Best thing the Minnesota Twins did was Not Trade Glen Perkins

Glen Perkins

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball is built as much around the role of the closer as it is around the role of the starter. A team cannot be completely successful without good people performing great in both of those roles. While the Minnesota Twins might not have the strongest starting rotation in baseball, they do have one of the better closers in the game right now. Glen Perkins was on the list of every team that wanted a closer or good late reliever but the Twins didn’t listen to a single offer. It was the best thing they did this entire trade season.

We could focus on the fact that Justin Morneau is still with the team that so many figured he would leave but we won’t. We are going to talk about a guy that was the reverse. Many teams wanted to pay a lot for Perkins but the Twins didn’t budge an inch from their stance that he was not on the market. It was without question the right move. As important as the starting pitching role is, the closer role is more difficult to fill successfully. Of all of the good closers around the game, there are few that look like they were born to close baseball games and Perkins is one of those.

The Twins likely do plan to win eventually. Sometime in the next couple of years they probably figure to make a strong run at making the playoffs. Whenever that season comes calling they will have one of the key pieces to the winning puzzle already in place as long as they hold on to Perkins. He isn’t a free agent until the year 2016 so they definitely have a couple of years before they really need to think about moving him or signing him. If they have a great season before then, not trading him with be the best thing they ever did.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google Plus.

Around the Web

  • Karl Noel

    Setting aside the decision not to trade Perk for a minute, your entire premise is wrong. Closers, like other relievers, are easier to find than starters. It’s pretty simple, really. Relief pitching is easier than starting. That’s why so many relievers, Perkins included, are failed starters, while the reverse is hardly ever true. Good middle relievers become setup men, and when they succeed in that roll they become closers when the previous one gets old or expensive or traded. It happens all the time.

    And clearly a good closer is less valuable than a good starter. They throw only about a third of the innings that a good starter does, and many of those innings are low-leverage situations to boot. Perkins has thrown only 26 middle- or high-leverage innings this year. 26. That’s a ridiculously small part of the Twins’ season.

    By comparison, Sam Deduno has thrown 56 middle- and high-leverage innings, more than twice as many as Perkins. It would be more like three times as many had he not spent nearly two months in AAA before being called up.

    Deduno, by the way, is one of only two starters in a Twins rotation you referred to as ‘maybe not the strongest’ with an ERA below 5.00. The other is Correia, whose post-April ERA is well above 5 and climbing . Their starters rank dead last in MLB in ERA, xFIP, OPS allowed, and K’s per 9. And the two most promising young pitchers to start the season in the majors have been demoted to Rochester.

    If you really think that three dozen meaningful innings per season from Perkins are more important than getting pitching prospects to help fix what is easily the worst rotation in baseball, well, you’re in good company, because apparently so do the Twins.

    On the other hand, they’ve made a ton of bad decisions the past few years. Not trading Willingham at his peak value was a big one. Perkins is a very good pitcher and a good guy too, but I’m still hoping they don’t make that same mistake again.