The 2017 Minnesota Twins are winning games, but have seen some bad pitching. What might the front office be looking to do to address that weakness?
At the All-star break, the Minnesota Twins sit at 2.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians and 1 game back of a wild-card spot. The team’s unexpected success has everyone wondering what will the front office look to do at the trade deadline.
Usually with a team right on the door of the playoffs, the easy answer would be to be “buyers.” As buyers, the Twins would look to solidify a roster that has already seen some success at 45-43. It is a run differential of negative 60 that has many questioning the validity of the team’s success. Causing the question, “buyer” or “seller” to be very much alive.
A tweet from Ken Rosenthal gives more insight on the Twins’ front office’s thoughts concerning any deadline deals:
The obvious is “checking on” does not mean anything is actually going to happen in the form of a trade. This does seem to be the sort of trade that both Thad Levine and Derek Falvey are familiar with from their previous front office gigs.
Potential Trade Targets
The names that Rosenthal offers as potential targets provide some intriguing options for a Twins rotation that is in desperate need of stability. Sonny Gray was highlighted as a potential trade target here in a post published early June. Gray fits the controllable arm description as he is under team control until 2019. His last three outings have been encouraging for a starter who has had some struggles. They also are examples of the performances the Twins have struggled to get from the 3-5 spots in their rotation. Gray has been able to produce 3 games of 6-8 innings allowing 1 or 2 runs in each outing.
Jose Quintana isn’t quite the pitcher we have seen the last several seasons, something that made him a highly sought after asset this past offseason. He would still be a good addition to any team’s rotation. A potential concern would be if the White Sox are looking for a Chris Sale/Adam Eaton type return in any deal for Quintana. Another perceived hurdle is a Quintana deal would require division rivals making a trade with one another.
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of the Miami Marlins is a new name to be linked to the Twins. Something positive about a Straily trade is that he would be under team control until 2020. Looking at him as a pitcher he is not the quality of pitcher that Quintana and Gray are. A concern for any deal involving Straily is considering what the Marlins just gave up to
him, what will they be looking to regain in a potential deadline deal?
Other names not mentioned by Rosenthal that would fit the label of controllable starter and is rumored to be on the market would include Marcus Stroman and Julio Teheran. These two starters likely move the needle much more from a fan’s perspective because they may have the most “ace” potential out of these pitchers. Of course, they are available because there haven’t always been consistent “ace” results in their pitching performances.
The Twins would do well to add arms like this no matter how this season finishes. They are arms that can help the team as they look into 2018 and even 2019 to build on this surprise 2017 season. The question will always be what is the cost to acquire these arms. While the farm system looks re-stocked after a strong 2017 amateur draft and some international signings, the team doesn’t just want to give away that talent either.
If you were the general manager who are you trying to acquire this trade deadline? Maybe more importantly, who are you willing to trade away to acquire an upgrade for the pitching staff. No matter the trade deadline results, this looks like a signal that Twins leadership is growing tired of the mediocre and worse performances from many members of the starting staff. This is one potential way to bring new life into that group.