Minnesota Twins: Selecting the best fits for 5 Twins trade candidates

npalmer
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 11: Manager Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on as starting pitcher Lance Lynn #31 is checked by medical staff during the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 11: Manager Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on as starting pitcher Lance Lynn #31 is checked by medical staff during the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 5: Zach Duke #32 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning of the home opening game on April 5, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Mariners 4-2. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

RP Zach Duke

The Twins signed Zach Duke this offseason to be paired with fellow lefty Taylor Rogers as a pretty good left-handed duo in the Twins bullpen. In his first full season back after a very quick recovery from Tommy John surgery, Duke has been performing about as well as the Twins could ask.

After a rough start to the season, Duke has been a very reliable arm for Paul Molitor. From May to the present, Duke has tossed 23.1 innings over 28 appearances and has a 1.93 ERA. Those numbers are much improved off of his 5.19 ERA in the months of March and April. A lot of the improvement can be attributed to simply Molitor beginning to use Duke correctly.

At the beginning of the season, Molitor would try to run Duke out for long stretches and against both right-handers and left-handers. When used as the lefty specialist, as he really is best suited, we have now seen Duke flourish. Which makes sense as his batting average against drops from .294 against righties to .213 against lefties.

Duke will be available and as a veteran left-handed bullpen arm will certainly get some attention on the trade market as contending teams look to load up for their postseason runs. That makes it feel like an impossible task to pick just one potential team but since that is what we are doing here the Los Angeles Dodgers make a lot of sense.

The Dodgers have a left-hander in Scott Alexander who has been putting together an OK season for the Dodgers. Alexander’s season has come with its ups and downs but owns an overall 3.60 ERA. The Dodgers also have left-hander Tony Cingrani who is currently on the disabled list and owns a 4.84 ERA this season. The Dodgers are a team that is ready to win now and another solid lefty would sure help them through the rest of the season and arguably Duke could become their top bullpen lefty.

Trade Partner: Los Angeles Dodgers

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