The Minnesota Twins 2018-2019 offseason is here. Here we explore who could be their trade partners as they look to return to the playoffs.
The Minnesota Twins need to make some moves with the offseason now upon us. Free agents will attract a lot of the attention over the next several weeks as there are several big name free agents potentially looking for a new team and new big and shiny deal.
The Twins should very much be able to be in the conversation with many free agent names, but what will be just as if not more important for the Twins is the trade market. The Twins front office has pointed to the Twins minor league assets as a strength to help them acquire some additions to their roster. We will attempt to work through each team in baseball and find some trades that work for both sides.
We have already explored possibilities with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Miami Marlins. Next up is the Milwaukee Brewers.
There were plenty of comparisons drawn between the Brewers and the Twins in the offseason leading up to 2018. Both were teams who jumped up in the standings in 2017. Both were teams who had some exciting young players on the cusp of major league brilliance. Looking back now, the Brewers were the team that made the right moves and left Twins fans envious of the ride they had in 2018.
The Brewers won the NL Central which had been considered the Chicago Cubs and if not the Cubs the St. Louis Cardinals were certainly the next in line to that title. The Brewers boxed both of those franchises out of the top spot as they went 96-67 in 2018. The acquisitions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain certainly had a lot to do with that.
In his MVP season, Yelich batted .326/.402/.598 with a 1.000 OPS and 36 home runs and accounted for a 7.6 WAR. Cain batted .308/.395/.417 and stole 30 bases for the Brewers. First baseman Jesus Aguilar also became a force in the Brewers lineup as he hit .274/.352/.539 and hit 35 home runs.
Many were concerned about the state of the Brewers pitching staff going into 2018. While there was the lack of a shutdown frontline starter with the injury of Jimmy Nelson, the Brewers still put everything together well. The highlight of the staff is clearly fireman reliever Josh Hader. Hader threw 81.1 innings, held a 2.43 ERA, 12 saves, and a 143/30 K/BB.
Possible Trade Interest
Brewers may want: This offseason the Brewers would certainly like to add to their pitching staff as any contender does this time of year. While the Brewers have some exciting prospects waiting in the wings, some infield help is also on the wish list this offseason.
Twins may want: There are plenty of players the Twins would like on the Brewers roster. The big question will be if the Twins are trying to contend can they (we) find a match that improves both clubs.
Before I dive into this trade I need to give a bit of a hat tip to David Gasper at Reviewing the Brew as he suggested a similar trade for the Brewers only with the San Diego Padres instead of the Twins. If the Brewers do want to trade Chase Anderson he could fit well with the Twins if Minnesota would like a more veteran arm to round out the rotation.
Anderson had a good season in 2017, but then struggled again in 2018. The biggest culprit for his struggles is giving up the home run. As a fly ball pitcher he could certainly benefit from getting away from Milwaukee and playing in the same division as Cincinnati, both places that tend to let the ball fly over the fence. His home ERA was 5.03 while he held a 2.74 ERA on the road further suggesting that a move away from Milwaukee could help Anderson.
The Brewers have said good bye to a couple left-handed relievers this offseason and will be looking to fill that role moving into 2019. Gabriel Moya hasn’t quite shown the dominance he did in the minors just yet, but he has had flashes of it. Moya had a rough start to his major league season and was sent back to the minors. Upon his return in July, he was much more reliable down the stretch.
Moya certainly isn’t enough to make this deal happen so the Twins would have to add some other prospect into the package.
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Third baseman Lucas Erceg has graced the top 10 of the Brewers prospect rankings for a few seasons now. The problem for him is that the Brewers have this guy Travis Shaw sitting ahead of him on the major league depth chart. Erceg has the potential to be a very powerful hitter who could fill out the middle of a MLB lineup with 55 grade on his power. The former shortstop also has a very strong arm grading out at 70.
Trading prospects for prospects is a bit hard because there could always be a prospect just a step away in rankings that the other team likes better. The thing we know about the Brewers is left-handed pitching isn’t something they have a lot of near the majors and Lewis Thorpe could still be a good arm for a MLB club. Jay has seemingly fallen out of favor and could be paired with Bechtold to replenish the Brewers third base prospect pool.