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While I remain convinced that the Twins mishandled Slowey last year (and Slowey, no doubt, played a role in the fiasco), I am not now so certain that the Twins have come off the worst of the three teams involved in this offseason's trades.
- In early December the Twins traded Slowey to Colorado for minor league pitcher Daniel Turpen.
- Last week the Rockies traded Slowey and cash to Cleveland for pitcher Zach Putnam.
Putnam is generally regarded as a better prospect that Turpen. But the cash -- which I overlooked in delivering Friday's critique -- is not insubstantial ($1.25 million).
Look at it this way: Would the Twins swap Turpen and $1.25 million for Putman? I can't be certain, but I doubt it. Both right-handers are a secondary pitch shy of establishing themselves as major leaguers, much less as impact players.
Then there's this: Putnam is on a 40-man roster. Turpen is not. The Twins traded Slowey when they did to open a spot on the 40 before the Rule V draft, and it seems reasonable to assume that they didn't want somebody who would have to be on the 40.
Who, then, comes off best in this sequence? My sense is Cleveland, which gets Slowey at a substantial discount. I think Slowey is a better pitcher than his disastrous 2011 indicates. If he pitches in 2012 as he did when healthy in his previous seasons with the Twins, the Indians have a very good back-of-the-rotation starter.
Next would be the Twins, who rid themselves of what seemed to be a poisonous situation. And at the bottom is Colorado, which got a minor upgrade in prospects at the cost of $1.25 million and some roster flexibility.