Sounds Like Homegrown Matt Wallner is on MN Twins Trade Block… and He’s Not Mad About It

matt wallner
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Minnesota Twins kicked off their 2024 Major League Baseball regular season, Matt Wallner was on the roster. The Minnesota native (Forest Lake) experienced a breakout rookie season, and then he hit the skids. Now over in St. Paul at Triple-A, it’s worth wondering how long he’ll remain in the MN Twins organization.

Earlier this week Rocco Baldelli was forced into telling Alex Kirilloff a trip back to the minors was on deck. Unfortunately his performance had fallen off the table since April, and a reset was clearly going to be necessary. Rather than promoting a recently scalding Matt Wallner, it was rookie Austin Martin who replaced Kirilloff on the active roster.

Although Wallner struggled mightily when initially heading to Triple-A St. Paul, he has been on fire of late. In 11 games since the calendar flipped to June, Wallner has hits in 10 of them and owns a 1.238 OPS with six home runs.

Doogie suggests Matt Wallner is on Minnesota Twins trade block, and would be “open-minded” to change of scenery

Kirilloff is a left-handed outfield bat, and a straightforward swap could have been an easy decision. Darren “Doogie” Wolfson (SKOR North, KSTP) said in his latest Scoops session on the Mackey & Judd podcast that Wallner didn’t think he was going to be the choice, and that ultimately wound up bearing fruit.

He also dropped some interesting “reckless speculation”, as he called it. At the very worst, however, it sounds more like “informed speculation”, given he clearly has insight that suggests Wallner may not be with the Twins organization after the trade deadline. Not only that, but Wolfson believes that Wallner would welcome a change of scenery.

“Austin Martin coming up. Matt Wallner, I don’t think he thought he was coming up. You could have made a case, lefty bat down, bring up a lefty bat…I just wonder, let’s call this reckless speculation on a Thursday, Matt Wallner is a great trade chip. The Twins have received calls going back the last couple of years. At this point, it looks like Larnach has passed him by. You don’t call up Wallner now. To me, you trade Matt Wallner in July. Something to keep an eye on, I would put it that way. My senses is that he would be open minded to a change of scenery.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (Skor North)

Does trading Matt Wallner make sense for MN Twins?

At this point Wolfson is right in that Larnach has surpassed Wallner. A handful of months ago, that couldn’t have been more of a direct reverse. Wallner has graduated from his prospect status, and his profile isn’t one that should be expected to make multiple all-star games. However, the MN Twins have to be right when deciding which lefty bats they’ll hang onto.

Kirilloff is headed back to Triple-A, and despite significant abilities to hit for average when right, he’s often been going wrong or hurt throughout his big league career. Larnach has shown glimpses of strong production, but has suffered multiple injuries as well. Max Kepler is an impending free agent following this season. There are a good amount of pieces up in the air.

Related: Twins Pushed Disastrous Swing Change on Alex Kirilloff, Causing Massive Slump, Demotion

Moving on from Wallner, when his value is at something of a floor, probably won’t net much in return. If the Twins are going to move on from a Minnesota-native and former first round pick, they best make sure it’s for more than pennies on the dollar.

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