Minnesota Twins: With no reason to wait, they should be deadline buyers
With the trade deadline looming, the Minnesota Twins need to figure out if they are buying or selling. If they are buying, they need to be serious about it.
The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline is less than two weeks away and questions are still floating around the status of the Minnesota Twins. On one hand, the Twins are only 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for first place in the American League Central Division.
On the hand, there has been rumblings from Twins fans saying they should sell and not give up prospects to win this season. No matter what is being said, one thing is for certain: the Twins need to be serious about buying if that’s the route they take.
The Twins are within striking distance of the defending American League champions. The only way to compete is by bringing in guys to help get the team over the top. The Indians are not afraid to invest in guys who can win now. Look at what they did last season. They traded two top prospects for one of the best bullpen arms in the game. They almost traded two other top prospects for an All-Star catcher. The Tribe doesn’t mess around.
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The Indians will be willing to give up talent to win a title again this season if the deal is right. They are not bashful in their attempt to win. The Twins can not be skittish. They need to be willing to give up prospects to get help in areas of need. They don’t need to gut their farm system, but they need to be willing to relinquish some guys to make a true run down the stretch.
The Twins are just a few pieces away from competing down the stretch.
The Twins have the makings of a dangerous team. They have a young superstar-caliber player in Miguel Sano. Their starting pitching consists of an All-Star veteran and young star in the making. Although their bullpen has been rough, they have an All-Star closer in Brandon Kintzler.
They have a veteran leader in Joe Mauer to help guide exciting young players like Max Kepler and Byron Buxton. We, also, can’t forget the spark plug that is Brian Dozier. Dozier’s power and speed, along with his veteran presence can be valuable in helping a young team contend.
The Twins have pieces ready to go. They have a combination of productive vets, young stars and up and coming talent that is constantly improving. They do, however, need a bullpen arm to help the horrendous group they have now. A starting pitcher to go with Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios and Adalberto Mejia will do wonders, as well. With those two additions, this team can compete down the stretch.
What is stopping them?
The real question is, what are the Twins waiting for? The biggest argument against buying is an age old argument Twins fans have used for years: the future should not be gambled away. You mean the future that is already at the big league level?
The Twins have young guys everywhere. Sano, Buxton, Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Berrios and Mejia are all young guys the Twins have been waiting to develop. They are all in the big leagues now, and have been productive just like the front office wanted. It is all going according to plan. There is no reason to not make a move and include prospects.
The Twins farm system is not what it used to be. There is absolutely no reason why anyone besides Royce Lewis is untouchable. They have plenty of farm arms they can keep while giving up others. The Twins can package prospects together to get the big league arms they need to contend. They just need to be willing to do it and realize the future is now.
Trading Dozier and Santana is not the answer.
Two players trade rumors have swirled around are Brian Dozier and Ervin Santana. They both still have another year until they become free agents. Santana has been fantastic for the Twins this season and could be even more valuable in a walk year. Dozier may have the same “walk year” mentality next season and he is in the prime of his career at age 30. They can both be valuable pieces on a championship club, so why not make that club the Minnesota Twins?
Worst case scenario is they walk after next season. The only way they walk after next season is if they contended for the 2018 title. There is still time to trade them next season if they are out of contention, so why do it now when the season is going so well? If they are kept, they can play a role in taking the Twins to the playoffs and beyond.
While the Twins have not been dominant, they still can swing some moves for difference maker arms in both the bullpen and the starting rotation. They have a great mix of vets and young guys on their roster and the can’t miss prospects they had been saving are now impacting their major league squad. They can afford to dump some prospects to try to compete this season. Especially if those targets have some control left on their contracts.
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The Twins need to quit waiting and realize this is the start of what they’ve been waiting for. It’s time to strap in and take the club for a ride. They’ve built for the future well, and the future is now. Hopefully the Twins can be aggressive and make a run at a winnable division. If they don’t take buying seriously, count on the Indians to make some deals and retain the division crown.