How will supply and demand affect the Twins on the trade market?
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Twins followers are watching closely over the next nine days to see which, if any, veterans the team can trade for prospects. The trade market essentially acts according to the economic rules of supply and demand. There are other wrinkles, but those ideas hold true on a basic level.
Nobody needs a first baseman? Well, good luck moving one. Every single contending team could use an elite starting pitcher? The David Price asking price figures to be sky high.
With that in mind, here's what ESPN's Buster Olney outlined as the "most plentiful positions if you're looking for help," in his latest column:
1. Right-handed relievers.
2. Starting pitching
3. Shortstops. Including Asdrubal Cabrera, if the Indians can find value close to what they would get if they give Cabrera a qualifying offer after this season and recoup a draft pick (which is what other teams expect them to do); Yunel Escobar; Jimmy Rollins.
4. Corner outfielders, including Matt Joyce of the Rays.
5. Second base, including Ben Zobrist (if Tampa Bay sells).
There are far fewer palatable options at the other spots -- first base, third base, center field, catcher and left-handed relievers.
How might that impact the Twins?
1. If right-handed relievers are easy to find on the trade market, that ostensibly would lower the return for a good reliever like Casey Fien. Same goes for Sam Deduno, Anthony Swarzak, Matt Guerrier and Jared Burton.
2. Kevin Correia is a free agent this offseason, and he wouldn't be difficult to replace in the rotation with a starter currently in Rochester. He's in line to make one more start before the nonwaiver deadline, but teams basically know what they'll be getting.
3. The Twins don't have a shortstop that it would make sense to trade. Furthermore, shortstops are hard to replace and good ones always will be in high demand.
4. Josh Willingham? Any teams looking for right-handed power pretty much know what they're getting from the 35-year-old. Would Seattle make sense? Pittsburgh? Cincinnati?
5. I'd be awfully surprised to see the Twins trade Brian Dozier.
6. The final category is somewhat interesting.
First base: Every team passed on Chris Parmelee at the end of spring training when he was on waivers. Chris Colabello was white hot in April and hasn't done much else at the Majors.
Third base: Trevor Plouffe might intrigue teams; he'll be in the second year of arbitration this offseason.
Center field: The Twins do not appear to be in a position to trade away a center fielder.
Catcher: Kurt Suzuki has to be one of the most appealing names out there. St. Louis just lost an All-Star catcher. Baltimore did, too.
Left-handed relievers: Caleb Thielbar is a nice reliever and is cost-controlled. Brian Duensing will be in his third and final year of arbitration this offseason. It does not make any sense from the Twins perspective to trade closer Glen Perkins. He's elite and agreed in March to sign a team-friendly extension. What kind of message would it send to other players considering signing in Minnesota if they flipped Perkins four months later?