Twins and Rays would be ideal trade partners this winter

There's multiple starting pitchers Minnesota could trade for.
Publish date:

With Jose Berrios being the only starting pitcher under contract for the Twins going into this winter, it's obvious they're going to have add a few names.

Even though Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez could be brought back, Minnesota's front office is going to have its hands full filling out a starting rotation.

It wouldn't be surprising to see the Twins pull off a trade or two to add starting pitching help, and the Tampa Bay Rays would be the team to orchestrate such a deal.

If you think the Twins ownership is cheap, you probably wouldn't be a fan of Tampa's front office strategies as their $64 million payroll was by far the lowest in baseball this season. 

Hell, Tampa Bay put C.J. Cron on waivers last year after hitting 30 home runs and the Twins scooped him up for $4.8 million.

This is nothing new though as Tampa typically cuts bait or trades players as they get to be too expensive. Despite their frugal ways, the Rays typically find themselves in the postseason conversation and it's mostly because of their stellar starting pitching.

David Price and Chris Archer were both staff aces, with Price contending for multiple Cy Young awards, but both were eventually traded away as their service time reached the point where big contracts were necessary to keep them. 

Knowing Tampa's history, it wouldn't be surprising to see them trade away a starter from this year's group that featured one of the best rotations in the league.

Charlie Morton

After having a career ERA of 4.54 from 2008-2016, Morton has aged like a fine wine with the 35-year-old starting pitcher becoming a two-time All-Star over the past three seasons.

Since 2017, Morton has gone 45-16 with a 3.24 ERA while averaging 201 strikeouts in 169 innings. 

He signed a two-year, $30 million deal last winter with a vesting option for 2021. Even though he's been dynamite, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Rays part ways since his $15 million cap hit per season takes up 23% of their payroll.

Blake Snell

Snell won the Cy Young in 2018 but he came down to earth this season. In 23 starts, Snell had a 4.29 ERA in 107 innings while striking out 147 batters.

It's a far cry his from Cy Young season when he had an ERA of 1.89 (38 runs allowed in 31 starts) in 2018.

Tampa voided his arbitration years and rewarded him with five-year, $50 million extension last month, so Snell being traded away is less likely at this point. 

Tyler Glasnow

Glasnow was once considered one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball and was a key piece in the Archer trade with Pittsburgh.

He started the 2019 season red hot in his first eight starts before winding up on the 60-day injured list with an arm stain that kept him out until September.

In 12 starts he was 6-2 with 1.78 ERA in 60 innings, with 76 strikeouts and just 14 walks.

Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh shuffled him from the rotation to the bullpen and he yielded a career ERA of 5.35 in 197 innings. 

He's still under team control through 2024 but he's eligible for arbitration this winter. 

He also throws in the upper 90s, which has got to be appealing to any team looking for a starter. 

Who could the Twins give up?

Tampa Bay has one of the best farm systems in baseball, ranking No. 2 overall. Tampa is always in the market for more prospects but they could be looking to add Major League-ready offense to help them compete again in 2020. 

Eddie Rosario might be someone the Twins dangle on the trade market this winter. He's under team control for three more years and is coming off a career season in which he set career highs in home runs and RBIs.

There's also Luis Arraez, who had an impressive rookie season batting .334, but he's likely to come down to earth sooner or later.

If the Twins wanted to trade prospects, their farm system ranks eighth-best in baseball, so they have resources to part with. There's plenty of options to pull off a trade between the two teams, and doing so would be a smart move for a Twins front office that is on the record saying it will aim for "impact pitching" this winter. 

Next Up