Phillies trade rumors: Carlos Santana to the Minnesota Twins?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Carlos Santana #41 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a fly ball to left field that is misplayed by Austin Dean #44 of the Miami Marlins for an error during the second inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Carlos Santana #41 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a fly ball to left field that is misplayed by Austin Dean #44 of the Miami Marlins for an error during the second inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Phillies trade rumors will pick up as the offseason approaches

After missing the playoffs for the seventh-consecutive season, the Phillies will look to make major changes this offseason. This means Phillies trade rumors are going to be hot as the offseason begins and the free agent market opens up.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said the Phillies are willing to move anyone but Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola. He mentioned Carlos Santana would be a tough player to move with his contract, and we broke down what it would take to move the first baseman. Most likely it would take a large contract coming back to Philadelphia and some money to help cover Santana’s deal.

Santana has $41.16 million remaining over two years with a club option worth $17.5 million that can be bought-out for $500,000.

The list of teams for Santana would be short based on his lack of versatility on defense, a down season at the plate, and the large contract.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 17: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins hits a three-run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning of the game on August 17, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 17: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins hits a three-run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning of the game on August 17, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Minnesota makes a lot of sense for Santana for several reasons. One is the prospect that legend Joe Mauer might retire at seasons end.

Twins first basemen had a -1.7 WAR, 23rd in baseball and the fifth-worst among American League teams at the position. They need an upgrade at first even if Mauer, who could always DH, returns at age 36.

Minnesota was connected to Santana last offseason before the Phillies signed him, and executive Derek Falvey worked with Cleveland when Santana was there.

Here’s what a potential Santana/Twins trade could look like after consulting the expert at FanSided’s Twins site Puckett’s Pond, Nate Palmer.

Nate said the Twins could give up one prospect in the lower portion of their top-10 and another lower down the MLB Pipeline list to go along with the veteran reliever Reed.

Reed is owed $8.5 million next year, which is the final year of his contract with Minnesota. That money would help counter the burden of Santana’s contract and the Phillies would be left to cover a portion to help Minnesota and pick up better prospects in the return.

This year Reed took a step back after three strong seasons with the Mets, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox, during which he had a 2.66 ERA in 212 games. This year his ERA ballooned to 4.58 in 55 innings, and he gave up 9 of his 11 home runs at Target Field, a field trends towards being a pitcher’s park.

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Philadelphia would hope Reed bounces back after having the 10th-highest fly-ball percentage in baseball at 48.6%. From 2015-17 Reed’s fly-ball average was 39.7%, a dramatic difference over time. Maybe it’s an American League thing with the designated hitter?

Enlow is the Twins ninth-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline and eighth per Baseball America, though he’s not ranked in BA’s top 100 prospects. Drafted 76th overall in 2017, Enlow is just 19-years-old with an above average fastball and curveball. In 20 games in Single-A he had a 3.26 ERA and pitches in the low-90s while topping out at 94 mph.

Duran is ranked 23rd on the Twins list by MLB Pipeline after coming over in the Eduardo Escobar trade.

He pitched seven no-hit innings for Single-A Cedar Rapids in his Twins organization debut and finished with a 3.75 ERA in 21 games between two Single-A clubs.

MLB Pipeline projects the 20-year-old to be a number three starter with a well-above average fastball who is developing a curveball and changeup. Duran’s command was rated as a 45 on the 20-80 scale, highlighting a clear need for coaching and development.

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Most Philadelphia fans would be thrilled to get a basket of baseballs in return for Santana, but his value could surprise some thanks to his 100+ walks and 20+ home run potential. While it’s unlikely the organization finds a trade partner for him, the Twins would be a great fit given their questions at first and the financial flexibility on both sides.

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