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Twins trade deadline target: You're not going to believe this one

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Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader delivers during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

My SKOR North podcast partner, Phil Mackey, and I have long prided ourselves as being more than willing to recklessly speculate on potential trade scenarios for a variety of teams in all leagues. It’s what makes sports so much fun.

The best time to fire up speculation is around the various trade deadlines and, in MLB’s case, that means the speculation is growing by the day as the deadline in this pandemic-shortened season approaches at 3 p.m. Monday. Mackey and I have spent this week discussing names like Reds starter Trevor Bauer.

But there was a piece of Reckless Speculation — or at least a reckless trade proposal — that Mackey and I never saw coming and that we wouldn’t have proposed in our wildest dreams. The below graphic is what former big-leaguer Mark DeRosa had as a trade hypothetical this week on MLB Network. I about fell out of my chair when producer Declan Goff first informed me he saw this on Wednesday night.

I’m all for mega-trades at the deadline, but even I would struggle with making this one at the deadline if I was Derek Falvey, the Twins’ president of baseball operations. And that would be in a normal season in which the deadline hits on July 31 and there are 162 games. Josh Hader is a hard-throwing lefthander for the Brewers and has yet to give up a run in 9.1 innings this season, recording seven saves. He has walked five and struck out 13 in nine innings. Hader is attractive because he is under team control through his age 29 season in 2023, although he can begin going to arbitration in 2021.

Hader went to back-to-back All-Star Games the past two seasons. In 2018, he went 6-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 12 saves in 55 games, giving up 36 hits, nine home runs and 30 walks with 143 strikeouts in 81.1 innings. In 2019, he went 3-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 37 saves in 61 games, giving up 41 hits, 15 home runs and 20 walks with 138 strikeouts in 75.2 innings.

Could Hader help the Twins’ bullpen? Definitely. Is the return DeRosa suggests the Twins should give the Brewers too much? Absolutely. In fairness, DeRosa did call it the “framework” for a deal so maybe the Twins would get something else in return.

Royce Lewis, the first-overall pick in the 2017 draft, likely remains as close to untouchable as the Twins have in their prospect ranks. He has been working out as part of the squad the Twins have at CHS Field in St. Paul. Lewis is a shortstop but impressed in the Arizona Fall League playing center field in 2019.

Rooker, who also is in St. Paul, probably could be acquired in a trade but odds are he would be the guy that Falvey would want to make the centerpiece of a deal. Ryan Jeffers, meanwhile, was promoted to the big-league club recently after catcher Mitch Garver was injured. Jeffers is slashing .286/.333/.286 with one RBI in six games.

One would think that if Brewers general manager David Stearns had the opportunity to make this trade, it would be done immediately. Falvey, however, almost certainly would want more and maybe far more.

You know who the real winner is in this case? It’s DeRosa because this proposal lands him a place in the Reckless Speculation Hall of Fame.