Minnesota Twins: The complicated future of Eduardo Escobar
The case for signing Escobar
As I’ve previously stated, Escobar has become a fan favorite for the Minnesota Twins and it’s not hard to see why. Escobar always has a smile on his face in the dugout and is the type of player that is easy to root for.
The Venezuela native has had to earn every opportunity along the way during his Major League career. He broke into the Majors with the Chicago White Sox during the 2011 season and slowly found his niche within MLB. However, his recent performance has earned him the opportunity at an everyday role.
He has the range and athletic ability to handle the shortstop position and has plenty of arm strength to handle the hot corner. Polanco will return from his suspension during July and likely push Escobar into his more usual utility role. However, if Minnesota turns things around and makes a playoff run, Polanco is ineligible to participate. That makes Escobar that much more important.
It may seem unlikely that the Minnesota Twins can still make a playoff push. However, this team has been operating at far less than capacity all season long. At some point during this season, they will be healthy and that’s when this team will be most dangerous.
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The Cleveland Indians have done little to separate themselves from the rest of the AL Central to this point of the season. Although trading Escobar around the deadline will net a quality return, it will also signal to Twins fans that it’s time to think about next season.
Minnesota has more things to worry about than Escobar being a free agent after this season. They also have tough decisions to make in regards to the futures of Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier. However, that’s a topic for another day, so let’s get back to Escobar.
What the Twins should do with Escobar
Signing Escobar to a long-term contract will provide the Twins insurance in the event they aren’t able to bring back Dozier or Mauer. The future at the keystone will soon be in the hands of the fast-rising prospect Nick Gordon. However, he’s still a little raw and not quite ready to take over the role full-time. That’s why trading Dozier before the deadline makes the most sense.
When the time comes that Gordon is ready to step in and take the reins, it will be nice to have the versatility that Escobar provides. Beyond Escobar’s ability to bridge the gap at the keystone, the Twins would also have him to help at the hot corner.
Without question, Miguel Sano has a ton of potential. However, he has yet to stay healthy for an entire season and with the emergence of Escobar, his best fit on the diamond may be at first base. Hopefully, Minnesota brings Mauer back this offseason. Together with Sano, those two will solidify the first base/designated hitter position.
Next: What should the Twins do in the first round of the MLB draft?
However, if it becomes obvious that the Twins can’t make a playoff push this season, trading Escobar does make sense. With only one caveat, that Minnesota aggressively pursues Escobar during the Winter and signs him as a free agent.