Twins brass stress accountability after trades

July 28th, 2018

BOSTON -- After trading away the popular and the electric arm of reliever on Friday night, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine arrived at Fenway Park on Saturday, meeting with the media about the trades.
Falvey and Levine had planned to be in Boston on Saturday and Sunday, and it was not a reaction to the two trades. But they stressed accountability, as they know they weren't popular moves in the clubhouse or among Twins fans who liked Escobar and Pressly.
"We want to be accountable to the decisions we make, whether they're good or bad or how they're received by different constituents," Levine said. "I think fans will have one reaction, the people in our office will have another reaction and so, too, will our staff and players."
The Twins received five prospects for Escobar and Pressly with three Class A players coming from the D-backs for Escobar and two Double-A players coming from the Astros for Pressly. Falvey explained that the lack of any near-MLB ready players was more about maximizing the best possible return rather than a conscious effort not to obtain players who could help this year or next season. Four of those five players are now ranked among the club's Top 30, per MLB Pipeline.

"We're always shooting for best return in those deals," Falvey said. "I think you can really get sideways a bit if you focus only on the players for next year versus the year after versus deeper. Get the best possible players, build out your system. You need waves of talent to be successful as an organization."
As for the decision to be sellers, Falvey and Levine admitted it was tough, as the moves came after the club had won four games in a row to move within seven games of the first-place Indians. But their own internal projection systems and the data made publicly available at sites such as Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus and FiveThirtyEight show the club has less than a 5 percent chance of catching the Indians, at best.
"Even though we all feel the emotions of every day, the plus and the minus, we try not to let the one day or the few days sway the decisions," Levine said. "We felt like where we were at this moment, for those decisions, it was the right decision for the organization moving forward. I don't expect the players to always understand that and they shouldn't."
Falvey and Levine also said the Twins will continue to listen now that they're sellers, as they have several players who are impending free agents and could be dealt such as , , Zach Duke and .
"I think the old adage is it takes two to tango," Levine said. "We're going to be prepared to have conversations. I don't think we take any of these lightly. I think the perception is a lot of these decisions are clinical in nature. We tried to hold ourselves to a high standard of trying to keep the human element involved, and that's part of the reason we're here today."