Last seasons trade deadline saw the Minnesota Twins send fan favorite Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move that seems to be paying off quite nicely.
The Minnesota Twins had quite the disappointing season last year considering the fact that they made the 2017 AL Wild Card game just the year before. Injuries and down years can do that to a team, no matter what the future looks like, plans can change.
With no post-season in sight, the Twins made a flurry of deadline moves with one of the more notable deals sending Dozier to the Dodgers. The move returned veteran second baseman Logan Forsythe along with prospects Luke Raley and Devin Smeltzer.
Deadline deals can typically signal the beginning or continuation of a rebuild for a team in major league baseball. The Twins made a few of these prototypical trade deadline moves but also one that returned a couple of prospects on the brink of working their way into a major league lineup.
Devin Smeltzer will be making his major league debut against a tough Milwaukee Brewers club tonight. At 23 years old, Smeltzer has had a relatively fast rise throughout the minor league system. To begin the year, Devin made 5 starts at AA Pensacola where he posted an incredible .60 ERA with a record of 3-1. Obliterating the competition earned him a quick promotion to the AAA Rochester Red Wings where he started 4 games going 0-1 yet posting a 1.82 ERA.
While it’s extremely encouraging to see the Twins give Smeltzer such an early shot, it’s also encouraging to see what the front office is doing. With southpaw Stephen Gonsalves working his way back from injury and Kohl Stewart already getting a couple of spot starts with the team this year, it’s nice to see the Twins trying out other in-house options.
The other prospect sent over from the Dodgers is outfielder Luke Raley. Though Raley and the Twins just received some pretty disappointing news in that he may require ankle surgery, Luke has performed exceptionally well this season.
Slashing .302/.362./.516 in 33 games with Rochester, Raley has proven his hitting ability and, before injury, was making his case for the fourth Twins outfield spot. He has 4 stolen bases to go along with 7 home runs this season prior to injury, showing a solid mixture of speed and power. Once healthy, look for Raley to continue hitting his way toward a spot on the Minnesota Twins active roster, if only as a DH or fourth outfielder.
Though he started to struggle a bit last year and didn’t necessarily have his big second-half surge, it was tough parting ways with Dozier. A guy that was mostly overlooked throughout his career ended up being a gem for the Minnesota Twins. While wishing Dozier the best of luck throughout the remainder of his career, it’s exciting to see the trade already producing big-league talent.