Wednesday Afternoon, November 28, 2007

Twins Get Young (and More)


UPDATE Ė The deal is complete. Unfortunately, Juan Rinconís elbow made the Rays shy on him, so he was replaced in the trade by Eduardo Morlan. Instead of feeling really pretty good about the deal, I am now a little disappointed. Donít get me wrong. I think getting Young is great, and Harris may be a little underrated. But I also believe that Garza may be a little underrated, and so is Bartlett. So, unless Jason Pridie becomes the Twins starting CF, itís a little more difficult to be overly excited about the deal anymore. To me, Morlan would have been the Twins next great closer. 21 years old, a strikeout machine, a guy who wanted to close. Disappointing! Not a bad trade, just a little less excitement right now.


La Velle is reporting that the Twins are close to acquiring Delmon Young from the Tampa Bay Rays for Matt Garza. The deal is believed to include more, but those are the principles. The Twins would also acquire SS Brendan Harris and CF Jason Pridie. The Twins would also send Jason Bartlett and Juan Rincon to the Rays. So, without diving into numbers and stats and really, just hearing this now, here are some thoughts:


This trade can be broken down three ways:


1.)     Matt Garza for Delmon Young Ė Matt Garza has ďaceĒ potential. Once every five days, he could give the Twins a chance to win. He is still quite young and although he hasnít dominated yet, but he will. Delmon Young has the type of bat that could develop into a .300 hitter with potentially 35 homers or so. (and he refuses to walk, so maybe a .310 OBP?) Of course, he comes with some concerns, or baggage. High potential young pitcher for high potential young hitter. Itís a challenge trade and the winner probably wonít be known for a couple of years. However, as of right now, the advantage goes to the Twins. This also officially ends the Terry Ryan era!

2.)     Jason Bartlett for Brendan Harris Ė I am a big Bartlett guy. Iíve always liked him. But look at the numbers, Harris is not really a step down. In fact, he provides a little more home run potential than Bartlett. However, he is not the defender that Bartlett is. That is why one of the Raysí goals this offseason was to find a defensive shortstop and why Bartlett is an asset to them. In reality, this is a pretty even portion of the trade. If there has to be an advantage given, I would give it to the Rays, but not by a lot.

3.)     Jason Pridie for Juan Rincon Ė This isnít really a comparison at all. The Twins took Pridie, whose brother pitched in the Twins system for several seasons, in the Rule V draft two years ago. He went to spring training, but did not stick with the team. He spent 2006 at AA, and 2007 at AAA. Suddenly this season, he became a bigger prospect. So, is he the Twins CF of the future or is he Jason Tyner II? The Rays need bullpen help, so maybe Rincon makes sense to them. From a Twins fanís perspective, this part of the trade is very pro-Twins just by ridding themselves of Rincon, who has a year of arbitration left.

So, by itself, this is a good trade for the Twins in my opinion. It doesnít answer all of the Twins questions. It creates new and different questions. But it is the start and there is more to come, Iím sure.


So, what does this all mean? Is Harris their SS or is he a 3B option too? Does Alexi Casilla move to SS? Is Trevor Plouffe ready? Does Delmon Young play CF or LF? Can Jason Pridie play CF for the Twins in 2008, and what does this mean for Denard Span? If Garza is gone and Silva will sign elsewhere and Johan Santana is traded, what will that Twins rotation look like in 2008?


Of course, I think this is just the beginning of a complete revamping. Check out Aaron Gleemanís site today for thoughts on potential trades of Santana to the Yankees. What about the Red Sox? Whatís going on? Any ideas? Whatís next? What are your thoughts?



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