Minnesota Twins – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-08-22T15:07:56Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress George Miller <![CDATA[Eddie Rosario Day-To-Day With Hamstring Tightness]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171904 2019-08-21T21:35:16Z 2019-08-21T20:19:06Z After Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario left today’s game early, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports that the move was simply precautionary, and that Rosario is day-to-day with hamstring tightness.

The 27-year-old Rosario was pulled from Wednesday’s matchup with the White Sox prior to the sixth inning after going hitless in his first two times at-bat. With an off day tomorrow, the Twins star will have a well-needed chance to rest and recover ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Tigers.

At this juncture, it doesn’t seem that there is cause for concern regarding Rosario’s availability in the future, though the injury certainly doesn’t come at an opportune time for the Twins, who find themselves in a tight race with Cleveland for the division crown. And with a loss on Wednesday marking a series loss at home against the White Sox, the AL Central leaders can ill afford to go an extended period without one of their most productive offensive performers.

Rosario has been a key player in the Twins’ season-long power surge, with his 27 home runs already matching the career-best mark he put up in 2017, despite playing 34 fewer games. By sheer volume stats, it looks that Rosario is on pace for a career year, though context-adjusted stats like wRC+ prefer Rosario’s previous two seasons to the current one.

While Rosario has always been known as a free swinger, he appears to have taken that approach to another level this year, with his walk rate dipping to the lowest it’s been since 2016, and his strikeout rate at a career low. Evidently, the aggressive approach has paid off in the form of boosted power numbers, though it’s also come at the cost of his OBP, which sits at .308, considerably lower than the cumulative .326 mark he has posted over the last two years.

Regardless, his presence in the Twins’ everyday lineup is imperative for a team that has minimal margin for error in an intensifying division race.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Thad Levine On Possible Brusdar Graterol Promotion ]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171737 2019-08-20T06:13:09Z 2019-08-20T06:13:09Z Although the White Sox and first baseman Jose Abreu have made their affinity for one another known on many occasions, the club reportedly won’t offer the pending free agent a contract extension this season. Nevertheless, Abreu once again made it clear Monday his mission is to re-sign with the White Sox, as Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times relays. Asked if he’s confident a new deal will come together, Abreu declared: “Of course. Like I said before, if the team doesn’t sign me, I’m going to sign myself here.” Chicago’s on its way to its 11th straight season without a playoff berth, and the club has never even finished .500 since Abreu joined the fray entering 2014. But the 32-year-old explained to Van Schouwen the team’s capable of contending as early as 2020, expressing confidence that “the front office is going to make the move that will be the right move for us to move forward and to get to that final phase of this process.”

  • As with Chicago and Abreu, there’s a great deal of fondness between the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon. General manager Dayton Moore stated back in June he “couldn’t imagine” Gordon playing anywhere else. The soon-to-be 36-year-old took a similar tone over the weekend, telling Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports it’s KC or bust in 2020. “I’m not going to play anywhere else,” Gordon said. “If I play, it’s going to be for the Royals.” If Gordon does continue next season, he and the Royals will have to work out a new arrangement, as the team’s sure to decline its half of a $23MM mutual option in favor of a $4MM buyout.
  • The Cardinals will recall center fielder Harrison Bader from Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday and option outfielder Randy Arozarena, per Stu Durando and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Manager Mike Shildt noted the Cardinals are “super proud” of Bader for the way he handled himself in the wake of his July 29 demotion. Bader had been a staple in St. Louis’ lineup for most of the year until the club sent him down, but he’s coming back as a result of a dominant offensive showing in the minors. Meanwhile, fellow Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill could start a rehab assignment with Memphis later in the week, according to Durando and Hummel. O’Neill has been on the IL since Aug. 3 with a left wrist strain.
  • High-end Twins pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol leveled up over the weekend, moving from Double-A Pensacola to Triple-A Rochester. The 20-year-old right-hander is now on the doorstep of the majors, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get there this season, GM Thad Levine told Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. On the subject of a possible late-2019 major league call-up for Graterol, Levine said: “That idea may have been a little overstated. We’re not going to force anything. We would only promote someone if we thought he could genuinely contribute, [and that decision] has certainly not been made.” Graterol’s capable of pumping triple-digit heat, which ideally will help make him a prominent piece of the Twins’ bullpen into the fall.
Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Poll: Who Will Be The AL’s Wild Card Teams?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171615 2019-08-19T00:53:31Z 2019-08-19T00:53:31Z The Twins hold a 2.5-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central after today’s action, and in addition to fighting for the division crown, both clubs are desperately trying to avoid facing even more competition in the AL wild card hunt.  Cleveland (74-51) is currently in possession of the top wild card spot, with the Rays (73-52) in the second slot, just a game behind.

Despite taking three of four games from the Astros, the Athletics are still 7.5 games behind Houston in the AL West, leaving the wild card as Oakland’s most realistic shot at a postseason berth.  The A’s (71-53) are 1.5 games behind the Rays.

Had this poll been posted even a couple of days ago, the Red Sox would likely have been omitted, yet a five-game winning streak merits them a mention.  Boston (67-59) is still 6.5 games behind Tampa Bay, and don’t have many head-to-head opportunities remaining against their division rivals, as the Sox and Rays only play four more times this season.  The Red Sox do have a three-game set against Minnesota on September 3-5 at Fenway Park.

The Twins have six critical September games lined up against the Tribe, but beyond those two series, Minnesota has a clear advantage over Cleveland in terms of benefiting from their weak division.  Twenty-six of the Twins’ remaining 38 games are against the White Sox, Royals, and Tigers, while the Indians only face the AL Central’s lesser lights 16 times in their final 37 games.

It all adds up to a wild final six weeks of action, particularly since injuries, roster shuffles, and players on both incredible hot streaks and cold streaks continue to change the narrative on a near-daily basis.  In particularly, all three non-AL Central teams face looming questions about their pitching staffs.  Can the A’s get their long-awaited influx of young pitching reinforcements once multiple arms return from the injured list?  Can the Rays get by three-fourths of their regular rotation (Blake Snell, Yonny Chirinos, Tyler Glasnow) still hurt?  Can the Red Sox mount a late-season comeback even as their own inconsistent rotation has suffered perhaps a critical blow?

Which two teams do you think will emerge from the fray to play in the one-game Wild Card playoff in October?  (Poll link for app users)

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Graterol, Alcala Promoted To Rochester]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171533 2019-08-18T15:11:39Z 2019-08-18T12:50:30Z
  • Harvey isn’t the only minor-league pitcher who could impact his team’s playoff push in the coming weeks. As Do-Hyung Park of MLB.com pointed out, the Twins have pushed pitching prospects Brusdar Graterol and Jorge Alcala up to the minors’ highest level, where both will work out of the bullpen. The promotion of Graterol, a husky 20 year-old righty from Venezuela, will generate the most attention. A top 100 prospect at Fangraphs, Baseball America and MLB Pipleline, Graterol pitched well in 11 games with Double-A Pensacola. The organization surely hopes he can emerge as an above-average starter long-term, but it isn’t hard to imagine him contributing in the bigs in short stints imminently thanks to his plus three-pitch arsenal. Alcala, too, might factor into the Twins’ end-of-season bullpen, where command issues always figured to push him anyways. The 24 year-old Dominican righty was acquired from Houston in the Ryan Pressly trade last summer and boasts mid-high 90’s gas, but he’s long issued too many walks to be an elite prospect and has an ERA pushing 6.00 in Pensacola. Both hurlers have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason to avoid selection in the Rule V draft, so the Twins could expedite their promotions a few months given their tenuous hold on the AL Central.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Ian Krol Receives 50-Game Suspension]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171443 2019-08-17T06:08:03Z 2019-08-17T06:08:03Z
  • Twins left-hander Ian Krol has received a 50-game suspension after his second positive test for a drug of abuse, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweets. Krol last appeared in the majors a year ago with the Angels, though he only threw two innings for the club. He previously received far more MLB work with the Nationals, Tigers and Braves from 2013-17. The 28-year-old has spent this season in Triple-A ball, where he has struggled to a 5.67 ERA with 11.3 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 46 innings between the top affiliates of the Twins and Reds.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Poll: Who Will Win The AL Central?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171399 2019-08-16T23:40:05Z 2019-08-16T23:40:05Z The two best teams in the American League Central brutalized their opponents on Thursday. The Twins crushed the Rangers, 13-6. The Indians pulled off an even more decisive victory, destroying the mighty Yankees by a 19-5 score. On the heels of those wins, Minnesota and Cleveland entered play Friday neck and neck in the division, which has largely been the case over the past couple weeks. The Twins hold a half-game lead over the Indians, the three-time reigning AL Central champions.

    The fact that the race has gotten this close is somewhat hard to believe. For most of the season, the division has looked like the Twins’ in a runaway. They owned an 11-game edge over the Tribe as recently as June 15, but the Indians have chipped away since then. Despite the long-term absences of arguably their two top pitchers – Corey Kluber (out since May 1 with a fractured forearm) and Carlos Carrasco (out since May 30 because of leukemia) – the Indians have remained on the Twins’ heels. The Indians also traded away high-end starter Trevor Bauer prior to last month’s deadline, though they received immediate help for their lineup in outfielders Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes in return.

    Cleveland’s starting staff, which should at least get Kluber back sometime soon, has gotten by mostly because of young sensation Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger. Meanwhile, the ERAs of rookie Zach Plesac and Adam Plutko have far outperformed much weaker peripherals, while first-year right-hander Aaron Civale has been excellent over his first few starts. And the Indians’ lineup, which was a sore spot earlier in the season, has risen from the dead with help from Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis – both of whom struggled mightily at the outset of the campaign – among those complementing Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor.

    The Indians went into play Friday with 169 home runs – 67 fewer than the major league-leading Twins’ 236. Minnesota’s on track to breeze past the single-season record of 267 that the Yankees set just a year ago, but the Twins’ co-leader, designated Nelson Cruz (32 HRs), has been on the injured list since last week because of a strained wrist. Their lineup’s still in enviable shape – Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario and Luis Arraez are among those enjoying standout seasons – but the team has nonetheless stopped operating at a breakneck pace. Since it held its 11-game lead over the Indians two months ago, Minnesota has gone a mediocre 26-26. Starters Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez have all slowed down to some degree as the season has moved along, while the Twins’ bullpen – despite the acquisitions of Sam Dyson and Sergio Romo before the deadline – hasn’t thrived.

    Considering the Twins have been atop the AL Central throughout the year and currently lead the division, they’re the front-runners to take it this year. Indeed, FanGraphs gives the Twins a 60.6 percent chance to win the division and the Indians 39.4 percent odds. But it would be unwise to count out Cleveland, which has remarkably rallied to make it a legitimate race and still has six regular-season matchups left against Minnesota. Which of the two teams do you expect to win the division?

    (Poll link for app users)

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Twins Activate Michael Pineda]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171280 2019-08-16T00:10:19Z 2019-08-16T00:10:19Z The Twins activated right-hander Michael Pineda from the injured list Thursday, per Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. He’ll start the team’s game in Texas. The Twins optioned righty Randy Dobnak to Triple-A Rochester in a corresponding move.

    Pineda’s back after missing a little over the minimum of 10 days for Minnesota, which placed him on the IL on Aug. 3 because of a strained triceps. That issue aside, this season has largely represented a healthy and successful return from Tommy John surgery for Pineda. He underwent the procedure in July 2017 as a Yankee, but the Twins nonetheless guaranteed the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder a two-year, $10MM contract in the ensuing offseason. While Pineda didn’t take the mound in 2018, the 30-year-old has given the contending Twins 117 innings of 4.15 ERA/4.16 FIP pitching with 7.92 K/9 and 1.77 BB/9 this season. Pineda’s contributions have helped the Twins to a half-game lead over the Indians in the American League Central.

    In further good news for Minnesota, utilityman Willians Astudillo is set to begin a rehab assignment at the Double-A level. Astudillo, 27, hasn’t played in the majors since June 26 on account of a left oblique strain, continuing a rough year for the fan favorite. He’s just a .263/.282/.383 hitter in 142 plate appearances this season, though Luis Arraez and Ehire Adrianza have helped make up for that by emerging as extremely useful utility options for the Twins in 2019.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Twins Release Jordany Valdespin]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171226 2019-08-15T19:11:27Z 2019-08-15T19:11:27Z
  • The Twins released infielder Jordany Valdespin, as per Morrie Silver of the Rochester Red Wings (the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate).  2019 marked Valdespin’s first season of affiliated ball since he playing in the Tigers’ farm system in 2016, as Valdespin spent the previous two seasons in the Mexican League and with the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks.  The former utilityman played almost exclusively as a second baseman for Rochester this season, hitting .294/.343/.444 over 231 plate appearances.  It isn’t far removed from the .283/.337/.420 slash line that the 31-year-old Valdespin has posted over 2896 career minor league PA.  He also has four seasons of MLB experience, appearing in 214 games with the Mets and Marlins from 2012-15 (hitting .216/.271/.369 over those 467 PA in the majors).
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Orioles Claim Ryan Eades]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171096 2019-08-14T18:52:28Z 2019-08-14T18:26:17Z The Orioles have claimed right-hander Ryan Eades off outright waivers from the Twins, Roch Kubatko of MASNsport.com reports (via Twitter). Baltimore’s 40-man roster is full, so a corresponding roster move will need to be made.

    Eades, 27, was Minnesota’s second-round pick out of Louisiana State University back in 2013. He made his big league debut earlier this summer when he tossed 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball, but his minor league track record has been rather spotty. The 6’2″, 210-pound righty has never ranked among the Twins’ best pitching prospects, despite his draft status, and he was shifted to the bullpen back in 2016 after posting lackluster numbers in the rotation.

    Eades showed well out of the ’pen in 2018, tossing 76 1/3 innings with a 3.54 ERA, 10.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9 and a 40 percent ground-ball rate in 76 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. The bottom-line results for Eades in 2019 haven’t been as encouraging; he’s posted a 5.51 ERA in 50 1/3 innings with Minnesota’s top affiliate in Rochester. However, he’s also averaging a career-best 11.2 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9. Eades’ HR/9 mark has doubled to 1.2, but long balls throughout all of Triple-A are through the roof now in 2019 after the decision to switch over to the Major League ball (the same one that has led to record home-run paces throughout MLB).

    The addition of Eades will give the Orioles some optionable depth for the foreseeable future. Because his contract was only selected this season, Eades can be optioned back and forth not only for the remainder of the 2019 season but also in two additional seasons beyond the current campaign.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Nelson Cruz]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170916 2019-08-13T00:13:41Z 2019-08-12T23:30:16Z The Twins recently placed designated hitter Nelson Cruz on the injured list Friday with a ruptured tendon in his left hand, but he won’t need surgery, Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press reports. Cruz will resume baseball activities Tuesday.

    At last look, the Minnesota organization was expressing optimism of just this outcome. But it took a visit to a specialist to confirm that there was no further damage that might require surgical intervention.

    This is relieving news for the Twins, who’ve seen what once looked like an insurmountable lead in the American League Central shrink to nothing. Minnesota held an 11-game advantage over Cleveland as recently as June 15, but the teams are now tied after the Indians took three of four in the clubs’ weekend series. The Twins had to go without Cruz for the majority of that set, as he departed the opening game Thursday with his injury.

    The 39-year-old Cruz has been on the IL twice this season because of left hand problems, but they haven’t had a deleterious effect on his production. The long-excellent slugger is amid one of his most impressive seasons yet, having slashed .294/.384/.650 with 32 home runs and a career-best 164 wRC+ through 373 plate appearances. Thanks in no small part to Cruz, the Twins have looked like playoff shoo-ins for months. Now, though, they’re only four games up on a wild-card spot, making it all the more imperative for Cruz to heal quickly.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Willians Astudillo Out Until September]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170889 2019-08-12T13:56:46Z 2019-08-12T13:56:46Z
  • Twins utilityman Willians Astudillo won’t return from an oblique strain until September, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune tweets. This will go down as a nightmarish regular season for Astudillo, who has been out since June 27 and saw his numbers nosedive before he went on the injured list. The versatile Astudillo became a fan favorite in Minnesota last year, when he burst on the scene with a .355/.371/.516 slash in a 97-plate appearance debut, but he’s only carrying a .263/.282/.383 line in 142 attempts this season. Astudillo does, however, own rather interesting strikeout and walk percentages (3.5 K, 1.4 BB).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Twins Acquire Ian Miller From Mariners]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170710 2019-08-10T17:38:48Z 2019-08-10T17:38:35Z Today, 12:38 PM: The Mariners will receive cash considerations in return, per the team.

    FRIDAY, 11:56 PM: The Twins are set to acquire outfielder Ian Miller from the Mariners, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). The precise return isn’t known, but Divish indicates it’s not expected to be significant.

    Because he isn’t playing on a MLB deal, Miller can still be dealt. The 27-year-old, a former 14th-round pick, is still looking for his first taste of the majors. Miller has been plying his trade in the upper minors in the Seattle system since 2015.

    Divish indicates that the chief interest for the Twins lies in Miller’s baserunning abilities, and that makes sense. He is an accomplished base thief, with 237 bags snatched over seven professional seasons.

    Miller is less accomplished with the bat, with a .699 career OPS through just under three thousand total plate appearances. He’s sporting a bit of a power surge this year, with a .272/.354/.453 slash and 11 long balls (easily a career high) over 441 plate appearances. But that’s still slightly below the mean for Pacific Coast League hitters.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Twins Place Nelson Cruz On 10-Day IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170660 2019-08-09T22:31:48Z 2019-08-09T22:30:33Z 5:25pm: Cruz has been diagnosed with a ruptured ECU tendon, as MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park was among those to cover (links to Twitter). While that sounds like it’d be a bad thing, it may actually not be much of a problem. It’s an injury that others have played through before and Cruz says he isn’t experiencing pain at the moment.

    “It’s a miracle that it feels like that,” says Cruz. “I don’t have any pain, so maybe that’s what I needed. Just tear that tendon and we’re good.”

    2:05pm: The Twins announced today that they have placed slugger Nelson Cruz on the 10-day injured list. Righty Cody Stashak was called up to take the open roster spot.

    Cruz was diagnosed with a wrist strain after leaving last night’s game in the middle of a plate appearance. There’s no indication to this point as to how long Cruz may be sidelined.

    This isn’t the first time this year that Cruz has experienced an issue in that particular joint. He spent three weeks on the IL for a similar injury earlier this season.

    It’s tough news for a Minnesota club that is trying to hold off the charging Indians in the AL Central. Cruz has been on a nearly unbelievable tear at the plate, slashing .333/.429/.900 with 16 home runs in his past 25 games (106 plate appearances).

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Twins To Sign Ryan O’Rourke]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170688 2019-08-09T21:57:34Z 2019-08-09T21:57:34Z The Twins have struck a minors deal with lefty Ryan O’Rourke, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). He had been with the Minnesota organization from 2010 through 2016.

    O’Rourke appeared briefly in the majors earlier this year with the Mets, marking his first showing since the ’16 campaign. He has spent much of the year with the top affiliate of the New York organization, where he carries a 3.27 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 over 44 innings.

    It’s possible that O’Rourke could end up getting some MLB work in Minnesota, even if he has to wait until rosters expand in September. The club’s lone present southpaw reliever, Taylor Rogers, is its closer. There are four other lefties on the 40-man roster, but Martin Perez and Devin Smeltzer are working from the MLB rotation while Lewis Thorpe is starting at Triple-A. Stephen Gonsalves remains on the injured list in the minors.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Nelson Cruz Suffers Left Wrist Strain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170556 2019-08-09T02:33:11Z 2019-08-09T02:32:20Z 9:32pm: Cruz has once again suffered a left wrist strain, Hayes tweets. He’s day-to-day for now.

    8:42pm: Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz left the team’s crucial matchup against the AL Central rival Indians on Thursday with an apparent left wrist injury, Dan Hayes of The Athletic was among those to report. The Twins replaced Cruz with C.J. Cron.

    Cruz’s departure is particularly notable because a strained left wrist forced him to the injured list earlier this season. The ageless slugger sat out from mid-May until early June because of the ailment, but the time off didn’t have a negative effect on him. On the contrary, Cruz has slashed a phenomenal .295/.385/.652 with 35 home runs in 372 plate appearances, making him one of the most valuable Twins and among the best free-agent signings of last winter.

    Minnesota inked the 39-year-old Cruz to a $14MM guarantee in the offseason, and the team looks sure to exercise his $12MM club option for 2020. In the meantime, the Twins will continue trying to hold off the charging Indians, who entered Thursday’s contest two games behind. Of course, doing so will become all the more difficult if Cruz has to head back to the IL.