Twins also looking at the trade market for starting pitching
Coming into the Winter Meetings, Gerrit Cole and Chris Archer were potential targets, but they have since turned into real possibilities according to sources. To start, there’s chatter that the Pittsburgh Pirates would want a trio of Twins players in return for ace Gerrit Cole.
If this is indeed the offer, I’d do this in a heartbeat. Cole is only 27 years old and there’s reason to believe he’s only going to get better. In reality, he’s just entering his prime and he has the filthy stuff that every team wants from their ace. He struggled a bit in 2017, but he progressed as the season went on and still finished with above 200 innings pitched, the second time he’s done so in three seasons. For his career, he’s 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA and 8.4 SO/9.
Yes, Minnesota would have to give up three promising players, but for an ace-caliber pitcher who’s under team control for two more seasons, it’s worth it.
Now, Chris Archer was another name out there for the Twins, but it’s the first time I’ve seen some legitimate interest reported. While his numbers look fairly pedestrian outside of his insane strikeout totals over the last couple of years, he hasn’t had much help from a lackluster Rays defense.
In other words, Archer likely boasts phenomenal numbers if he has a better defense around him. Something the Twins drastically improved in 2017. Not to mention, anytime a pitcher has someone like Byron Buxton roaming center field, they’re bound to have success.
Additionally, Archer is on a team-friendly contract that runs four more seasons. Of course, that’s going to drive up the asking price, but Minnesota needs an ace and Archer may be the best available option out there. For his career, he’s 51-63 with a 3.63 ERA and 9.7 SO/9.