The Minnesota Twins are looking to upgrade their rotation and bullpen and it’s possible that they could achieve both in a package deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The call for the Minnesota Twins to do something at the MLB trade deadline has grown louder as the Cleveland Indians have chipped into their lead in the American League Central. What was once a 12-game lead in the division has shrunken down to 5 1/2 entering the All-Star break and with a pitching staff that has been trending in the wrong direction, there’s a strong urge for the Twins to do something.
In past seasons, those calls have fallen on deaf ears, but it appears that Executive Vice President/Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine are taking a different approach than their predecessors by throwing calls everywhere in order to improve their roster.
One of the teams they have reportedly made a call to is the Toronto Blue Jays, who are well out of contention in the American League East and have made Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles available. While it would be a great scenario to get either of these arms, TSN’s Scott Mitchell reports the Twins are among the teams seeking a package deal to bring both arms to Minnesota.
Stroman has had a unique season as his 5-9 record doesn’t spell top trade target, but he’s pitched well with a 3.18 ERA. While he doesn’t profile as an ace for the Twins staff (that title should belong to Jose Berrios), he does have postseason experience which is something the current rotation does not have. In five career postseason starts, Stroman has gone 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA.
Meanwhile, Giles could be what the Twins need to bolster the back end of their bullpen. While San Francisco’s Will Smith has established himself as the top relief pitcher on the market, Giles has had a comparable season. In 31 innings, the left-hander has compiled a 1.45 ERA with 13 saves and a staggering 15.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
While adding both arms sounds like a great idea, they don’t come without some risk. Giles was placed on the injured list with elbow Inflammation back on June 12, but he wouldn’t miss more than the mandatory 10 days and has been back on the mound since. Stroman has also visited the IL with a right shoulder injury and currently has no timetable for his return.
Both injuries haven’t stopped the Twins from inquiring and Mitchell has heard that the New York Yankees are also interested in acquiring both pitchers. Such a rumor is the start of what should be an eventful trade season for the Twins as they look to win the American League Central for the first time since 2010.