Minnesota Twins: Was Sam Dyson damaged goods at the trade deadline?
By Chris Schad
The Minnesota Twins thought they bolstered their bullpen at the trade deadline, but with a balky arm, did they get damaged goods?
The Minnesota Twins needed to upgrade their bullpen heading into the MLB trade deadline and there were several factors that needed to be determined to make a deal. If the Twins wanted, they had the depth in their farm system to go get a premier arm such as Will Smith or even Ken Giles, but doing so would shorten their long-term window.
Instead, the Twins decided to take the backroads and obtain a pair of solid relievers that didn’t take as much to obtain. With Sergio Romo acquired days before the trade deadline, the Twins struck an eleventh-hour deal with the San Francisco Giants to acquire Sam Dyson and the bullpen was supposed to be fixed.
More than a month after Dyson arrived in Minnesota, something seemed to be up. The right-hander was destroyed in his first two appearances with Twins allowing six runs in 2/3 of an inning before landing on the injured list with right biceps tendinitis. After a 10-day stint on the IL, Dyson has been solid posting a 2.53 ERA, but those numbers hide a deeper problem.
Part of Dyson’s appeal coming over from the Giants stemmed from his ability to do two things the current Twins bullpen couldn’t do by limiting his walks and keeping the ball in the park. In San Francisco, Dyson was able to do both by offering just seven walks and three home runs in 51 innings, which made the idea of parting with three prospects tolerable.
Unfortunately, the issues which plagued Dyson in his first appearance haven’t gone away since his return from injury. In 11 1/3 total innings in Minnesota, Dyson has already issued six walks and three home runs, which could lead you to believe that this arm issue is more than what the Twins and Dyson are letting on.
Another tea leaf fell in that direction on Wednesday afternoon as Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Dyson returned to Minneapolis early after experiencing “minor soreness” in his biceps. According to Miller, Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said the Twins were “Just trying to get out ahead of the problem,” which begs another complicated question as to how Dyson even got here.
After his first stint on the injured list, Dyson admitted that he was working through an injury that was sustained in Colorado in mid-July. With the trade deadline at the end of July, the question is just how he got through his medical checks and made his way to destroy the Twins bullpen.
Remember, the Giants were not sellers at the trade deadline thanks to a major surge, so if everything was OK, they might not have traded Dyson at all. With what the Twins were offering, however, it might have been enticing to get a couple of lottery tickets (including Jaylin Davis, who was called up by the Giants this week) and see what happens.
What was supposed to be a quick rest to be proactive has turned into a liability as the Twins head into the closing weeks. Perhaps another opportunity to rest his injury may fix the problem, but for now, it appears the Twins got damaged goods.