Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know some people are still holding out hope for this Twins team but let’s just be honest with ourselves… They aren’t going to make the playoffs. Even if they did (they won’t), they don’t have the personnel, especially pitching, to make an ounce of noise once there. They are 7.5 games out of first place in the AL Central with the Indians leading the way. The Indians won’t regress in the second half of the season, it’s as simple as that.
“Wait, what happened between last season and now? Weren’t they a young and promising team? They should have progressed and not regressed, right? Well yeah, but that’s the thing with baseball, so much can change from one year to the next. It’s actually pretty wild when you take a close look at the adversity the Twins have been up against this year. It’s no excuse and it’s not all just dumb luck. Let’s take a look at the main twists and turns this roster has endured since the end of the 2017 season (Twins roster = roller coaster):
- In the off-season after the 2017 playoff run, the Twins added some “key” free agents that were meant to make an immediate impact for the team. Here are 3 of them:
- Lance Lynn: Up until this season, Lynn had been a very good starter with a career ERA just below 3.5 and since he entered the league, he has only had winning seasons. He must have just decided that he was going to take this year off because he has a 7-7 record and an abysmal 5.22 ERA. Nice. (He’ll be a free agent after this season)
- Addison Reed: A reliever that has been bad up to this point in the season with a 1- 5 record and a 4.83 ERA. How do you even do that bad out of the pen, I mean my God. Embarrassing. He was actually a really good player before this season with an ERA less than 3.0 (average) over the last 4 seasons. That’s a serious step backward.
- Logan Morrison: This is the trashiest trash of the three trash free agents that I listed. He’s hitting .193 (BA) on the season with 11 home runs. He had an anomaly of a season last year by his standards with a batting average of .246 and 38 home runs. He wasn’t expected to be great but he WAS expected, however, to at least be able to hit his own body weight (245 lbs) and provide some power. But no and DON’T look for him to do much better.
- I left out a couple signings because I don’t want to go in depth on them.
- They’ve also been plagued by injuries to players that had major roles in Minnesota’s playoff push last season. Again, not all dumb luck (I will explain further in another blog)
- Ervin Santana: Has missed entire season so far with a messed up finger. (He’s the ACE by the way)
- Byron Buxton: Has had toe and hand issues that have held him to just 90 ABs this season in the Majors. (One of the best defensive outfielders in the MLB)
- Miguel Sano: Has been a human injury. (Can hit the ball really far)
- Lastly… Suspension:
- Jorge Polanco: Was suspended at the beginning of the season for 80 games. This one was a bummer. (Young talent who has a nice glove and bat)
With the struggles the Twins have had this year (compared to last season) and the trade deadline quickly approaching, they have some decisions to make. Unfortunately, they don’t have much to deal with as far as trade assets go. There are three guys that are being shopped who are worth something; Eduardo Escobar, Brian Dozier, and Fernando Rodney (the Red Sox have expressed interest to get another arm in their bullpen). What it comes down to is how much the other teams are willing to give away for each player. If they were to deal one of their guys, it would one of the two infielders, not both. And then we can all pray to God that they can get a some assets or just one in return for Rodney. He’s 41… Get him out now. Also, he could be a nice piece for the Sox World Series run so they might be willing to give up a prospect or two. In regards to the market for teams trying to acquire an infielder, not too many teams are in need of a half a season rental. The Brewers are a team in the playoff hunt and are in major need of a quality infielder. So Dozier and Escobar are very good options. And don’t overlook the Brewers come postseason either, because with the quality pitching they have, they could have a nice playoff run. The problem is that with the Dodgers adding Machado, they don’t need an infielder anymore and there aren’t many teams looking to bid heavily on these two guys, especially because it’s unknown where they’ll go next season since they will be free-agents. This effectively minimizes the Twins trade leverage.
So what should Twins fans want?
Get rid of Rodney. If another team is willing to give up some sort of a prospect or player on their roster right now, they should do the trade. As long as they aren’t a 29 year old minor leaguer who is having the season of his life and won’t pan out to anything down the road. The other thing that Twins fans should want is for one of the two infielders to be traded. I’d say Dozier because he’s probably worth more and it’s all about what they can get in return. I know that hurts and it would be tough to see Dozier out of Minnesota halfway through the year, but it’s just reality. The price has to be right, though, the Twins won’t give him away for nothing. He will be a relatively high-key free-agent after this season and someone is going to overpay for him because he is one of the only power hitting second basemen in the league. But that’s a subject of its own for another day. For right now, the Twins need pitching in order to have success in the future. They need prospects or guys that can play right now. They have absolutely whiffed on pitchers in the last 8 years or so in the draft and they’re pretty thin for quality prospects coming up through their farm system and they obviously can’t scout free agents well at all. But anyway, the Brewers have plenty of pitching right now so if the Twins can land one or two solid arms who are either on the 40 man roster right now or in the Brewers farm system, I say do the trade. The Brewers are probably going to be hesitant to dish anyone on their current 40 man roster, though, because they don’t want to disrupt what they have going. The players the Twins bring in (if any) have to be good or at least have a high ceiling and they have to have contract stability because it would do them no good to have a guy for a year and watch him walk away. And knock it off with these 30+ year old guys who have already peaked in their careers, I mean, Christ. It’s just annoying. The Twins have good, young infielders and at least one stand out outfielder coming up in the minors right now so I don’t think the concern should be with position players, especially with the guys they already have on their team. Pitching, pitching, pitching… You can’t win without it. And with the job they’ve done with their most recent free-agent signings, they better take a closer look at who they’re bringing in because that’s just embarrassing. Time to start loading up on pitching and I’m not talking about 41 year old relievers on the last leg of their careers.
To sum this up, I’m not sure if the Twins WILL trade or not but they definitely should if they can get something good back. Hopefully they can set themselves up well for future success.
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