Breaking: Prominent Team Closing In On Talks To Sign A’s Star

Breaking: Prominent Team Closing In On Talks To Sign A’s Star

The Oakland Athletics are rumored to be shopping their star, young, flame-throwing reliever, Mason Miller. How interested should the Minnesota Twins be?

In the first two months of the MLB season, A’s closer Mason Miller has been one of the league’s most exciting young players. Miller has a 2.08 ERA and a 0.85 FIP after 26 innings this season. Yes, the FIP is 0.85.

Aside from his results, Miller has arguably the best stuff of any reliever in baseball, combining a triple-digit fastball with a devastating slider to form a two-pitch arsenal that strikes out batters at a video game rate of 51.5%. Miller also leads all relievers in fWAR (1.4) and ranks top-10 in Win Probability Added.

With the Oakland Athletics’ franchise in complete disarray until they finish their move to Las Vegas, they will be hearing out trade packages this deadline and determining whether now is the time to move their stud reliever, whose trade worth will never be higher.

Would the Twins be interested? This potential move has both benefits and drawbacks that the Twins must carefully consider.

Miller, with his outstanding stuff, has the potential to lift the Twins’ bullpen from decent to terrific. This kind of bullpen strength is important in the playoffs, where games are frequently decided in the late innings.

Pairing him with Jhoan Duran, who has already proven to be an elite reliever, and the excellent Griffin Jax and (hopefully, soon) Brock Stewart, the Twins could create one of the most formidable late-game bullpens in baseball. Additionally, acquiring a cost-controlled, high-impact player like Miller might be one of the few moves that Twins’ ownership would be willing to sign off on.

We witnessed this offseason that payroll is a major source of conflict for this ownership group. Payroll is unlikely to climb this season, with the television arrangement in considerably more turmoil than last. Miller, as a rookie, would be under team control for several years, adding tremendous value to a minimal contract. The Twins are unlikely to trade for a veteran like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. due to a lack of willingness to pay the remaining portion of his deal. Miller will be one of the few players the Twins can “afford” while also providing value.

However, obtaining Miller will certainly necessitate a large package of prospects.Ken Rosenthal suggests that a Miller package should contain “a young player of comparable ability, or a substantial package of multiple youngsters who could be part of the A’s future.”

The Twins have a great farm system, but losing top-tier talent is always risky. A deal for Miller would most likely require two top-100 prospects as well as one or two additional prospects. That’s a lot to trade for a reliever.

Historically, relievers have not provided as much value as starters and position players. They pitch fewer innings, and their impact, while important, is limited to high-stakes scenarios. Overpaying for a reliever can be harmful. The Twins must decide whether the possible bullpen upgrade is worth the investment in prospect capital.

There is also the issue of Miller’s medical history. Prior to this year, he was a starter, but the A’s moved him to the bullpen to see whether he could stay healthy for the entire season. In his four-year professional career, he has never exceeded the 52 2/3 innings he hit in the minors and majors last season.

The choice to trade for Miller is not easy. On the one hand, his signing might convert the Twins’ bullpen into one of the most feared in baseball, providing them a substantial advantage in the playoffs. On the other hand, the cost of prospect capital and the inherent hazards involved with relievers make this a risk that the Twins must carefully weigh.

Given the Twins’ financial limits and current playoff expectations, Miller represents a unique opportunity to add an impact player without spending money. However, given the prospect capital required and the ludicrous level of risk involved in obtaining a reliever, it is not worthwhile.

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