After we accepted that the Minnesota Twins weren’t a playoff team this season, our reasonable next goal should be to shift our attention to next season and beyond. Nobody wants to watch a team put together a poor record for the last few months of the season, but it does the team no good to put out an average at best team for the rest of the season instead of improving their outlook for 2019 and beyond.
Dozier and Escobar were two fan favorites (I am no exception to this), and it hurts to see them traded. But as we move past the heartbreak of seeing them play in a different uniform, it gets easier and easier to recognize that it was smart to trade them as they are both free agents at the end of the season.
In fact, the only player the Twins traded that was under contract past the 2018 season is Ryan Pressly, who is under contract through 2019 (Fernando Rodney has a team option for 2019, and while there’s debate regarding if the Twins should have used that option or bought him out. I personally think he should have been bought out, ending his contract after this season).
Think about it. Dozier, Escobar, Lynn, and Duke were all free agents at the end of the season. There’s been a lot of talk among fans that Dozier and Escobar should have been extended instead of traded, but trading them now does not have any tangible impact on our ability to re-sign them at the end of the season.
The Twins actually did discuss an extension with Escobar earlier this season, which ultimately didn’t come to anything, but does show that they are interested in having him with the team in the future. It certainly hurts to see them go, but it does them no good to hold onto those players and finish the season a few games under .500. When instead the Twins could trade them and get several quality pieces in return while still having the opportunity to bring either player back after the season.
Same goes for Lance Lynn and Zach Duke. There’s simply no reason to hold onto either one of them, so we might as well take whatever we can get for them instead of holding them through the season and getting nothing when they likely do not return to the team in 2019.
As for Ryan Pressly and Fernando Rodney, those were a bit tougher of calls. Despite having several rough outings, I’m a firm believer that Pressly is a good reliever. He has great stuff, it’s just a matter of if it’s on when he’s in or not. He would have been a nice piece for the bullpen next season, but in all honesty, he’s pretty replaceable. The Twins should have no problem finding someone else to take his slot in the bullpen. There’s a variety of different options in the organization already, and there are always options in free agency as well.
With Fernando Rodney, there’s no denying he makes things interesting. But he simply plays with fire too much for me to be comfortable relying on him in big spots in the playoffs (should we even have gotten there in the first place). He had one of the coolest introductions a Twins closer has had in a long time, but besides that, there’s not any major reason why we should be too torn up about parting was with Rodney.