in A+ ball, Parmelee is struggling as well. There is a lot of blame to be placed for the state of the Twins, mainly on Bill Smith.
I think the Pirates are the perfect match with the Twins. They have AAA arms that are ready for a shot at MLB. Jeff Locke, Brad Lincoln, Rudy Owens, and Justin Wilson.
I would be fine with taking a chance on Justin Morneau, even if it’s been 2 years since he was productive. Willingham would be nice too but depending at the cost. If we could get both this would be my offer-
RF Garret Jones, 1B Matt Hague, SP Brad Lincoln, SP Justin Wilson and CF Gorky Hernandez for Morneau and Willingham.
Why the Pirates would they need a couple bats. Willingham and Morneau would improve the offense and give the Pirates a chance to keep up with the Reds.
Why the Pirates would do it- Jones might be as good as Willingham. Hague/Parmelee at 1B Lincoln and Wilson would give them 2 guys that could pitch in MLB right now. Lincoln will be a decent pitcher real soon. Wilson has shown in AAA he deserves his shot. Hernandez is blocked by McCutchen, Presley, Marte, and Tabata so I threw him in.
Pirates would be giving up alot of MLB ready guys. Please Twins fan tell if you would do it?
I think that the offer you proposed is more of an offer for just Justin Morneau… Willingham would likely be the best bat on the trade market and none of the players mentioned are top prospects. I’d say Hague, Lincoln, and Wilson might work for Morneau though.
I feel that Wilson and Lincoln are both very nice prospects for a team needing pitching. No way Willingham lands Cole, Tallion, or Heredia types. Morneau alone wont get that offer because age, salary, injury. Plus like I said Garrett Jones reminds me of Willingham.
I agree that Jones does seem a lot like Willingham… I still feel like a team will overpay on Willingham and that would yiled at least one “A” prospect. And while I understand the concerns about Morneau’s injuries, Wilson wasn’t even in the top 15 prospects for the Pirates according to fangraphs, Hague is a very old prospect at 26, and Lincoln hasn’t done much in the majors yet (although, I agree that he is about too). If the Twins paid Morneau’s entire salary, I don’t feel like this would be too much to risk as Lincoln is the only somewhat touted prospect in the deal. I feel this would be fair for both sides.
One major factor: Jones is a LH hitter. He won’t do a thing in Target Field. That’s why Plouffe/Willingham have had success at TF. RH power.
Jones was out of the Twins organization before Target Field.
Obviously, but I’m saying that Jones wouldn’t have anywhere near the success Willingham has because he’s left-handed.
obviously, you found the edit button, but perhaps I read it wrong. I agree with you on the left-handed thing but your point is moot because the Twins would be foolish to want Jones back in a trade for Wllingham.
If the Pirates get Morneau AND Willingham, what would the everyday lineup look like?
Bench- McGahee, Tabata, Harrison, McKenry, etc
That wouldn’t be too bad but I would prefer they’d just trade one of them. Willingham in the 4th spot would really help the lineup a ton, same with Carlos Quentin. I wouldn’t mind seeing McGahee ride out this hot streak, and wouldn’t be opposed to selling Jones if he has any value.
For each of those guys, I would offer at least 2 pitching prospects, an outfielder, and possibly a fringe player.
I feel like Owens, McPherson, and Tabata to San Diego for Quentin would be a solid deal, maybe even an overpay. I would try to get a 5th starter type or maybe Huston Street in the deal as well.
It would be fair for Willingham who I see as a better player, less health concerns and reasonably affordable contract for the next two seasons.
“Hey Twins! Give us the one of the top bats available on the market (Willingham) who has 2.5 cheap years on his deal, and a massive upgrade for us at 1B! In exchange, you can have these spare parts that we don’t need! Sound good?”
Hernandez’s stock has plummeted in recent years, and Wilson is a command-challenged 24-year-old who isn’t even dominating at Triple-A. Jones was released by the Twins years ago and had one good MLB season. He has no upside. Lincoln doesn’t even qualify as a prospect anymore. He’s 27 and until this season had never shown any shred of MLB success. Hague is 26, and another spare part.
Look at previous trades to get some context. A bunch of 26-27 year-old spare parts doesn’t land you legitimate talent. That’s a terrible, terrible offer. Beltran’s numbers with the Mets last season were comparable to Willingham’s. The Giants paid Zack Wheeler to get 3 months of that.
You want 2.5 years of Willingham, AND 1.5 of Morneau for a package that doesn’t even come close to the value of Wheeler.
I guess that’s a NO. I doubt Morneau lands you much at all though. Maybe Willingham lands a decent prospect but I was going off guys that are close or ready to pitch now.
I wouldnt trade Brad Lincoln for Morneau straight up. Period, end of discussion. Lincoln is a proven back end of the bullpen guy that could close for most teams this season (considering all of the injuries around the league.) Lincoln is under team control for nothing, and Morneau is overpaid for his 5 mill per year production. He is also a walking injury.
I would however offer a pick of of the following deal for willingham…and let the twins pick from our triple A rotation. (Except Rudy Owens) I would consider wilson or locke, plus mchperson.
None of those players would be worth trading Morenau or Willingham. The Twins are better off letting Morneau play and see if he can recapture his form in the second half and trade him in the offseason. I would entertain offers for Willingham but do not see a rush to ship him off.
I think the Braves are a good match. They are said to be looking for a replacement for Bourn next season and Span could fit that role. Willingham could also be a target to play LF this season and give them another middle of the order bat. Only problem is the injury to Beachy may not make starting pitchers so expendable.
What do you think the Braves would give for Span and then what would they give for Willingham. I know it would just be a guess but I have little knowledge of the Braves young players besides Heyward, Freeman, Teheran (who is probably untouchable), Minor, and Delgado.
I think Minor, Delgado and Jurrjens are available. I would imagine the Twins would be most interested in Delgado if they think they will compete 2-3 years down the road.
Maybe Minor if Beachy isn’t going to have TJ surgery, JR Graham, Sean Gilmartin, and Zeke Spruill.
None of those is a power arm(Graham has a power sinker though), but they’re pretty good. They also have utility man Tyler Pastornicky, Evan Gattis(power Catcher and now LF). Arodys Vizcaino is injured but he is awesome and he is a power arm though probably untouchable.
That’s about it, and I don’t think the Braves are looking for offense at the moment. Freeman is dealing with injury after injury, but when he comes back, you’ve got Martin Prado in Left Field, Michael Bourn in CF, Jason Heyward in RF, Chipper Jones in 3B, and Freeman in 1B.
Braves won’t trade for offense during the season, maybe in the offseason when Chipper retires and Prado moves to 3B, Willingham is a fit in LF, but not right now.
Beachy going down is a big blow
I def agree about Beachy. Him hurting his elbow makes it tougher to trade someone away. Especially when it comes to the younger inexpensive guys like Delgado, Teheran, and Minor. At the same time I could see the Twins adding a veteran like Pavano (after he comes off the DL) or Liriano (change of scenery candidate) in a trade including Willingham or Span that would offset the loss of a younger pitcher. It would also give them another veteran for a 2012 title run.
They’re saying bone spurs right now- which isn’t as serious.
The Braves do have some good AA pitchers in Spruill and Gilmartin. Maybe Span and Liriano for JJ+ Gilmartin+ Terdoslavich (who I think is blocked in Atlanta now- he just couldn’t play third)
They’re hoping bone spurs, MRI is scheduled today, but as a Braves fan I’m prepared for TJ surgery at this point
The Braves do need a bench bat, and Span would be great for that, and playing LF when Chipper’s hurting, which is half the time. If Span is traded to ATL, Twins should take Fransisco, he doesn’t do anything other then hit homers and eat burgers, but he has talent.
If the Braves are unable to retain Bourn, they will definitely be interested in Span to play CF. If they do retain Bourn, I would think Willingham or Quentin should be higher on their list
ATL has been linked to Willingham numerous times in years past – he’s a Florence, AL native – and they’ve never shown the slightest bit of interest. Money isn’t the biggest hurdle, but his poor fielding and injury history is – though he’s been more consistent while in OAK/MIN.
Unfortunately, ATL won’t benefit from that supposed pitching depth unless Beachy’s injury doesn’t need TJ surgery AND Jurrjens comes back with a vengeance (NOT likely) AND Medlen looks more like the pre-surgery pitcher. Teheran is going through some small back problems and has never been given a proper chance – so I’d think he’d be the most untouchable. And we like Delgado and Minor.
Frankly, we have the money to re-sign Bourn, but ATL management has to choose a direction: Bourn or McCann with an extension? I LOVE McCann, but his health, consistency, and numbers are disconcerting enough to affect his offer from ATL. I say offer a fair deal to McCann and let him walk if he’s looking for $85M+. Span, I don’t see as being good enough to warrant trading Minor/Delgado or one of our other arms for him, especially in a year where there’ll be a lot of quality CF talent on the FA market (Victorino, BJ Upton, etc.).
Braves will have money this offseason. Derek Lowe is finally off the books, Chipper is retiring, Bourn, Hinske, Ross, and Diaz are free agents, and Jair Jurrjens will be non-tendered.
But arbitration will come into effect for a lot of guys like Heyward, Medlen, Hanson, Venters, Martinez, Prado, and Eric O’Flaherty. McCann will now make 12 million instead of 11.66 million with his 2013 club option which is a no doubter, also expect Hudson’s option of 9 million to be a no doubter.
Okay there’s no way to know how much money these guys will make, but we can make an educated guess on how much of a raise will they get. Heyward 2 million(raise which means he will make 2.5 million next year), Medlen 1 million, Hanson 3.5 million, Venters 2 million, Martinez 0.7 million, Prado 2 million, and Eric 1 million. In contract and arbitration raises they need to pay an extra 12.2 million.
They have Chipper’s 14 million coming off the books, Lowe’s 10 million, Jurrjens 5.5 million, Bourn’s 6.845 million, Ross 1.625 million, Hinske 1.6 million, Jack Wilson 1 million, Chad Durbin 0.9 million, Livan Hernandez 0.75 million, and Matt Diaz 2.125 million. That means they have 44.345 million coming off the books.
So in reality they have 32.145 million to spend this offseason. They need a starting LF, and CF, a backup catcher, a utility middle infielder, a backup 1B, and a backup outfielder. From the pitching standpoint they need a RHP.
I would resign Bourn but not overpay since there are other options out there like BJ Upton, Shane Victorino, Josh Hamilton, etc at the CF position, and Denard Span as well. Maybe 4 years 44 million is fair IMO(maybe more considering Scott Boras is his agent). Also resign David Ross(1.5 million), Chad Durbin(2 million), Peter Moylan(1 million). So that’s 15.5 million on a CF/lead off hitter, a backup catcher, and 2 solid relievers(yes Durbin has been very solid). They can callup Evan Gattis as 1B/LF/and catcher, and Tyler Pastornicky as a utility middle infielder. They have 15.645 million left to spend on a starting LF and a backup CF.
Josh Willingham is only making 7 million, Nick Swisher is a fit, and so is Carlos Quentin.
This is a revelation… this should have been done years ago.
Dodgers have plenty of solid pitching prospects, lots of cash, and need a 1B. The Twins have Justin Morneau and need pitching.
They could and will do better than Morneau. They could pay less with less risk for LaHair, who’d be an interesting acquisition.
you think LaHair is a better option?
If you factor in money – which you shouldn’t when thinking about LAD – and the fact that CHC is in “sell now” mode and LaHair is being pushed out by Rizzo, I’d think Epstein/Hoyer would give a fair deal for LaHair – who is not one of their’s. Their acquisition of Rizzo shows you who they want at 1B and unless they can find a suitor for their other bad contracts like Soriano, LaHair looks to be the odd man out. LaHair would be nice insurance, giving him a shot, while giving reason to turn away from Loney. If he doesn’t pay off, you haven’t lost much and you can go out and acquire a FA 1B on the open market (though there won’t be many).
I agree. I’d rather Willingham to play first than Morneau. Morneau will more than likely get injured the first month he’s with a new team. If the Jays go into sale mode then the Dodgers should look to them for a 1B. Travis Snider or Edwin Encarancion would be a solid fit for them.
I like that. Morneau would be a good fit for the Dodgers.
As far as the Twins go, I hope they overhaul the types of pitchers they bring into their system. It seems everyone they bring in and everyone they draft and develop are great # 4 or# 5 starting pitchers. Then when they do get a live arm (by accident, it seems) they have no clue what to do with them. They really need to diversify their pitching corps.
Humber, Dickey, and Garza–three Twins castaways are looking pretty good right now, aren’t they?
Yeah, Humber’s 6.01 ERA and 5.00 FIP are stellar.
Garza wasn’t a castaway either. He was traded when pitching was a position of depth for the Twins to fill a void in the outfield. The trade backfired, but classifying him as a “castaway” suggests that he was tossed aside for nothing.
It didn’t work, but people hardly said the Twins got “nothing” in return at the time.
It’s just as well that Garza was traded. The way they wanted him to pitch didn’t fit his skill set at all. He would have ended up like all of the other nondescript pitchers the Twins throw out there. They have a serious aversion to the strike out and that’s a big part of his game.
You can’t deny the Twins didn’t see him as a ‘castaway’ – he didn’t fit their pitching paradigm, so in their eyes he was not a good pitcher.
Dickey was not-good with the Mariners for years before putting it together with the Mets as well.
Not entirely sure what “not set on acquiring a certain type of pitcher — he’s just looking for outs” means. We have a bunch of guys that are a certain type: soft tossers with good command and below average “stuff.” It was good to see the draft bring a bunch of guys that are not this type, but the Twins need an ace.
Maybe Delgado/ Jurrjens for Span/Carroll?
Better get more than Span for Delgado! It would be nice for someone to take Jurrjens though!
Maybe Delgado/ Jurrjens for Span/Carroll?
How about this trade offer:
Rudy Owens/Brad Lincoln, Kyle McPherson, Duke Welker, Jose Tabata
Josh Willingham and Glen Perkins
Pirates take on full salaries.
Rotation: McDonald, Burnett, Karstens (when healthy), Bedard, Correia
Bullpen: Hanrahan, Grilli, Perkins, Cruz, Watson, Resop, Hughes.
Perkins would really help the entire pen and they can have two very good lefties so they can use one as a specialist on any given night. The lineup would still have options but would have a productive bat in the 4 spot to drive in runs.
Minnesota would get some much needed pitching depth that is very close to the majors, a relief pitching prospect who they can try out now, and a cheap outfielder who still has potential.
I think that’s a fair trade. Pirates get much needed offensive help and a good bullpen arm. Twins get salary relief while rebuilding and a potential good outfielder in Tabata, not to mention he has a great contract. Pairing Tabata and Buxton in the future is intriguing.
I really like this Pirate team, Mccutchen is a beast(one of my favorite players) and I’m really pulling for Alvarez to break out this year. Would be pretty cool if y’all make the playoffs this year.
Hey Big Pat,
If I am the Pirates, I wouldn’t give up on Tabata especially for Willingham.
There’s no doubt that Willingham can tear the cover off a ball, but his range as an outfielder concerns me.
Well either Presley or Tabata is expendable seeing as Marte is hopefully going to be ready to be called up if this happens. McCutchen, Willingham, and Marte with Presley as a 4th outfielder sounds awesome to me
clearly quantity over quality, I wouldn’t take that if I were the twins.
Twins absolutely don’t need outfielders. We are chock full of them.
I’ve been a Twins fan for a long time and watched Terry Ryan work. I can tell you one thing – Josh Willingham is not going anywhere. I would be shocked to see Morneau go too, but it could happen. I don’t think anyone is going to part with the type of player the Twins would demand to move Morneau because of the injury history. The players you are looking at are Span, Capps, and Carroll.
That’s exactly why the Twins are in such rough shape right now. They’re too loyal and run the organization like a fan, not a business. There’s no reason not to trade Willingham and Morneau unless of course they aren’t getting offered anything.
They’d have to be blown away to move two very friendly contracts in Span and Willingham. Perkins would be a decent chip I’d think.
I can’t believe they haven’t moved Capps and now he’s dinged. No reason for him to be here, same for League in SEA and now he’s practically worthless. Sell high when you get unexpected production.
I wanted to trade League last season but NOOO. Closers are way too overrated! Unless you go by the nick name “Mo”.
Im a Rockies Fan and I feel the Twins frustrations. I would like to see the Twins build around Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Scott Diamond. If you were to trade players like a Span or a Willingham you would be able to get maybe someone like a Vance Worley, a Johnny Cueto type pitcher
Morneau should be traded as with Willingham.
Vance Worley is more valuable to the Phillies than anyone else…especially if they lose/trade Hamels. He will not be traded.
worley for willingham. do it.
That just might work, along with a “B” prospect
This has been one of the nuttiest strings on MLB in a long time. The Twins hand over high value players like Willingham and Morneau to the Pirates and get back several low/marginal value players in return? The Twins have said repeatedly that it may take a full season for Morneau to return to form; they will not move him this summer unless a team can cough up a couple of MLB ready starting pitchers and that is unlikely. He could be traded over the winter if he re-establishes value this season or certainly next summer if they cannot or do not extend his contract (’13 is the last year on his current deal) and he has regained his productivity.
Wilingham might be available but it will cost the acquiring team a couple of high value, MLB ready pitchers. Very afforable, two more seasons on his deal, high production power bat, adequate left fielder, hard worker, team guy and a player the Twins are not looking to deal so they will need to get more back than most teams are willing to pay.
I feel like the Pirates should be all over this to get Willingham. I think I’d let McGehee ride out his hot streak to see if maybe he can keep it up before getting another 1st basemen, but if we do get one I think I’d rather take my chances on LaHair than Morneau.
maybe a deal including either rudy ownes or jeff locke we could get willingham.
Willingham isn’t going anywhere.. He’s one of a few hitters built for Target Field. If he isn’t roaming LF in the coming years, he’s DHing.
Morneau has a decent chance of getting traded, but he’s really struggling against lefties and has a high salary for the next two seasons that the Twins aren’t going to just pay off for him to play somewhere else.
Span has a high chance due to his ability, team-friendly contract, and the depth we have at the position.
If Capps can maintain a “decent” year, he could be traded due to the amount of injuries to closers.
If Valencia figures out his troubles in AAA, he could be traded so that he can play everyday somewhere.
All in all, despite all of the troubles, IMHO, the Twins will be even less likely to make a move. The problem is in the starting pitching, but it’s only because we’ve got a #2, and four 5’s in our rotation (at this moment.) Oh how I miss the days of Santana pitching 7 quality innings with 7+ K’s…
If there is one man who can fix the issues (IN DUE TIME), it is Terry Ryan. Out of the 4 (semi-major) signings this offseason, only 1 has been a dud. (Marquis). Doumit, Carroll, and Willingham have all found their roles and played within their ability.
For Morneau and Willingham pirates would give up Jeff Locke, Robbie Grossman, Justin Wilson, and Matt Hague.
The Jays would be a great fit for the Twins. They have tons of top pitching talent and would love to acquire Morneau.
I know Jose Tabata hasn’t made many fans this season, but the Pirates won’t be in a hurry to deal him with that nice multi-year contract he has. Still young and developing, we’ve all seen what he can do when he’s right. I would LOVE to see Josh Willingham in Pittsburgh, I wanted the Bucs to make a run at him last season. I’d be willing to part with pitching – Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson, Rudy Owens, Bryan Morris – any two of them plus a position prospect like Robbie Grossman. Maybe even Gorkys Hernandez as a 4th. Bring back Willingham and Perkins, take on the salaries and I think the Twins would be interested. Those aren’t A prospects but any of those pitchers could be on the Twins 25-man tomorrow.
Teheran, Delgado and Graham for Span, Morneau and Jamey Carroll?
The Braves are happy with Pastornicky and Simmons at the moment, and Carrol is in his late 30’s, the Braves aren’t gonna deal for him.
Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis for Josh Willingham (with Twins picking up most of salary for the Rays).
Sounds like a deal to me if the Rays want to let BJ Upton go via free agency, but it is unlikely with the new CBA rules so they will likely deal him. If they want a power bat for a few years which they desperately need, I would say Andrew Friedman would be aggressive for a power bat in July.. If the Twins don’t want Davis or Niemann, trade them an Alex Torres.
Lots of options here, but if the Rays want to get a deal done, they have the pieces to work out a deal.
Yeah, the Rays make sense in a lot of trade scenarios. I wonder if they’d rather have Span, who could take over CF going forward and is pretty cheap.
The Twins would have no idea what to do with good pitchers
Twins need to bring the local Mark Hamburger kid back from the Rangers. He was just designated for assignment. He has hit 97 on the gun and has always been dominate in a relief role.