Seattle Mariners: Edwin Encarnacion Trade Profile, Twins

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Remember Positive Pete’s phrase of “get your squawk on?” Well Mariners fans, there’s a chance you may not need to say that ever. Especially when it looks like newest Mariner, Edwin Encarnacion will be traded. If or when Dipoto decides to ship him away before the 2019 season, which suitor will it be if not Tampa?

What about the Twins? Their farm system was ranked Bleacher Report’s sixth-best in the MLB post-2018! And that was a six-spot improvement from 12th-ranked pre-2018. If Twins GM Thad Levine passes on ex-Mariners DH Nelson Cruz, Edwin gives him a solid alternative at DH. He gives Minnesota just as much pop as Miguel Sano minus the high strikeout rate and as low of a batting average.

So who should Dipoto snag from the Bread and Butter State? At 35 years old, Levine would take too much of a risk to sign Edwin to any type of long-term contract. No, the Twins should think short-term and somebody who could put the word target back in Target Field. With sluggers like Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer traded away and retired respectively, the Twins are shorthanded in the power department.

For starters, Dipoto must accept the fact that David Freitas needs reinforcements at the catching position. And he needs to realize the Twins want to hold onto their top 10-ranked farm and not sacrifice too much for a downgraded slugger. Let’s send Jason Castro to the Emerald City. He’ll be a veteran to take pressure off Freitas but since he’ll be on the cheap, we can trade him away or simply let him go in 2019.

Even though Castro lacks the pop that Zunino provided and has only crept over a .250 batting average twice in his career, we need someone other than Freitas. And though his 2018 average of .143 is off-putting, he’s a veteran and every season is a clean slate.

But we can’t walk away from this deal grabbing nobody from Minnesota’s talented farm. And if Thad Levine is smart, he won’t give away a first-tier prospect so you can cross off shortstop Royce Lewis, outfielder Alex Kirilloff, and pitcher Brusdar Graterol. What about their second-tier top prospects? Shortstop Nick Gordon is an option but let’s commit to JP Crawford for now. After all, we traded away our All Star, .300-hitting shortstop for him.

So who is the Twins prospect that should join Castro in this trade? Let’s give pitcher John Curtiss a try. He is currently Minnesota’s 26th-ranked prospect and expendable due to the fact that eight pitching prospects outrank him.

No, he’s not the youngest prospect out there at 25 but his fastball tops out at 98 miles per hour and Pipeline has him throwing “enough strikes to earn mound time in high leverage situations.” Who cares if a pitcher does a bizarre dance on the mound? It’s having control in the clutch that makes the man.

Next. Why the James Paxton Trade Will be Dipoto's Best this Winter. dark

And with the dear departure of All Star closer Edwin Diaz, we should always look for a potential replacement. Well according to John Curtiss’s Pipeline bio, he could be someone who “one day closed games at the highest level.” Better to start finding Diaz’s future replacement now than later. And once again, the Mariners trade away a Cleveland Indians bust while taking a modest bite out of a talented farm system.

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