5 Days, 5 Twins waiver deadline trades: Day 4: Fits to a T

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.

This week I 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 4: Fits to a T

From the 30,000 feet view, the team with the best record in the AL and second best to the Cubs in the majors, the Texas Rangers, has few weaknesses.  Looking closer, they have a glaring weakness:  The Twins have been criticized (and for a good reason) about pitching to contact.  The Rangers, along with the Angels, are the only 2 teams in the majors with K/9 rates less than the Twins, and the Rangers are on the bottom on the category with just 6.9 K/9.  The Twins for comparison have 7.4 K/9.   And strikeouts are nowhere more important than the bullpen.  And if the Rangers want to go far in the postseason, they better fix it.

Enter the Twins leader (among active pitchers, May has more, but is on the DL) in K/9 with 10.4 (the highest in his career in the majors,) 26-year old Michael Tonkin.  Tonkin is under team control for 5 more years and not arbitration-eligible for 2 more season, so apparently he can be an asset for the Twins.  On the other hand, there is a logjam of young RHRP better than Tonkin:  Chargois, Pressly (and even possibly Duffey,  Hughes and the aforementioned May; all 3 could also be considered for the rotation) at the MLB-level, with Burdi, Hildenberger, Baxendale, Wimmers, Cederoth and even Reed and Jones knocking on the door.  So the Twins have to sell high.

And Tonkin has some value to a team like the Rangers, because it fixes an immediate problem and potentially for some time, because of the team control.  So it will take more than someone with just a heartbeat to get him.  But it will not take a top prospect, regardless how inflated prices for relievers are.  Their 29th best prospect according to mlb.com, the 21-year old Dominican RHSP, Pedro Payano, will be a great fit.  Very intriguing prospect:  He was born in New York, an grew up in the Dominican and is one of the few players who made it to the States after 4 full seasons in the DSL.  Currently in the short season A league, has a great changeup, and a good fastball and hammer curve and he is dominating at that level, but he is older for the level and there are question marks about how he will play when he moves higher.  A pretty fair return.

So Mr Tonkin will wear a ballcap with his last name's initial, while the Twins will get a player whose last name Bert Blyleven will pronounce as "Pavano".

Michael Tonkin to the Rangers for Pedro Payano, is the fourth Twins' trade that should happen, after Suzuki traded to the Orioles,  Grossman to the Astros, and Plouffe to the Indians.

1 comment:

writerjoel said...

We are finding out the true worth of Minnesota Twins players. Can a team find anyone anywhere better than, say, Milone, Suzuki or Plouffe and not have to absorb their salary and still end up seeing them walk at year's end. The answer, sadly, is "Yes." There is no reason to trade for people the Twins will allow to walk. There is no rason to absorb the contract for anyone that, essentially, will be abck of the roster guys.

Even dangling someone like Tonkin. I don't look at him as a longterm bullpen guy with the Twins. Hey may have another good year, but then starts to get expensive entering arbitaration for what you really do get. As a tack on with another play (who?) maybe. But the Twins do have a roster pretty full of guys who would get you some cash or a PTBNL, usually that guy they want off the 40-man roster themselves.