Aug 2, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a base hit during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors: Would the Minnesota Twins Really Trade For Giancarlo Stanton?


Now that the MLB trade deadline has passed it seems that the Giancarlo Stanton trade rumors have slowed, but they have not gone away completely.  Earlier this week, Nic Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated that Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins would be in the best position to trade of Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason.  Now we had heard the Red Sox mentioned before as a potential trade partner for the Marlins, but this is the first time I have heard the Twins mentioned.

Honestly, I do not see the Twins as a fit for a Stanton trade based on their philosophy as an organization.  The Twins have long operated as a small market franchise that develops their players through the minor league system and occasionally acquires an established mid-level major leaguer as needed (see Josh Willingham).   A Stanton trade would require them to clean out the farm system and hope this acquisition makes them a championship caliber team in the next three years.

Having said all that, the Twins certainly have the top quality players in their minor league system to complete this trade.  Cafardo mentions several minor league prospects with the top 4 probably being outfielder Byron Buxton, third baseman Miguel Sano and pitchers Kyle Gibson and Alex Meyer.  So just for fun let’s take a look at what their top 4 minor league prospects are doing this season:

Name Level G HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BB% K%
Buxton A/A+

108

12

97

75

47

.327

.410

.519

.422

152

12.4%

19.1%

M. Sano A+/AA

107

30

78

91

10

.289

.388

.616

.436

172.5

12.5%

26.1%

Name W L SV G IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA FIP
Gibson MLB

2

3

0

9

47.1

5.13

3.42

1.33

6.27

5.28

Gibson AAA

7

5

0

15

92.2

7.67

2.72

0.39

3.01

2.96

 Meyer AA

3

3

0

11

61.0

10.7

2.98

0.44

3.69

2.82

 

Byron Buxton is a 19 year old OF who has dominated both levels he has played at this season offensively and is also considered a great defensive centerfielder, as evidenced by this catchMinorleagueball.com calls him “the top minor league prospect anywhere and a pure Grade A guy.”

Miguel Sano is a 20-year-old 3B who is probably the top power hitting prospect in baseball.  As a third baseman he would fill a need in the Marlins organization and serve to replace the power bat the team would be losing in Stanton.  Sano is a big man who may eventually need to move over to 1B, but can handle the hot corner for now.

Jul 14, 2013; Flushing , NY, USA; World infielder Miguel Sano at bat during the 2013 All Star Futures Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson is a former 2009 first round pick who debuted with the big league team this season to less than ideal results.  The gopher ball has killed him against major league hitters, but in the minors he had a nice career 3.54 ERA over 4 seasons and a strike out rate of 8 per nine innings.

Alex Meyer is another starting pitcher and former first round pick in just his second minor league season.  Meyer is averaging over 10 strike outs per nine innings in his minor league career with a 3.10 ERA.

The position players would be the real prize for the Marlins in this trade, but the pitchers are no slouches either.  Buxton is probably untouchable in any trade, but a package including Sano and the 2 pitchers would have to be intriguing to the Marlins considering the outfield prospects they already have.  With Sano and Meyer already at AA this season you would have to figure that they would be ready for the big leagues sometime in 2014.  The move makes it possible for the Marlins to be a contender as early as 2015.

Looking at the trade from the Twins side, bringing in Stanton would allow them to make a run for a championship while Joe Mauer is still in his prime.  Mauer is 30 years old and received a $184 million contract through 2018, so the time is now if the Twins plan to make that contract pay off with postseason appearances.  They would have 3 years of team control on Stanton to also acquire whatever else they need, likely on the pitching side.

Of all the potential trade partners for Stanton mentioned over the last few months, the Twins probably make the least sense from an organizational philosophy perspective.  However, there are some compelling reasons on both sides to make this move from a needs perspective.  So if you hear rumors of a “surprise team”  making a play for Stanton in the offseason, the Twins might be that team.

Tags: Alex Meyer Byron Buxton Giancarlo Stanton Joe Mauer Kyle Gibson Miami Marlins Miguel Sano Minnesota Twins

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