The Minnesota Twins will be looking to bolster their rotation down the stretch. Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray, and surprisingly former Pirate Chris Archer have been solid to well above average this season. However, off-season acquisition Dylan Bundy has struggled, Chris Paddack underwent season-ending surgery early this year, and both Bailey Ober and Josh Winder are on the injured list. With the Twins having a lead of fewer than five games on the American League Central, they’re going to need some rotation help to fend off the Cleveland Guardians.
That’s where Jose Quintana steps in. Quintana has had his best season since his 2016 all-star campaign. In 97.1 innings, the southpaw starter has a 3.70 ERA, 3.27 FIP, and 1.28 WHIP. He might only have a 20.7% K-rate but a robust 7.1% walk rate and .65 HR/9. His opponent’s exit velo of 86.9 MPH also puts him in the top 84th percentile of pitchers this year. His underlying numbers also support his production, with a 3.77 xFIP and 4.02 SIERA.
Simeon Woods Richardson has already been part of some big trades in his professional career. He first went from the New York Mets to the Toronto Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman in 2019. Then he went from the Jays to the Twins, along with Austin Martin for Jose Berrios at the 2021 trade deadline. It’s not as if he’s a bad prospect either. In 53 innings with the Twins’ Double-A affiliate, Richardson has a 3.40 ERA, 3.98 FIP, and 1.13 WHIP. His 24.8% K-rate and 8.9% walk rate might not be eye-popping good, but he has limited home runs well, posting a .68 HR/9.
SWR’s pitching arsenal consists of a fastball, slider, curveball, and change-up. His change-up and command are his two best weapons, both projecting to be 60-grade items. His curveball projects to be average, while his fastball and slider project to come out at 45-grade offerings. He might see a velo-boost over the next year or two, but he has refined all of his offerings and command.
First base prospect Aaron Sabato would also be heading back to the Pirates. He’s a similar prospect to Mason Martin but has a higher ceiling. The Twins’ 2020 first-round pick, Sabato, is hitting for a .217/.332/.406 line and .337 wOBA. Overall, he’s a slightly above league-average hitter with good plate discipline and solid power. However, there is a considerable downside, and that’s his 32.9% strikeout rate. He’s a big-risk/big-reward type prospect in the sense that if he pans out, you’re getting a 30+ home run hitter, but he could also strike out way too much to ever be productive
Simeon Woods Richardson might be a big ask, but the Pirates need to put a hefty price tag on Quintana. BBTV considers this a moderate overpay. He’s one of the most valuable starters on the trade market, even if he only has one year of control remaining. Quintana has been both healthy and productive, which is something very few of the other starters on the market can say. Pirates have some leverage here too, not as much as in a Bednar trade scenario, but enough that they could squeeze more out of Quintana than what he might have been worth in a neutral market or buyer’s market for starting pitching.