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) /
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Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Wade Miley delivers against the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Starting Pitching Trade Target No. 5: Wade Miley, Chicago Cubs

Wade Miley‘s situation is unique from any other pitcher the Twins will take a look at during this trade deadline season in that there’s no assurances we’ll see Miley pitch again before the deadline. Miley, who’s been out since June 11th with a shoulder strain, has started just four games this year. So why him?

Well, in all of 2021, Miley was excellent, going 12-7 with a 3.37 ERA (3.95 FIP), and striking out 125 batters over 163 innings. He continued that success to start this year too, posting a 2.84 ERA (3.28 FIP) and while his xFIP was high, he looked like his typically very good self.

Miley has also been a very good playoff starter too, so if he returns to good health, a playoff rotation of Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, and Wade Miley would look really strong for a team that’s had questionable playoff starters in the past.

The last thing Miley has going for him is his price tag would probably be pretty cheap given his lack of a track record in 2022 and the fact that his contract expires after 2023. If the Twins feel comfortable with his medicals, he’s worth the risk to get a legit starter for cheap.

Minnesota Twins
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Starting Pitching Trade Target No. 4: Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks

We’re now reaching the part of the list that if the Twins wanted to get any of these pitchers, the team would have to commit some serious assets to get, starting with Arizona Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly.

For the past few years, Kelly has always been billed as a pitcher that had some talent but wasn’t quite reaching his potential as a top of the line guy. This year, he’s found a way to make it there. So far this year, he’s 7-5 with a 3.46 ERA (3.41 FIP, 3.57 xERA).

His baseball savant numbers are good too, backing up what’s been a breakthrough year for him, and he’s under contract through 2024 with a team option for 2025. The only issue for teams trading for him is just how much he’ll cost.

For a pitcher with three years of team control posting near-frontline numbers, any team that tries to land him will have to surrender a lot of assets to do so, and it’s pretty unlikely the Twins would be interested in that. With that being said though, i’m including him on this list because he’s got real talent, and the Twins would be wise to at least check in on him.

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Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves. /

Minnesota Twins Starting Pitching Trade Target No. 3: Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds

The last pitcher in this tier of starters is Tyler Mahle. I won’t beat a dead horse too much here, as I’ve wrote time and time again about how Tyler Mahle is the perfect trade fit for the Twins in 2022.

He’s been a frontline starter for the past three years and is stuck on a team that’s desperate to trade everyone that isn’t tied down. For those teams that don’t want to (or can’t afford to shell out for the last two names on this list, Tyler Mahle is the best pitcher available.

It’s all there in terms of what the team is looking for. He’s got excellent stuff, is under contract through 2023, and would be a great fit in a playoff rotation. If the Twins don’t at least inquire about his price tag, the team is missing out.