The Minnesota Twins should be applauded for their 2018 trade decisions
By Matt Smith
The Minnesota Twins have come nowhere near their expectations for 2018, but they made the most out of a disappointing season by making several smart trades.
The Minnesota Twins had high expectations entering the 2018 season. The team was coming off of a playoff appearance, albeit a short one with an all too familiar first round loss to the New York Yankees, and fans reasonably expected 2018 to at least live up to what we saw from the team in 2017.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. The Twins found themselves 6 games under .500 and 7.5 games back from the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central going into the All-Star break. Any hopes of coming out hot after the break and putting together a nice win streak to get back into the mix were immediately squashed following a 3-game sweep by the Kansas City Royals, pushing the Twins to a 44-53 record and 9.5 games back in the division. At this point, trades were inevitable.
The Twins ended up trading Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Ryan Pressly, Zach Duke, Lance Lynn, and Fernando Rodney, receiving a plethora of prospects in return. It’s easy to take a quick look at the names we traded away (include multiple fan favorites) and the names we acquired (likely only 1 or 2 players the average fan has heard of before, at most), and be upset about the moves. But let’s look deeper and see why these trades were moves fans should be excited about.
Like it or not, the unfortunate truth is that the Minnesota Twins were not making a playoff run this year. The first half of the season simply was not good enough for the front office, or fans of the team, to expect the team to turn things around and make the playoffs. At some point, we have to admit that this just isn’t the year. “Only” 10 games back in the division with two months in the season left is 9 times out of 10 far too much to overcome (I’m looking at you, Ervin Santana). It’s no fun, but we have to face reality and accept that it was highly unlikely we weren’t making a playoff run this year, even if we held on to Dozier, Escobar, etc.