Minnesota Twins should take a measured approach to July trading activity
After winning 2 in a row against the Los Angeles Angels, the Minnesota Twins find themselves once again in the thick of the division race after falling out of first and then multiple games back. As Wednesday’s games opened, the Twins found themselves just 1.5 games out of first place in the American League Central Division.
After having just picked first overall in the most recent June draft following a rough 2016 season that saw plenty of hope coming into the year and one of the most disheartening second half performances by a team in recent Minnesota Twins memory, fans are understandably conflicted on how to want the team to respond to the team’s current success.
When the Twins drafted #1 in first place, they became the 3rd team to do so. One of those teams was also a Minnesota Twins team, who also, interestingly, chose a more “money conscious” choice by taking the local guy who would sign for less money in Joe Mauer over the guys in the 2001 draft who were considered the top prospects, Mark Prior and Mark Teixeira. While three teams have selected #1 while in first place, only one team who selected #1 in the draft ever finished first in their division/league in the year, and it was none of the ones leading at the time of the draft.
Next week, the Minnesota Twins will have two All-Star representatives, and while the team is not reputed to have a top-rated farm system overall, there are plenty of pieces that could be utilized to add to the team to fill in holes to “go for it” in 2017. The Twins could also choose to believe that they’re still on a building schedule, in spite of their success and choose to make a trade or two of current veteran players to give young players more time in 2017. Which direction should they go?
What if the team didn’t have to choose? It’s certainly possible that they could make moves that improve the 2017 team while not hurting the future team. Let’s take a look back before we look ahead. That 2001 team ends up being a very good example as it remains the team with the best record to have picked #1 overall. Let’s start by examining how that team approached the situation and some of the similarities to the current roster.