Minnesota Twins: 3 questions heading into the MLB trade deadline
By Chris Schad
Is more bullpen help on the way?
The first domino in the Twins’ deadline plans happened on Saturday night when the Twins acquired Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins. Romo has had a solid year after a horrible April and should be able to provide the Twins with a quality reliever to use at the end of games. It seems simple, but that’s exactly the approach Minnesota should use heading into the deadline.
An example of this wave of thinking occurred in one of the Twins’ biggest mistakes at last year’s trade deadline. With the Twins’ front office fixated on stockpiling prospects, they made the decision to ship out Ryan Pressly despite still having another year of control in 2019.
At the time, Pressly wasn’t considered a top trade target for many teams, but since his arrival in Houston, he has evolved into a lights out reliever. In one full year with the Astros, Pressly has thrown 67 2/3 innings compiling a 1.60 ERA and has seen obscene jumps in his numbers in strikeout-to-walk ratio, WHIP and strikeouts per nine innings.
To acquire this shutdown reliever, all the Astros were forced to give up was pitcher Jorge Acala (currently ranked 23rd in the Twins’ system according to MLB Pipeline) and outfielder Gilberto Celestino (ranked 21st). For two expendable prospects, Houston was able to get a major answer to some of their bullpen questions right before the deadline.
While the Pressly trade may be a move that has put the Twins in their current situation, it’s the type of move the Twins may need to make to solve their problems. With many of the big-name relievers such as Will Smith, Edwin Diaz and Kirby Yates requiring a more lucrative haul of prospects, the trade of Romo shows that the Twins can get an arm without gutting the organization.
It would be great to land one of the names at the top of the list, but the truth is the Twins just need an effective reliever. For instance, in the Twins loss to the New York Yankees on July 24, Minnesota needed just one scoreless inning in the final five to pick up the victory. They couldn’t get it and the Twins wound up losing 14-12 in 10 innings.
If the Twins find a guy that can do their job, it won’t matter if the Twins only paid a couple of guys to patch the holes in their leaky bullpen.