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Twins get: Devin Mesoraco, decent filler prospect(s)
Reds get: Delmon Young/Top Pitcher, Danny Rams, Trevor Plouffe
This trade seems very unattractive at first glance because the Twins would have to give up a lot for just one player. Still, in the end the Twins would be better off going for something like, especially down the line.
Devin Mesoraco put up monster numbers last year (.302 BA, .587 SLG, 26 HR) while climbing the ranks from A to AAA ball. Since he's such a strong option to replace Mauer, the Twins would lose their best catching prospect, Delmon Young, and the best middle infielder that they could bear to part with.
Why so much?
The Reds have an amazing starting lineup, with catcher, left field, and shortstop being their only weak points. Their best prospect by far is Mesoraco and he could fill one of those needs. For the Reds to give up their catcher of the future, the Twins would have to give up some of their top players.
Delmon would get shipped off to make room for Mauer in left field, where he'd do just fine. If it somehow didn't go well, Joe could bump over to the easier right side the next year, let Kubel DH, and have Span and whoever the best outfielder prospect is (probably Hicks or Revere) man the other two spots. Cuddyer probably wouldn't be in the picture because his production is already dropping off and it won't be any better next year.
Not only would Delmon's departure help move Mauer, but the Reds would get their left field spot upgraded from the mediocre Jonny Gomes to the increasingly potent Delmon Young. The Twins would also have to give up their best catcher prospect, Danny Rams, to help fill the void left by Mesoraco in Cincinnati's farm system.
Even then, the Reds get the worse end of the deal since they downgrade significantly at catcher for a moderate upgrade in left or at pitcher. The Twins would have to throw in a solid shortstop prospect, like Plouffe, to sweeten the deal. Plouffe has already paid his dues in the minors, and as of late he has been very impressive batting .286 with 2 home runs in his last seven games.
Paul Janish is decent shortstop, but Plouffe would be a huge upgrade for Cincinnati, especially at the plate. The Twins should be okay for awhile with Casilla, Tolbert, and Luke Hughes holding down the SS spot until Miguel Sano is ready.
If the Reds really like what they're seeing in young left fielder Chris Heisey, the Twins would have to give up someone else since Young wouldn't be worth much in the trade. That could mean losing a top pitcher like Francisco Liriano or pitching prospect like Liam Hendricks, which would make the trade even harder since the Twins have struggled so much lately on the mound.
Still, there is a deal to be struck where the Twins would get Mesoraco without the Reds completely ripping them off. Cincinnati would just have to give up an extra mid-level prospect to even things up. A guy like pitcher Sam LeCure would be fair.
The Reds would be the winners of this trade, at least right away, but it would benefit the Twins just enough to be worth it.