Interest in the Twins’ available trade pieces spiked following the club’s dismissal of general manager Terry Ryan, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney. Many executives from other clubs expected that he would take a fairly conservative approach at the non-waiver trade deadline, but the way in which interim GM Rob Antony (Ryan’s longtime assistant GM) will proceed is yet an unknown. Olney lists Kurt Suzuki, Brandon Kintzler, Fernando Abad and Ervin Santana as potentially appealing chips on the Twins, and Eduardo Nunez’s name can probably be added to that list as well; he was reported recently to be among Minnesota’s most asked-about trade pieces.
A few more notes on the trade market…
- Abad has long appeared to be a logical trade candidate for the Twins, though he tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he was slowed late last month and in early July by a minor back issue that limited his usage. Abad says his back is at full strength again, but the minor tweak was a big part of the reason that he’s pitched in just five games since June 22. Abad says that he’s happy in Minnesota and would like to stay, but a left-handed reliever with a 2.73 ERA, 8.2 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 46.2 percent ground-ball rate that is earning a $1.25MM base salary this year figures to be a sought-after piece — especially considering the fact that he’s controllable through 2017.
- Orioles general manager Dan Duquette joined MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM to discuss his team’s needs at the trade deadline this week (audio link). “Our team’s strengths are pretty clear,” said Duquette. “We’ve got a good bullpen, we’ve good defense, we score a lot of runs. If we can find some consistency to our starting pitching, we can probably advance to the playoffs. That’s really where our focus is: we’re trying to get some consistency to our starting pitching. We’re also looking around the trade market, which by the way is quite thin this year when it comes to starting pitchers.” Duquette adds that Dylan Bundy will continue to get an opportunity in the rotation for the foreseeable future and said the team also expects continued improvement from Kevin Gausman. The Baltimore GM added that the asking price in trades for starters has been high since the offseason, making it difficult for deals to come together and heightening the risk for acquiring clubs.
- The Giants could match up with the Brewers on a trade for bullpen help, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). The Brewers, according to Schulman, have been scouting Giants pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia recently and are believed to think quite highly of the left-hander, who rated 91st on Baseball America’s midseason list of the game’s Top 100 prospects. Mejia recently moved up to Triple-A and has enjoyed a strong all-around season in the minors, working to a 2.77 ERA with 8.4 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in 100 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Of course, he’s also a nearly MLB-ready arm, and the Giants have been in need of rotation depth for much of the season. San Francisco could also simply turn to Mejia in the bullpen for the remainder of the year if it preferred not to sacrifice big-league-ready pitching depth, though that’s just my speculation. The Giants have been linked to Brewers relievers Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress of late.
- If the Brewers want to extract maximum value for Jonathan Lucroy, the time to trade him is in the next 11 days, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. While demand in the offseason may be greater with more teams looking for catching help, clubs won’t be willing to part with as much this winter, and beyond that Lucroy is currently in the midst of an offensive surge that is bolstering his value. He’s been connected to the Rangers and Indians within the past few days, and Haudricourt writes, “…rest assured there have been talks with other clubs as well.”