Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins trade deadline moves (and non-moves) one month later
By Chris Schad
Not trading Byron Buxton for Noah Syndergaard
Buxton since trade deadline: 2-for-5, 2B
Syndergaard since deadline: 2-2, 4.34 ERA in five starts
The biggest rumor during the trade season was that the Minnesota Twins were hot on the trail of New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The dream of acquiring the man they call “Thor” was a great one for Twins fans as it would give another top pitcher to pair with their ace Jose Berrios and duel with the other playoff contenders in the American League.
While many thought the Mets would simply roll over and get what they could for Syndergaard, that just didn’t happen. As the deadline got closer, word spread that the Mets wanted a mega-deal for their superstar pitcher and that would include parting with established major league talent.
As part of that game plan, the Mets wanted Byron Buxton from the Twins as the centerpiece of any deal for Syndergaard. In a vacuum and extreme hindsight, it seems like a great deal now as Buxton has played in just one game since the deadline due to a left shoulder subluxation and recently had a setback in his rehab.
The issue here is that the deal wasn’t going to be Buxton-for-Syndergaard straight up. The Mets also wanted top prospects in addition to Buxton. Such a deal would have made 2019 a all-or-nothing mission for the Twins and slammed any long-term window they have shut.
With the Twins’ struggles in the rotation (and specifically the struggles of Berrios), it would have been great to land Syndergaard, who has been solid outside of a 10-run blow up against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 28. With the price the Mets were asking, however, the Twins made the right move to pass.