Monday, July 26, 2010

Twins Trade Target - Brett Myers

The Twins just completed a 4 game series in Baltimore, taking 3 out of 4. The Twins are in second place, 1 game behind the Chicago White Sox and 1 game ahead of the Detroit Tigers. The Twins have been struggling with the starting pitching up until the Baltimore series. I recently posted about the Twins pitching being unlucky and about Baker and Slowey's numbers affected by outfield defense. I have come to the conclusion that every starter, other than Carl Pavano, is pitching better than his ERA suggests. Having said that, Nick Blackburn has deservingly been replaced in the rotation and Kevin Slowey, who was very good today, has been quite underwhelming even taking defense into account. 

The Twins have replaced Blackburn with Brian Duensing in the rotation. While this should improve the rotation slightly, trading for another arm could still be necessary to put the team over the hump and give the team a 3rd or 4th starter if they make the playoffs. By trading for another starter, the Twins could also put Brian Duensing back in the bullpen where he has been their best left-handed reliever.

So, who do the Twins trade for? Cliff Lee and Dan Haren are gone. If Dan Haren wasn't going to come to Minnesota, Roy Oswalt is not going to either.

So, that leaves the Twins  with the crumbs....errr secondary guys. Of the "secondary" guys who should the Twins look at? Names such as Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, and Kevin Millwood seem to be getting the most run in rumor circles. But, these guys are clowns. If the Twins only goal is to trade for a veteran guy at Kevin Slowey's level, then by all means trade for one of these names. Unfortunately, they won't be worth any prospect given up or the money they will cost, unless of course, Nick Blackburn is the trade piece. If the Twins want to get an impact pitcher on a budget, they should look at Brett Myers.

Yes, that Brett Myers.

Well, I'm not going to try to convince anyone to like him. I don't like him. He is not an ace, but he could be worth a win or 2 down the stretch. He could give the Twins a solid starting pitcher for the playoffs.

In 2010 he has a 7-6 record  and a 3.24 ERA. He has struck out 6.68 per 9 innings and walked 2.71. He is having one of the best years of career. His FIP 3.60 and xFIP 3.92 are very similar to Carl Pavano's 3.84/3.88. His ground ball rate and line drive rate are similar to Pavano's and his left on base% is also similar as well.  He gives up more base runners than Pavano due to a higher BABIP and a higher walk rate, but he also strikes out more batters. With Myers high ground ball rate and the Twins superior defense, the Twins could reasonably expect Myers BABIP to improve. While his 8% HR/FB rate is a little a little low, his FIP and xFIP suggest that even if his HR rate increases, he profiles as a very competent #3 or 4 starter and quite possibly as good as Pavano has been in 2010.

So, what will this cost? Myers has a reasonable $3.1 million deal plus an $11 million mutual option with a $2 million buyout. So, the contract is reasonable, what will it cost in players? The Twins certainly won't get Myers for something so small as Yohan Pino but he shouldn't cost any premium prospects. The Astros system is weak and they need prospects. If the Twins offer someone in their 11th to 15th best prospects or a couple lesser prospects, this should be enough to make the trade happen. Myers currently doesn't profile as a Type A or B free agent, so there is no draft pick premium.

So, if the Twins want to improve their rotation, add a veteran presence, and keep their best lefty reliever in the bullpen, a Brett Myers trade might fit the bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment