Despite all of the positives that came out of the 2013 MLB All-Star Game festivities over the past few days in New York, there was an obvious disappointment in Minnesota Twins’ Territory stemming from the absence of first-time All-Star Glen Perkins in the rotation of pitchers who appeared throughout the game. Being named to the All-Star Game is an honor in itself and it was obvious that Perkins was very grateful to be named an All-Star, but you’d be kidding yourself if you didn’t think he was at least a little disappointed that he didn’t get to appear in what may be his only appearance in the mid-Summer Classic of his career.
One of the great things about the All-Star Game is that it is a great stage for players, who may play in small markets, to display their talents to a national crowd who may be seeing them for the first time. It also is a chance for these players to face some of the best talent in the game in an attempt to raise their value and reputation among the league’s best. In Perkins’ case, pitching in the All-Star game could have been an opportunity for him to demonstrate exactly how effective and dominant he can be as a closer. In turn, if he pitched well, Perkins could have garnered further attention from organizations around the league who are looking to bolster their bullpen at the July 31st trade deadline.
The Twins certainly could have benefited from Perkins getting into the All-Star Game, but will not pitching in the game actually have an effect on Perkins’ trade stock? Sometimes less is more and in the case of Perkins’ trade value, less certainly may be more. By not pitching, Perkins didn’t hurt his value or affect the perception he is building as one of the best late-inning relievers in all of baseball. Simply preserving his value could be a very important thing if the Twins do decide to trade Perkins this season because Perkins’ value is as high as it’s likely ever going to be right now. A poor performance in an All-Star game likely wouldn’t affect his value dramatically, but any sort of decrease in value is still important when dealing with a trade of one of the prime assets of an organization because at the end of the day, the organization wants to get the maximum value it can if it decides to trade such a valuable contributor. Any struggles could lead to further questions and increased attention towards a player which may reveal flaws and could significantly alter a player’s trade value; thus a poor performance—as small as it may seem—could be the difference in the type of player that the organization is willing to give up in any deal. This is why it is so important that Perkins continues to pitch well whether it is in a regular season game or an All-Star game.
The fact that Perkins was asked to warm-up after Joe Nathan allowed a base-runner in the ninth inning also speaks volumes of how Perkins is perceived in the eyes of American League manager Jim Leyland, whose team is also rumored to be interested in trading for Perkins. Granted there were some left-handed hitters coming up in the lineup and bringing in Perkins certainly would have been a good matchup for the AL, but Perkins certainly seems to have earned the trust of at least Leyland that he can pitch in tough spots during a crucial portion of the game
By not pitching in the game, Perkins trade value remained intact. Had Perkins pitched in the game and performed well, he could have positively impacted his trade value; but in the end, nothing dramatic was lost or gained by Perkins not making it into the game. It was certainly disappointing not to see Perkins get into the game, which would have been a nice reward and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Perkins, but these things happen to relievers all the time during the All-Star Game so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. While I believe this will not be the last time Perkins makes it to an All-Star Game, it certainly could be the last time that he makes it in a Twins’ uniform. That thought, in itself, is what’s truly disappointing.