I want to start by offering my apologies for the lack of an All-Star-Game post today. If you want a good recap of how Minnesota performed in the game, be sure to head over to Seth Speaks or Josh's Thoughts.
I was going to focus my post today on the All-Star Game, but I thought everyone would have a much better time speculating about the future of the Minnesota Twins and Seattle's Adrian Beltre.
I posted yesterday about third base, and came to the conclusion that the Twins should trade for Beltre.
After discussing things over with Twinkie Town's Jesse Lund, we came to the conclusion that a three-team trade would work the best. The only question that remained was which third team Seattle and Minnesota would deal with.
After hours of research, I have come up with what I think are two of the more likely possibilities. The first of which involves the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Here is the groundwork of the possible trade:
Adrian Beltre, 3B, from Seattle
Yunesky Sanchez, SS, from Arizona (Double A Mobile)
Michael Cuddyer, RF, from Minnesota
Luke Hughes, IF, from Minnesota
Tim Raines, OF, from Arizona (Triple A Tucson)
Konrad Schmidt, C, from Arizona (High A Visalia) OR Sean Coughlin, C, (Single A South Bend)
Livan Hernandez, SP, from Minnesota
Raul Ibanez, LF, from Seattle
Let's dig through this now, and I'll explain my reasoning behind everything.
Seattle is in a rebuilding mindset. They want to get rid of Raul Ibanez because he is 36-years old, and they have Shawn Garrett waiting in AAA Tacoma, should they fail to acquire a left fielder in any trade this year.
On top of that, his $11 million contract expires at the end of 2008. They would try to get what they can out of him before he walks. The Arizona Diamondbacks would love Ibanez. He could fill in for an injured Eric Byrnes this year and would allow them to free up Conor Jackson.
The Diamondbacks, despite struggling of late, still have a probable chance at winning the NL West, and would jump at the opportunity rent a player like Ibanez, if even for half a year, to help them secure the division and make a playoff run.
Seattle would also love to get rid of Adrian Beltre and dump his $13.4 million contract on someone else. That is their main goal, but if they could get a good prospect and an immediate impact player in return, they may offer to foot a portion of the "Beltre bill".
While Minnesota would hate to part with Cuddyer and Hughes, the opportunity to be able to start Beltre at third through 2009 is certainly appealing. The Twins would also receive shortstop prospect Yunesky Sanchez. He shows some promise and is young, but he isn't a top prospect in the league. It wouldn't matter all that much, though, as long as Minnesota got Beltre.
The outfield in the Twin Cities is crowded anyway, thanks to the recent call-up of Denard Span. As much as it pains me to say it, Cuddyer could be replaced. As to Hughes, he probably wouldn't crack the major leagues for a few years in this organization, but could probably make the Mariner team in 2009 if given the chance.
The Mariners are also in need of a catcher. Kenji Johjima and his .213/.237/.292 line are not pleasing to Seattle fans. A prospect like Schmidt would be a sight for sore eyes. Or, if they preferred younger player, Coughlin is also very promising.
Now to Livan Hernandez.
This is the perfect opportunity for the Twins to unload this veteran pitcher on a team that needs an end-of-the-rotation guy. The first three in the Arizona rotation have been lights-out in Webb, Haren, and Davis. Micah Owings has also emerged this year and has been a solid fourth pitcher.
Randy Johnson, however valuable he is to getting people in the stands, has been nothing short of awful. His ERA of 5.23 and his record of 6-7 have left many things to be desired. Arizona has the need for a fifth man and Hernandez could fit that bill perfectly.
Now, I have no clue how Arizona would handle a situation like this, nor do I care to discuss it. I haven't the foggiest idea how the Diamondbacks would go about getting rid of the Big Unit, but they would have to for this deal to succeed.
Let's review. Minnesota gives up a great prospect and an impact outfielder, and gets in return one of the best third baseman in the league and a shortstop prospect.
Seattle gives up two good players; one of which is old, the other has a huge contract. They don't want either age or big contracts as they are in a rebuilding mindset. They get, in return, a great MLB-ready outfielder that is very cheap, two top prospects, and another prospect.
Arizona gives up one great prospect and two other good prospects for an innings-eating starting pitcher and a veteran outfielder.
Any thoughts on this possible trade? What tweaks would you make? Can you see this happening?