September 28, 2007

Twins-Dodgers Trade Rumor

Yesterday, Nick & Nick touched up on the rumored trade of Johan Santana heading to the Dodgers in a deal that would send 5-tool outfielder Matt Kemp and 19-year-old Southpaw Clayton Kershaw to the Twins.

My personal thought is that Kemp & Kershaw is nice, but we'd need more. So today, I'm going to look at a few other players the twins could pursue if this rumor did hold any truth.

Dodgers: The Kemp & Kershaw deal is a good start, but I think the Twins need at least 1 more top-prospect in return, mainly because Kershaw is still very raw and although is probably the top pitching prospect heading into '08, he still has a lot to work on before he reaches the Majors.

Kershaw will likely begin the 2008 season in AA as a 20-year-old, which is still 3-4 years behind the average age of AA players. His dominating 12.02 K/9 IP in 2007 is something that should stand out. But his 17 walks in 24 innings isn't something to brag about. I will say that he does look like he has all the tools to become a potential #1-type starter, but he's still very young and still has (probably) 2 years before he'd help out the Twins.

Kemp is a potential 5-tool player and a great replacement if the Twins cannot retain Torii Hunter's services. I can see him batting anywhere between #1-5 with the Twins and with his combination of speed and power, he'll be a force in the AL Central. I think he'd fit right in with Grady Sizemore and Curtis Granderson as far as top CF in the AL Central are.

But who else? Well, the Dodgers are fortunate to be blessed with a pluthera of top-prospects in the majors and in the minors.

Andy LaRoche - 3B - 24-years-old

LaRoche would definitely help the Twins out immediately as he'd fit two things that the Twins are looking for; a 3rd baseman and a right-handed power-hitter. He'd be a good addition in this trade, although I'm not sure the Dodgers would be willing to give up there 3 top prospects.

Blake DeWitt - 2B/3B - 22-years-old.

DeWitt is likely the future 2nd baseman for the Dodgers since they have LaRoche at the "hot corner." After a solid '07 campaign, DeWitt could start 2008 in AAA. He hit .292/.327/.466 with 42 doubles, 3 triples 14 home runs and 66 RBI's in 128 games. He definitely poses the potential to be a solid infielder for the Twins, but as a left-handed hitter, he's likely going to have to bat 6th-7th.

James Loney -1B/DH/OF - 23-years-old

James Loney is my player of choice if I had to be honest. The young 1st baseman has hit .335/.385/.537 with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 14 home runs, and 63 runs batted in in just 92 games. Although he hasn't had a lot of experience in the outfield, he has played there before and could become an option in LF/RF if he did come to the Twins. I say "/RF" because I think it'd be the smartest if they moved Cuddy over to LF if we planned on playing Loney in Right, just because I think Cuddy's speed would be better than Loney's in left. Loney's a left-handed hitter, but to me he's the best all-around hitter of the 3 so far (LaRoche and DeWitt). Although I'd probably do this trade in a heart beat if Loney were involved, but I really think that the Dodgers wouldn't do it.

Chin-Lung Hu - 2B/SS - 23-years-old

I think that the best prospect that the Twins could "snatch" besides Kemp & Kershaw would be Hu. Hu jumped from AA to the Majors this season and did so while hitting an impressive .325 with 40 doubles and 14 home runs in the minors. Hu was named the All-Star Futures game MVP while going 1-3 with an RBI. He's not really a power threat, more of an oppisite field hitter, but his 5'10'' 150 lbs. frame could produce 15-20 home runs a season with a respectable average.