@DerekWetmore: Earlier on the SKOR North Twins show we got side-tracked on a conversation about this summer and the Twins for sure adding at the trade deadline. Its been a while since they’ve been buyers. That got me to thinking: What’s your favorite Twins trade? Can be recent or from the distant past.
@PhilMackey: I’m going to give you two answers — the obvious one and a sneaky, impactful favorite. My obvious favorite Twins trade is fleecing the San Francisco Giants, who gave up Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser for one year of A.J. Pierzynski — which cleared a path for the Twins to put Joe Mauer into the lineup. So, the Twins upgraded at catcher and added two awesome Major League pitchers and a dude named Boof. The other one is the Bobby Kielty-for-Shannon Stewart trade in July of 2003. The circumstances were pretty incredible when you look back on that season. The Twins made this trade during the All-Star break, when they were sitting 44-49, 7.5 games back in the American League Central AND coming off an 8-game losing streak! Instead of throwing in the towel, Terry Ryan pushed chips into the middle. And it paid off. The Twins went onto win the division, and Stewart finished fourth in MVP voting!
DW: The Stewart one is what started this conversation. Manny Hill brought it up during the SKOR North Twins show this week as one of the great trades of the last 25 years for the Twins. I do remember it as being a bolt of lightning for the Twins but I don’t think that I followed them closely enough back then to fully appreciate it.
The other one that sticks out from recent memory is the trade for Jaime García — both trades, actually. Like, I remember where I was when the Twins acquired him because I thought to myself, ‘Oh cool, this is go time!’ … And then it wasn’t. LOL.
The trade for Jake Odorizzi still looks like a good one. Trading Liriano and getting back Eduardo Escobar is a fun one that we never talk about. But the trade that I was the most wrong about was when the Twins acquired Delmon Young and I thought that they’d just acquired their next star….
PM: Actually, part of the Twins’ downfall after 2010 was poor timing on trades. They sold low on Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young, Francisco Liriano, J.J. Hardy and others, which — combined with some whiffs in the draft — left the minor league cupboards bare for many years.
This year’s team is in a unique position to trade two or three top-20 organizational prospects for pieces that can help them potentially win a World Series. They shouldn’t hesitate to pull that trigger!
(Although I would still keep Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff and Brusdar Graterol off limits.)
DW: This absolutely is a summer to trade prospects for big leaguers. If you want to think of it another way, you’re trading potential future (cost-controlled) wins for 2019 wins. And the teams that are good at doing it are legitimately boosting their odds to win the World Series — not just to get there. What were the Astros’ World Series odds before the Justin Verlander trade? How about the Cubs before Aroldis Chapman? Both of those teams could have been in the mix without the deals — and they could have lost the World Series even after those moves. But they took a look at their chances in-season and decided that giving up those future wins was a worthwhile pursuit, and that’s where I’m at with this Twins team.
(PS: Honorable mention to the “trades” the Twins made in 2006 when they inserted Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto into the left side of their infield and Justin Morneau turned into an MVP and Francisco Liriano briefly was the best starter in a rotation that included Johan Cy Young Santana.)