The Minnesota Twins were sellers at the 2014 Major League Baseball trade deadline, however, one move they made stood out above the rest. Sure it was nice to see an asset like Kendrys Morales moved, he didn’t seem to be of value to the Twins at the current point in time. The bigger move though was turning waiver pickup, Sam Fuld, into a quality starting pitcher in the former Oakland Athletics, Tommy Milone.
While the deal seems like Terry Ryan was able to pull the wool over Billy Beane‘s eyes, after all, it was just a matter of months ago the Athletics sent Fuld packing in favor of Daric Barton, Minnesota now finds themselves with another issue. Fuld was a commodity that had to be moved when the return was Milone. It was too good of a deal not to make. However, Minnesota now has just three true outfielders on their 25 man roster.
Chris Colabello and Eduardo Nunez are both listed as outfielders by the Twins, but neither are true fits at any of the three positions. Fuld was a defensive player who could cover any of the three outfield positions, as well as occupy a space in the lineup, the Twins now have to replace that.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Radio and Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press are reporting the Jordan Schafer could be the name to watch.
Schafer was recently DFA’d by the Atlanta Braves, and while he was hitting just .163/.256/.213 for Atlanta, he is more than capable in the outfield. A career .222 hitter, he would not be looked at for his bat. The Twins would only be looking to place a claim on Schafer for his ability to cover the outfield as a fourth option.
Currently, Minnesota has an open spot on the 40 man roster (not that making one is a huge deal with some of what is currently on it), so Schafer could be added immediately. Another option would be for the Twins to take a look at Eric Farris. Farris is currently slashing .280/.319/.350 for Triple-A Rochester. He has big league experience and could also fill the outfield void.
An interesting note with Farris, should he be the option, the Twins would likely have to promote someone from Double-A to take his roster spot. The likely candidate, none other than Aaron Hicks. Since being demoted to Double-A New Britain, hicks is hitting .295/.397/.466 with four home runs and 21 RBIs. Hicks was once a top prospect for the Twins, and while the success hasn’t yet translated to the big leagues, the slow progression through the farm system being afforded to him could pay off.
Digging a little further, a Hicks promotion could also cause one other that might be of notice. Byron Buxton is currently at Single-A Fort Myers, and while he is only slashing .264/.343/.451, getting him meaningful at bats in Double-A prior to the 2014 season could be of benefit.
The situation will be one worth monitoring. Also, with the August waiver trade period heating up as the month goes on, Minnesota could find themselves with a couple more options.