Manuel Margot Stinks but Twins May Still Win That Trade, Thanks to Rayne Doncon

Photo: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (@MightyMussels - X)

As Derek Falvey sought to round out his 26-man roster for Rocco Baldelli this offseason, one of the final pieces to be addressed was the addition of a fourth outfielder that could back up Byron Buxton in center field.

Opting against a Michael A. Taylor reunion, their guy wound up being another veteran, Manuel Margot, who they got in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason, along with SS Rayne Doncon, for minor league SS Noah Miller.

The Margot part of that deal has been an utter disaster. In 96 at bats this season, the newly minted Twin is hitting an abysmal .198 with a .281 onbase % and .508 OPS.

When the Twins looked at outfielders across the free agent landscape, there were more than a handful of names they could have considered. The hope was that Byron Buxton was going to be good to go, and for the most part, he has been.

Were the Minnesota Twins left empty-handed in Manuel Margot deal?

That meant the focus in an acquisition would be a right-handed hitter that could play a strong centerfield defense. Manuel Margot fit that bill, even if he wasn’t the Twins’ first option. The Twins did engage Taylor, but not at the level he thought his production warranted. Looking at his line now, it seems Minnesota was right.

After the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Manuel Margot in the Tyler Glasnow trade, he was something of a throw in for them and certainly available. With money being sent to the Twins in the deal, his cost was minimal.

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Sure, parting with minor league platinum glove winner, Noah Miller, was tough. But he can’t hit, and that remains something of an ongoing problem. So is this one of those classic “lose-lose” MLB trades that nobody ends up remembering? Maybe not

Rayne Doncon could make Twins look genius

Remember the third person included in this deal, Rayne Doncon? He can play shortstop or third base and has a much better bat than both Miller and Margot. Doncon was signed for just under $500,000, out of the Dominican Republic.

The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman recently called the new Twins prospect among the best surprises in the system, so far this year. In 40 minor league games this season, Rayne Doncon is hitting .274 with a .818 OPS, 4 home runs and 19 RBI.

“Doncon was targeted because Twins scouts felt he had untapped offensive upside, and the early returns suggest they were right…Doncon has split time between shortstop and third base this season, but he profiles best at the hot corner as he continues to mature physically.”

Aaron Gleeman – The Athletic

Needing just 38 games at the otherwise offensively difficult Florida State League, Doncon earned a promotion to High-A Cedar Rapids. He will likely spend most of the season there as he’s just 20 years old, but finding quick success in a new organization is something that is certainly welcomed.

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Thankfully the Margot acquisition hasn’t been too damaging for the Twins thus far, and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. could soon come to eat his lunch. Even if he doesn’t end up providing the value they had hoped for at the major league level, upgrading prospect status from Miller to Doncon is something that could benefit the organization for years to come.

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