Minnesota’s playoff position has been fairly secure for some time, but Cleveland has edged closer in the standings for the division. While Cleveland didn’t necessarily make themselves better at the deadline, they did fix a couple monstrous holes in their lineup as they hope to get a lift from ace pitchers returning from injury. The Twins have responded with a move to shore up one of their weaknesses in the bullpen. While Sam Dyson might not have been the biggest name on the market, he ended up the best reliever traded this deadline, as Kirby Yates, Felipe Vázquez, and Ken Giles all stayed put. The deal was first reported by Tommy Birch and then confirmed by Dan Hayes. According to Birch, this is the deal:
For the Twins, Sam Dyson presents an immediate upgrade and appealing option in high-leverage situations. The right-hander, who is still arbitration eligible next season, is a groundball specialist with just seven walks on the year. His 2.74 FIP and 2.47 ERA speak to how well he’s performed this season, and his 1.1 WAR ranks 19th among 165 qualified relievers. Dyson relies on a low-to-mid-90s sinker and a low-90s cutter that runs in on lefties and away on righties. Those two represent around 70% of Dyson’s pitches, with a four-seamer, change, and slider mixed in the rest of the time.
Dyson was a very good reliever for the Rangers in 2015 and 2016, but a rough start to 2017 saw the Rangers give up on him. The Giants reaped the benefits of letting Dyson work things out in 2017, and he has provided solid performances the past two seasons. With the Twins, Dyson should slide right behind Taylor Rogers as the second-best reliever on the team. For a bullpen looking for some stability, Dyson should provide exactly that.
As for the players sent to San Francisco, we’ve got three players with some pretty high variability when it comes to reaching their potential. Berroa and Teng are both listed as 40 FV on THE BOARD. Prelander Berroa is only 19 years old, has posted some high strikeout rates in the Appalachian League, and was likened to Fernando Rodney in the prospect report this spring. Kai-Wei Teng is only 20 years old and signed for $500,000 out of Taiwan. He’s made it to Low-A and has posted impressive numbers there. Longenhagen and McDaniel had this to say before the season:
His arm action is a little rough, and Teng’s lower slot makes it hard for him to get on top of his curveball consistently, but he’s very well balanced over his blocking leg and otherwise has a smooth delivery. At this age and size, it’s possible no more than the low-90s velo will come, but that might be enough if that curveball matures, because Teng’s changeup is also very good.
As for Jaylin Davis, he’s hit 25 homers this season between Double-A and Triple-A. He’s now 25 years old and there’s a lot of swing and miss to his game, but if he can access his power in-game, he might be able to contribute in the majors.
This deal looks like targeted quantity over quality, with the Giants looking to bring in players with upside they might not reach in hopes they hit on one of them. For the Twins, they got exactly what they needed — even if they didn’t land a starter — while only having to deal from the depth in their system.
We hoped you liked reading Twins Get Best Reliever Traded At Deadline by Craig Edwards!
Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.
FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.
Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.
Prelander Berroa might be the best name traded though….even better than Jazz Chisolm.
Yeah, but the Twins also get Sam Dyson’s cat Snuckles. Point, Twins.