Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dealing Lohse?

Originally, I had planned on today's post taking a look at Jason Bartlett, who for some apparent reason continues to be treated by the Twins organization in a very negative light. I'll get to that, but in looking around, I started to think about Kyle Lohse's trade value. This came with a comment from Roger I read on Seth's site that suggested the Twins might be looking to trade Scott Baker for a shortstop and my associate suggested Julio Lugo may be someone they are looking at. Lugo is a good shortstop and anyone playing fantasy knows he hits for good average, steals bases, and plays defense. Sounds like Gardy's kind of guy.

But to me, I don't know how much you can put into this kind of speculation. All I get out of it is the sad indication that the organization doesn't think much of Bartlett, which is unfortunate. Bartlett can get on base, play some solid defense, and if his minor league numbers say anything, hit for average. For a shortstop, there is nothing wrong with that. If we are going to trade Baker, we better at least do it for a third baseman or an outfielder, like Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff.

To me, the problem is I'd be more apt to believe speculation about trading Lohse over Baker. Why? Lohse is 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA in Spring Training and has looked strong. Now is as good a time as any to trade except for the one major issue: no sixth starter. Beyond Liriano, who would most certainly step in, who else is there? Matt Guerrier? He'd be the best option by far over anyone they can get from the minors if Radke or Silva goes down, but the bullpen would be hurt by that move as well. If Gardy wants to use Liriano in the bullpen for long-relief, I'm supportive of that, but if he's pulled, who replaces him? Eyre? It would be a bad situation.

But it would be even worse if Ryan wanted to trade Lohse for a shortstop. Lohse, to me, if he's traded, needs to fill the team's major needs; either an outfielder or a third baseman. We need depth in both those places and Tampa isn't a bad trade partner. It's just, unless we are going to trade for Carl Crawford or Huff, I don't think we should trade Lohse yet. Not until we have another pitcher or two ready to step in.

10 comments:

p2 said...

I have been meaning to write on the trading of Lohse situation. First, I'm glad you pointed out that Lohse is far surpior to Bronson (formerly of the BoSox and now with the Reds). I wonder if Terry Ryan was involved in some talking about Wily Mo Pena. We may never know!

Second, I love the idea of Crawford or Huff from Tampa Bay. Either player would add offesive to the Twins. I, also, agree the Twins need to wait before moving Lohse. I think he is due for a nice season and allowing him to improve his trade value would be the right decision. We'll have to wait and see, but finding a way to get Crawford or Huff would be fantastic.

What about Glen Perkins or Matt Garza. Tampa has time and Twins could use a nice bat now.

Kris Richardson said...

Unfortunately, I think it's a major fantasy to think the Twins could get Crawford. He's entering his prime (aka "big money time"), so he's really out of the Twins' reach.

I agree with your assesment that trading Lohse now would be a bad idea. Right now the Twins have a great 6th option for the Rotation. If we lose Lohse (or Baker) we lose that option. If July roles around and the Twins are out of the race then trading Lohse starts to make a lot of sense, but as long as we think we can make a serious run for the playoffs, we can't lose a proven starter.

Now, trading a guy like Perkins to fill our hole at 3B or SS (though I'm a big Bartlett fan too), is something I'd be all for. However, team wants to trade for unproven talent at this time of the year?

I think we're stuck with what we have.

Nick N. said...

Kris- I agree that Crawford would be very difficult for the Twins to acquire, though I don't think it's because of money. The Twins will potentially be shedding Radke, Hunter, and Stewart from the payroll next year -- they're spending about $25 million on those guys this season. I think they could afford to give Crawford a pretty decent contract and I think he'd be worth it.

The problem is that it would take a lot to pry him away from the Devil Rays. My gut feeling is the Rays are probably looking to move Huff and Gathright for pitching, and then build around the phenomenal young outfield of Crawford, Baldelli, and Delmon Young.

I'd definitely take Huff, but as I said on Monday, trading for Gathright would be pretty pointless due to his similarity to Denard Span.

Nick M. said...

Yeah, that I agree with. I just threw his name out there because Crawford would be great, but to me Huff is a realistic option and he would be far superior to Batista. If we had a Stewart-Castillo-Mauer-Huff-White-Hunter-Morneau-Kubel/Cuddyer-Bartlett order that would be impressive and great. Someone like Perkins is worth that.

Kris Richardson said...

The Twins will be losing a lot of payroll next year in Stewart, Radke and Hunter, but they also have a lot of young players that they'll eventually have to fork over money to keep or let go.

Nick N. said...

That's true, but I don't see which players are going to be deserving of big long-term deals in the near future aside from Mauer. Silva maybe, if he has another good year.

p2 said...

If the Twins could find a way to steal Huff from the D-Rays, where does he play? Third.

Another intertesing side-effect of acquiring Huff would be Morneau's reaction to the situation. He may feel pressure to produce-that could be beneficial or crack ther guy's connfidence.

Plus, T.B. may want to move Crawford before he gets expensive. I know they have a new owner, but we are not sure he is going to spend before the team is a legimate contender.

Keep up the great work!!!!

Nick N. said...

P2, the nice thing about Huff is his versatility. He could be the short-term answer at third, and once the Twins find a more permanent answer there (Matt Moses?), he could fill a spot in the outfield. Or he could press Morneau at first base, in the unfortunate event that Justin can't get it together.

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