Reese Kaplan -- AL Central Trade Targets (Part 5 of 6)


Minnesota Twins

I swear they must be doing it with mirrors, as their only true offensive weapon is 3rd baseman Miguel Sano who is hitting for both power and average.  Left fielder Eddie Rosario is hitting .271 but then the rest of the lineup drops to replacement player level very quickly.  Even the normally potent Brian Dozier is hitting just .237 with 5 HRs and 11 RBIs after delivering 42/99 last year.  Ervin Santana has been a one-man wrecking crew with a 6-1 record, 1.50 ERA and batters hitting just .129 against him. Hector Santiago has 4 wins and is pitching to a 3.86 ERA.  Phil Hughes has 4 wins but opponents have a .293 BAA.  Adalberto Mejia and Kyle Gibson aren’t helping much.  Brandon Kintzler is having a surprisingly solid second year as closer after coming to Minnesota.  Veteran Craig Breslow and Tyler Duffy are doing admirable work.  Given the first place standing (by a half game) they might be reluctant to shake things up, expecting that usually solid players like Dozier and Kennys Vargas will eventually get it in gear.  However, the Mets have a surplus of infielders who might appeal to the Twins.  It’s a situation in which Curtis Granderson (with the Mets paying the lion’s share of his salary) might actually be appealing to them if they feel he will turn it on after his slow start as he’s done the past few years.

Cleveland Indians
Michael Brantley is providing his usual brand of production.  3rd baseman Jose Ramirez is quietly actually exceeding All Star Brantley’s numbers.  Center fielder Lonnie Chisenhall and shortstop Francisco Lindor are having solid campaigns as well.  Carlos Santana is having a subpar season that suggests age might finally be catching up to him.  The huge and expensive surprise is Edwin Encarnacion who is sub-Mendoza with just 5 HRs and 12 RBIs at DH.  It looks as if they could use some help in RF, and behind the plate.  30 year old Carlos Carrasco has been Cleveland’s most productive starting pitcher.  Then there is the recent addition of Mike Clevinger who has had two starts and excelled in both.  Other starters have been pathetic including former Cy Young Award winner and All Star Corey Kluber. In the bullpen closer Cody Allen is on his way to his best season ever in terms of saves.  They have FIVE other relievers with ERAs below 2.50, including Andrew Miller, Boone Logan, Brian Shaw, Nick Goody and Zach McAllister.  Andrew Miller would be an interesting target as he’s been one of baseball’s best since 2013 and served a 36-save closer on the New York stage with the Yankees.  He makes $9 million this year and next so again the Mets would have to shed some salary to take on that kind of financial burden with the assumption Jeurys Familia will be back in 2018.  Once again the easy way would be peddling Neil Walker which would potentially help the Indians immensely.  With their surplus of excellent relievers it’s something that they might consider.  Bryan Shaw has a long career with an ERA of 3.00 to show for it.  He earns $4 million which is more to the Wilpons’ liking.  Standing just a half game behind the surprising Minnesota Twins for the division lead, they might be inclined to look for some offense.

Detroit Tigers

They’re hovering around .500 but the team looks as if its lineup is a mess.  Even the great Miguel Cabrera is having a poor season thus far.  Victor Martinez is hitting a respectable .270 but with a single HR and just 18 RBIs.  It’s all downhill from there.   Sure, there’s a little bit of power coming from Justin Upton and the catching tandem of James McCann and Alex Aviles.  Nick Castellanos has contributed 22 RBIs but little else.  They’re missing outfield J.D. Martinez and getting nothing from glove man extraordinaire Jose Igesias who four times before hit .300 but this year is just swinging a .204 stick.  Former Met Michael Fulmer is their current ace with good contributions from Michael Boyd.  Justin Verlander, Daniel Norris and Jordan Zimmerman are all delivering in the 4.50 and above range.  In the pen closer and also former Met Frankie Rodriguez has pitched himself out of a job.  Closing duties now go to lefty Justin Wilson (imagine that – a left allowed to face right handed hitters, too!).  Backing him up are some good stats from Shane Greene, Alex Wilson and Blaine Hardy.  I would gladly take either of those last two off the Tigers’ hands as this entire quartet is pitching to sub 2.00 ERAs.  Wilson and Hardy have the longer track records of success.   

Chicago White Sox

Avasail Garcia is off to a .344 start to lead the Pale Hose.  They’re riding the hot hand with Yolmer Sanchez at 2B who is hitting .324.  You have the usual positive exploits of Cuban slugger Jose Abreu.  Diminutive Leury Garcia is breaking from his no-hit reputation by contributing a .307 AVG.  They’re getting nothing much out of Melky Cabrera, shortstop Tim Anderson, the catching position and 3rd baseman Todd Frazier.  In the starting rotation Jose Quintana is pitching well below his career norms but Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez and James Shields are all doing a credible job.  Mike Pelfrey has been pitching like, well, Mike Pelfrey and is part of the problem.  In the bullpen they have been outstanding and likely the reason they’re still hovering close to .500.  Closer David Robertson has people hitting just .156 against him.  He’s buttressed by the efforts of Tommy Kahnle who is logging his second straight solid season for the White Sox, journeyman Anthony Swarzak who has been perfect, veteran Nate Jones, and 25 year old Michael Ynoa.  It is this surplus of quality arms that has many believing David Robertson may be on the trading block.  His $12 million salary for 2017 and $13 million for 2018 make him an unlikely acquisition for the Mets unless the White Sox are willing to take back some money such as Neil Walker.  

Kansas City Royals

The Royals find themselves with essentially a four-man offense – Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer , Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez.  Considering they are an AL team with 9 spots in the batting order, that’s not good and is reflected in their last place standing.  New acquisitions Brandon Moss and Jorge Soler have been essentially invisible and the usually reliable Alex Gordon is performing at a Curtis Granderson like level with just 13 RBIs and a .152 batting average.  Jason Vargas has been incredible this year with a 1.01 ERA.  Ian Kennedy and Danny Duffy are pitching well enough to rack up wins, but with the Royals near the bottom of the league in runs scored.  Closer Kelvin Herrera is doing an adequate job but he has gotten some good setup support from former closer Joakim Soria, lefties Mike Minor and Scott Alexander.  Joakim Soria is the man to target here for the Mets.  He earns $8 million this year and $9 million in 2018 with a $10 million option for 2019.  Neil Walker would instantly upgrade their offense as would Lucas Duda at DH.  


Anonymous said...

Here's how a salary dump works: we take on their well-paid veteran player who is either overpaid and under performing (the old change of scenery move; or we take a high priced player off of a team going no where. In return we give them prospects, at least one of whom has a chance to play in the majors. A good example of this was last year's Dilson-for-Bruce deal.

You are embarrassing yourself with trade proposals of either Walker or Granderson for any of the players you've mentioned. A GM would hang up on Sandy if he made any of the proposals you've mentioned.

Any trade for an impact player will most likely have to start with either Wilmer or TJR. Offer up an arm like Gsellman, Lugo or Edgin and then add a prospect like Gavin Cecchini or Tomas Nido. That's what it will likely take.

Thomas Brennan said...

Good food for thought - after the pen (with an assist from Cabrera's error) blew Pill's 3 run lead and squelched his chance for a first major league victory, adding a top tier pen arm would be a good idea.

Amazingly, since Cespedes got hurt in April, the Mets are leading the majors in scoring at nearly 6 runs per game, so there certainly is expendable offense for an elite pen arm. I was so irked that Collins sat Flores (22 for his last 51) for Reyes (who dropped back below the Mendoza line last night). Grandy getting hot will make juggling OF playing time very hard once Cespedes returns.

However, they may wish to stand pat and hope that with Lugo and Matz back in a week, and hopefully Robles getting back on track like Smoker did last night, before dealing.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

The return of Lugo and Matz, added to Pill, give the Mets at leave two more bullpen arems if they want to choose from their 'healthy' starter pool.

I happen to currently like this idea better than looking outside of the franchise.

Reese Kaplan said...

Hmmn...I advocated many lesser known middle relievers and not necessarily exclusively impact players such as Andrew Miller or David Robertson. The Mets are not likely on the receiving end of salary dumps but WOULD likely be offering some. Granderson, Duda, Walker and to a lesser extent Cabrera should all be in play.

Thomas Brennan said...

This team is rolling now, and the Big 3 are about to start the next 3 games. The cavalry waits just over the horizon. Time to kick butt and take names.

Mack's Mets © 2012