September 2, 2010

Twins complete Fuentes trade by sending Van Mil to Angels

Technically the Angels had until October 15 to decide on the player to be named later heading their way in the deal for Brian Fuentes, but it turns out they were simply waiting for Loek Van Mil to go through waivers after being designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Fuentes. He predictably went unclaimed and yesterday the Twins finalized the trade by sending the 7-foot-1 right-hander to the Angels.

Van Mil ranked 39th on my list of the Twins' top prospects this winter, but has been limited to just 33.2 innings due to injuries and posted a 6.15 ERA between high Single-A and Double-A. He's intriguing simply by virtue of standing 7-foot-1 and actually had quite a bit of success prior to this season, but Van Mil will turn 26 years old next month, has yet to throw even 50 innings in a season, and almost surely would've been cut from the 40-man roster by the offseason.

By going through waivers Van Mil was available to any team willing to place him on the 40-man roster and he also would have been eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft in December, so giving the Dutchman up as the PTBNL for Fuentes is a no-brainer for the Twins. Because of his size and good fastball Van Mil is perhaps still capable of developing into a quality reliever if he can stay healthy, but he's a pretty fungible commodity at this point.

Fuentes might actually accept and stick them with a $10 million bill for 2011, so I'll be surprised if the Twins risk offering him arbitration in order to receive compensatory draft picks when he leaves as a free agent. Essentially that means they dealt Van Mil and $1.9 million for six-plus weeks of a good left-handed setup man. For a contending team with an obvious bullpen need that's an ideal move, although Fuentes' back problems unfortunately may complicate things.

13 Comments »

  1. So you’re saying it’s quite possible they would have lost Van Mil in passing him through waivers in order to clear the spot for Fuentes, anyway. (or had he already passed through waivers?) If not then, then he possibly would have been selected and lost through the Rule V draft.

    So basically, the Twins traded a guy they were probably going to lose for nothing either now or in December.

    Nice deal.

    Comment by Son of Shane Mack — September 1, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  2. I wonder if Rauch is happy to be the tallest man in the Twins system now?

    Comment by D-Luxxx — September 1, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

  3. Van Mil had no future in the twins system…and to 95% has in no mlb-pro.system…he did not even pitch in AAA …will do so maybe for 2 years…is then in the deep end of his 20′s…and still will not pitch pro..i think..

    Comment by chris — September 2, 2010 @ 2:23 am

  4. Van Mil had no future in the twins system…and to 95% has in no mlb-pro.system…he did not even pitch in AAA …will do so maybe for 2 years…is then in the deep end of his 20’s…and still will not pitch pro..i think..

    Ok. I’m not sure what “and to 95% has in no mlb-pro.system” means. That’s not a sentence or even a run-on.

    Still, as you – and Aaron – said, he’s 26 and hasn’t even gotten to AAA or even been able to make it through a season.

    Regardless, it’s quite likely that the Twins would have lost him at some point in the next few months – either through waivers or the Rule V draft. Despite his age and issues, there are teams out there with room on their rosters (40 man – that is) for some unproven talent with some potential.

    It’s possible that Van Mil will continue to be plagued by injuries and not make an impact, let along make it to the big leagues. It’s also possible that at some point (likely in the next 2 years) that he’ll break through and prove to be an effective pitcher somewhere. However, because of his history and the Twins roster situation, that was unlikely to happen here.

    So, why not name the guy you’re going to lose anyway as the PTMNL? The Angels dump some salary and get a guy with potential talent, the Twins get the left-handed reliever they need, and Van Mil goes to a place where might get a shot at moving up in the system. It’s a win, all around. Great move.

    Comment by Son of Shane Mack — September 2, 2010 @ 3:04 am

  5. And I didn’t mean to be insulting about the previous message. I just prefer people to write in fairly complete – or mostly complete – sentences. It makes comprehension easier.

    Is texting and smartphones ruining our ability to communicate?

    *sigh*

    Comment by Son of Shane Mack — September 2, 2010 @ 3:06 am

  6. Is texting and smartphones ruining our ability to communicate?

    Yes, they is.

    Comment by Sinking Liner — September 2, 2010 @ 7:47 am

  7. The Fuentes thing is going to be hairy and probably right down to the wire on offering arbitration. Now, I know and agree that overpaying for a “closer” is not the smartest way to spend your money, but, we are in Gardy-World. Obviously, Gardy (and Mr. Smith) weren’t thrilled with the Rauch experiment, leading to the Capps patch. And who knows, maybe Ramos doesn’t pan out with the Nats and that trade becomes a mediocre C for a set-up guy (again, I’m not sure what they were thinking there either, but what’s done is done). Now, last I read, Nathan is just starting to play catch. Do you think the Twins are comfortable hanging their hat on him being ready to close in 6 months? And if they aren’t thrilled with Rauch (or Capps)now, I don’t think they’ll want to rely on them to hold the line for April, May, or however (if ever) long it takes for Nathan gets his mojo back. So, barring insurance, the Twins are on the hook for $11.25M for next year, and the $2M buyout for 2012 for Nathan–unless he retires. What’s that arbitration decision date again…?

    Comment by JB (the original) — September 2, 2010 @ 8:31 am

  8. Mojo gone South:

    Nathan
    Morneau

    Comment by dirleton — September 2, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  9. Aaron, I just re-read your analysis of the trade and it sounds like Fuentes might well be worth 10 mil. Are you saying the team can’t afford him?

    Comment by corybante — September 2, 2010 @ 9:38 am

  10. well, it seems like a bad use of resources to pay two relievers more than $10MM, while also giving Crain a raise. They have gaping holes at SS, RF (and maybe CF) and SP (assuming they don’t sign Pavano, and maybe even if they do).

    Spending more than $10MM on two relievers does not seem like a good allocation of resources.

    Comment by mike wants wins — September 2, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  11. “Fungible” is an underused word for a certain category of relief pitcher/(f)utility infielder (I’m not naming any names)/backu[p outfielder.

    Well played, Gleeman.

    Comment by imissaj — September 2, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  12. What are the gaping holes in RF and CF? I understand that Cuddyer is overpaid and Span has had a rough year, but gaping holes?

    Comment by jama — September 2, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  13. 4 straight healthy years of posting positive OPS+ = Gaping hole. Everybody knows that.

    Comment by Dood — September 2, 2010 @ 11:58 am

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