Building off of Monday's post, I've dug up a few comparable trades from the past couple years that the Twins could use as a model at this year’s trade deadline (if they end up sellers). I will also go through and discuss some other players who might possibly be moved before July 31.
A comparable trade involving Michael Cuddyer would be the move the Indians made in 2008 when they sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers for top catching prospect Carlos Santana. The Indians included cash in the deal, something the Twins would also need to do given the price of Cuddyer’s contract. Another similar trade again involved the Indians, when in 2009 when they traded Mark DeRosa to the Cardinals for Chris Perez (now a potential All-Star closer) and a player to be named later.
How about a comparable trade involving Jason Kubel? Last year Houston traded Lance Berkman to the Yankees for Mark Melancon (who's doing a nice job closing this year) and infield prospect Jimmy Paredes. I think Kubel’s value is higher than Berkman’s--he’s having a much better season than Berkman was, he's six years younger and his contract is reasonable given his production. If the Twins are planning on trading Kubel, they can expect better return than what Houston received.
Jim Thome might provide similar trade value to Kubel if he can stay healthy for a while, although he isn't a Type B free agent, so he wouldn’t net his new team a compensatory draft pick if he returned somewhere else next year. Still, I think Texas (who made a hard push for him last offseason) is a team that would be very interested.
We don't have to look far to find a comparable Matt Capps swap, as the Twins traded away top catching prospect Wilson Ramos for Capps just last season. Given that the Twins gave away such a high prospect for Capps, and that he's a Type A free agent, look for the team to stand pat. They're highly unlikely to land a prospect of Ramos' caliber.
OTHER TRADE CANDIDATES
If he can recover quickly from this current injury and put together a solid stretch, Delmon Young would have some value. He's under team control for another year, and if the Twins can’t find a deal at the deadline he'll likely be moved this winter. Ben Revere looks like he’s just about ready to stick, and he's much better defensively. Even if the Twins creep into the race and become buyers, they could use Delmon as trade bait in an attempt to patch the leaky bullpen. They could also use him to build their minor league system with a decent middle infield prospect or two.
If Carl Pavano can put together a solid month he'll have some value in what's looking like a weak starting pitching market. His contract for next season isn’t terrible for an innings eater with an ERA around 4.00. He was brought in to be the veteran presence for this team, but Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn have been around long enough to fill that role. For comparison, last season the Indians sent Jake Westbrook to St. Louis for pitching prospects Corey Kluber and Nick Greenwood (from the Padres) in a three-team deal.
Both Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn are signed for at least another year (Blackburn's signed through 2013), so they probably won't be shopped. However, if the Twins are offered a great prospect, it might be hard to turn down given that Kyle Gibson should be ready to step into the rotation by the end of the year.
Two players who have virtually no trade value are Joe Nathan and Kevin Slowey. They've both been injured or ineffective for most of the year, and Nathan’s contract certainly hurts his trade value as well. The hope is that Nathan will build on Tuesday night's performance and become the reliable right hander the team needs in the bullpen. Slowey's value is slumping, but the Twins are still likely do everything they can to eliminate him as a distraction.
The one player I haven’t discussed at all is Francisco Liriano. Unless someone gives the Twins a great offer, it will be difficult to trade him at this point. He has been the Twins least consistent starting pitcher--he's essentially been either great or terrible. Liriano's under team control for one more year, so it will be interesting to see how he finishes the season (assuming the Twins don’t trade him) and what the team does next offseason. Remember, the Yankees were all over him this spring.
Even if the Twins can push into contention over the next couple weeks, there are everyday players (Delmon Young and any starting pitcher) that could be moved to make room for younger players (Revere and Gibson), who appear ready enough to join the chase.