Minnesota Twins: Why the Twins Should Trade Chris Parmelee

Chris SchadContributor IIIAugust 8, 2012

DETROIT, MI - JULY 04:  Chris Parmelee #27 of the Minnesota Twins rounds third base after hitting a homerun in the fifth inning during a MLB game against the Detroit Tigers and the at Comerica Park on July 4, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

One of the biggest debates over the previous offseason was if the Twins should end the Justin Morneau era at first base and let prospect Chris Parmelee take over.

Parmelee had a solid September in 2011, as he hit .355 with four home runs and 14 RBI over 21 games for the Twins. However, that performance has not carried over to 2012, as the Twins have found difficulty in getting Parmelee at-bats at the major league level.

That's hindered Parmelee's rhythm and the result has been a .204 average with two home runs and six RBI in 40 games this season.

The Twins thought that having Parmelee go to Triple-A Rochester would be the answer, but instead, they've found themselves in a Anthony Rizzo complex.

Like the Cubs' phenom, Parmelee has exploded at Triple-A but has had trouble converting his International League All-Star form to the majors. Over 42 games for the Red Wings, Parmelee has hit .351 with 12 home runs and 34 RBI. He's ripping the cover off the ball, but the Twins have nowhere to play him.

That's because after a slow start, Justin Morneau has started to come around for the Twins. Since July 1, Morneau has hit .339 with five home runs and 21 RBI, and is starting to look like the Morneau that has carried the Twins to several division championships in the late-2000's.

The natural reaction of some people who read this website would be to trade Justin Morneau, but here's why the Twins should go in the opposite direction and trade Parmelee instead.

The Twins offense is starting to form into a formidable Major League lineup with Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe leading the way.

Keeping a veteran like Justin Morneau, who has three MVP quality seasons on his resume, would help keep a proven bat in the middle of the lineup with Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham.

However, that leaves the pitching staff. The Twins' rotation continues to rank toward the bottom of Major League Baseball in terms of ERA. There also is little help on the way, outside of prospect Kyle Gibson, who is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

There is little doubt that trading Morneau would give the Twins a larger package in return, but with his injury history and his struggles that were as recent as the beginning of this season, teams may not be interested enough to give several top-tier pitching prospects.

Dealing Parmelee to a rebuilding team could net the Twins a sneaky prospect and help rebuild the rotation—but what about the future of the team?

That void could be filled by Miguel Sano, who is currently a third baseman at Single-A Beloit but could grow out of that role, a la Miguel Cabrera, (unless the Twins sign Prince Fielder).

It's an out of the box way to think about rebuilding the farm system, but it could be one that works if Parmelee follows the same path as other top prospects the Twins have failed to trade when teams were high on them.