5 Days, 5 Twins waiver deadline trades: Day 1: Let's play catch

The waiver trade activity is about to pick up.  I am starting a new series dealing with potential Twins' trades during this period, but with a bit of outside the box thinking.   The rules around waiver trades are a bit complicated, so if you have not read the Waiver Trade Primer yet, feel free to do it.  

Today and the next 4 days (working days), will be writing about 5 trades the Twins should do and they should seek out, because they make sense and it is fun to think a bit outside the box.

Day 1: Let's play catch

Kurt Suzuki is a player who a. is pretty hot (since he picked that axe-handled bat) and b. is a free agent after this season, which make him getting traded a no-brainer.  As a matter of fact, if the Twins interim GM Rob Antony does not trade Kurt Suzuki, he should not have a job in the organization.  That's how much of a no-brainer this trade is.

Where is the best landing spot for Kurt Suzuki? 

5 Contending teams can use a catcher (including the losers in the Lucroy sweepstakes Cleveland and Mets) :  Houston, Detroit, Cleveland, Mets and Mystery Team.

The Mets are on the wrong side of the claim priority list.  Detroit will think that Saltalamacchia will be alright for them (and they will be right, he might be as good as Suzuki.) Houston will look at the 3-4 teams above them in the wild card race and might want to invest in other places.  So Cleveland will place a claim for Suzuki.  But will be intersected by Mystery Team, whose record is just a couple games worse than theirs, and will be the team that will be awarded that claim:

The Baltimore Orioles.

Matt Wieters, their All-Star catcher this season,  has been struggling of late, but his struggles are mainly against LHP (.561 OPS, vs. .737 OPS against RHPs and .693 overall.)   Suzuki and his .803 OPS against LHP and an occasional righty will be a huge improvement for a team that is half a game behind it's division lead and leading the AL wild-card race.  

So what would the Twins get as a return?  

Let's not be greedy here, and try to buy low.

1. Garrett Cleavinger LHRP, 22 years old, Orioles' 3rd round pick in 2015.  Closer for the Oregon Ducks. Major Control issues.  Mid 90s FB, above average curve, deceptive delivery, about 11 K/9, but still at A ball with so and so results, but improved control.  Just moved up to high A and not doing too well. And about 10th in the Orioles LHRP depth.  Done deal.

2. Cedric Mullins, Switch hitting CF. 21. Orioles 13th round pick in 2015. 5'8" with cleats on.  Throws left. Speedster.  Lots like a former Twins' first round pick, but much better arm, but he never really made the transition to the wood bat.  Good plate discipline.  Not in anyone's radar.

So here you have it.  Kurt Suzuki for Garrett Cleavinger and Cedric Mullins.  What says you?


Marv said...

Other than the potential possibility that being a switch hitter will hold some interest, there appears to be little reason to expect Mullins to become anything more than organization filler. You don't write things without thinking them through, so what do you know that I'm missing?
And who is it that Mullins has a better arm than? Hicks? Buxton? Just curious.

Cleavinger is an interesting choice. You wouldn't expect the Orioles to be too attached to a high A ball reliever. Especially one with 4.6 BB/9 and a 1.484 WHIP. Holy control issues!

Interesting choices. Cleavinger is one of those guys who could pull it together and be a real asset at some future point

thrylos98 said...

Revere :)

He is a lot like Revere, and like Revere, a prime candidate for conversion to a second baseman.