Minnesota Twins: Top SP Trade Candidates for the Twins to Target

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas throws a pitch against the Boston Red Sox. (Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports)
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas throws a pitch against the Boston Red Sox. (Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 4
Minnesota Twins
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies throws a pitch during the first inning at Petco Park. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Starting Pitching Trade Target No. 8: Zach Davies, Arizona Diamondbacks

The first three pitchers on our list represent a modest upgrade over the likes of Smeltzer, Bundy, and Archer, but an upgrade all the same. They’re all solid arms, but not guys you would want starting Game One (maybe not even the answer for a third playoff game (you’d probably want to roll with Bailey Ober instead), but they’ll get the job done until you get there.

Zach Davies is the perfect example of that very solid pitcher. Over the last eight years (with the exception of 2021), Davies’ ERA, FIP, strikeout, and walk numbers have all been very similar. He won’t wow anyone with elite strikeout totals, but he consistently will put together five or six solid innings and will keep his team in games.

No after saying all this, it’s pretty understandable if no one is in love with Davies. He’s not the dream trade target that some of the other pitchers on this list might be. That’s okay. The Twins have other, more pressing, needs to address. Adding Davies would allow them to focus more on those other needs.

He’s very reliable, would be boosted playing at Target Field, is on a cheap deal, and is only under contract for this season, so the Diamondbacks would likely part with him for cheap. If he comes back strong from his current IL stint and the Twins want to make a big splash elsewhere during the trade deadline, the team would be wise to add Davies as an extra arm.

Minnesota Twins
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Kuhl delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Starting Pitching Trade Target No. 7: Chad Kuhl, Colorado Rockies

Chad Kuhl is right in the same mold as Zach Davies. He’s been fairly consistent throughout his career, doesn’t offer much in terms of raw stuff or elite numbers, and is pitching on a one year contract.

Where I give Kuhl the advantage is the fact that his numbers are slightly better, despite the fact that he’s been in Colorado all season. A notoriously tough place for pitchers to succeed, Kuhl’s numbers have been very good. He also proved himself against tough competition when he put together a three hit shutout win against the Dodgers a week ago.

Similar to Davies, he’s not gonna magically fix the rotation and i’d hesitate to make him a starter in the playoffs, but he’d be a strong addition to the team that allows Chris Archer to work in a role that’s better suited for him.

Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jose Quintana delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Starting Pitching Trade Target No. 6: Jose Quintana, Pittsburgh Pirates

The final pitcher in this first group is Pirates starter Jose Quintana. Quintana is different from the other pitchers on this list in that he’s a little older, has some playoff experience, and has performed better than the other two this season

Quintana is on a cheap, one year deal with the Pirates and has bounced back in a big way, posting some of his best numbers since 2016 when he was considered a tried and true frontline starter for the Chicago White Sox.

If he continues pitching like he has in the first half after he’s inevitably traded, the Twins (or whichever team that lands him) will likely have their third starter for a playoff run. He’ll cost a little more, but it’ll be worth it.