With the trade deadline a mere one day away, the final trade offers, scouting and preparation are under way from teams across the league. The hope and goal for teams across the game over the next day is simple: teams looking to sell are hoping to find a buyer they can trade with at the right price and that teams willing to buy are looking to find a seller who will give them the player they covet, without selling the farm away. The Minnesota Twins can firmly be placed in the “seller” category for the trade deadline of 2013 due to the fact that they remain 12 games under .500 and are not in position to make a late-season push towards the playoffs. In addition, the Twins have a number of assets that teams around the league covet, which makes for an interesting and drama filled couple of days for the team leading up to the trade deadline.
The names that have been included in rumors most over the past few weeks have been Justin Morneau, Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey and Jamey Carroll. Of the players listed in that group, Morneau, Burton, Duensing, Corriea and Pelfrey remain the most likely to be traded, with Perkins being a highly unlikely asset to be moved before or after the deadline in 2013. Teams such as Baltimore, Toronto, Texas, Kansas City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Cincinnati have all been linked to possible rumors involving a number of players and the rumors have all begun to run together; so with all of this madness, let me clear up for you what is going to happen at the trade deadline involving your Twins’ players.
First and foremost, the Twins will not deal Morneau or Perkins and instead will deal Burton, Pelfrey and Duensing in separate deals. The Twins ultimately will not find the deal they are looking for with Morneau and will choose to hang on to the veteran past the deadline. At that point, the team may look to resign the veteran with the hopes of bringing him back for two to three more seasons at an affordable rate while they look for a replacement to take over at first. Maybe Chris Parmelee could become the future first baseman option once again; but at this point, those chances seem to be fading. I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility that the team deals Morneau in a waiver-deal after the deadline, but a trade deadline deal does not look like it is in the cards in my opinion.
Burton will likely net the Twins the best return as he will likely be traded to a team like Atlanta, Pittsburgh or Boston who will be looking to add a reliever who is under contract past this season and can help the team down the stretch. With Burton proving to be one of the better setup men in baseball over the past two seasons, he could likely net the team a prospect with mid to high upside. Duensing and Pelfrey will likely net the Twins a low to mid-level prospect who has a lot of upside, but may have fallen out of favor with their organization. I just have a difficult time envisioning the market for these two pitchers ballooning to the point where teams are willing to give up much for either pitcher whose talent level could be just as easily acquired from another team, for a different player with a similar skillset.
While the drama is sure to be building prior to the trade deadline, don’t expect many fireworks from the Twins in the form of “franchise altering” trades. The team will instead feast on smaller deals that will interest contenders looking for bullpen help, while the team picks up low to mid-level prospects that could help the team a little further down the road. If you can remember the returns the Twins got for Delmon Young and Francisco Liriano over the past few years, those are the type of returns and deals that Twins’ fans can expect this year as well. Those deals may not be the most exciting ones, but they can one day be the most valuable if the Twins can once again steal prospects for a team willing to overpay.