The Minnesota Twins added more depth to their outfield on Friday night, trading for a minor league outfielder from the Seattle Mariners.
The Minnesota Twins are having a rough time on the field these days, but they’re at least trying to gear up for a potential postseason push. With Byron Buxton out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, the Twins added outfielder Ian Miller in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
The compensation toward the Mariners was not disclosed, but it’s likely not a large return according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
Because Miller is not on an MLB deal or has been on a 40-man roster this season, he is eligible to be traded past the July 31 trade deadline. In fact, Miller is still waiting for his major league debut as the 27-year old has been playing at Double-A Arkansas and Tacoma Rainiers since 2015.
So why would the Twins want to pick up a career minor leaguer? Speed.
Miller has swiped 237 bases on 286 attempts, an 82 percent clip, during his minor league career. While his bat has registered just a .699 OPS since being a 14th round pick of the Mariners back in 2013, his value of being added to the organization could come in one of two ways.
Over the past couple of years, teams have been using a specialist just to swipe bases. The best example comes from Kansas City where they first used Jarrod Dyson as a pinch-runner specialist and recently have been using Terrance Gore. With the Twins currently last in Major League Baseball with 25 stolen bases, having some speed on the bench wouldn’t be a bad thing.
The other reason would be more ominous as Buxton still recovers from his latest injury. The Twins had said that Buxton would need two weeks before even being evaluated with his left shoulder subluxation and if things are not progressing at the rate they would like, the speed is going to have to come from somewhere else.
Either way, adding Thomas is a potential way to add some much-needed speed for the postseason push. Of course, that push could be in major jeopardy after the Cleveland Indians tied the Twins atop the American League Central on Friday night.