Minnesota Twins Trade Deadline Preview: Needs and Potential Options
The Minnesota Twins enter the Trade Deadline with a stellar lineup and a truly atrocious bullpen, so their three needs are crystal clear: starting pitcher, relief pitcher, and a catcher who can actually help out the staff. Let’s start with the biggest need:
Starting Pitcher: The Twins’ rotation has had its ups and downs this year, but through the month of July, it’s been a disaster, posting a 7.07 ERA. Joe Ryan (despite his bad start yesterday) and Sonny Gray are good starters, but after that it’s a crapshoot.
Dylan Bundy has had moments, but he is a bad starter overall and definitely can’t be trusted to be your third starter (especially in the playoffs). Chris Archer is good for about two innings a game before becoming the worst arm in the rotation from innings 3-5. Devin Smeltzer isn’t an MLB starter. Bailey Ober is a great back of the rotation arm, but he hasn’t pitched since June first. They need an ace.
We broke down some arms for them to go after here, but with Castillo gone, the Twins need to add one of Frankie Montas, Pablo Lopez, Tyler Mahle, or even someone like Blake Snell to help improve the rotation. If they can add an arm like that PLUS a Jose Quintana, Noah Syndergaard, or Wade Miley rental, that would be a huge step forward.
Relief Pitcher: A lot has been made about the Twins’ bullpen struggles, and they’re all valid concerns. The Twins bullpen has only two legit arms in Griffin Jax and Jhoan Duran, while Jovani Moran, Trevor Megill, Caleb Thielbar, and Tyler Duffey are acceptable but not great. Everyone else has to go.
There’s a lot of arms available out there, but adding a guy like David Robertson from the Cubs or Anthony Bass from Miami then a cheap guy who needs a change of scenery (Lou Trivino anyone?), the team would instantly upgrade it’s bullpen in a major way. If they can make that happen, plus add a true ace, they’re so much better off than they were even a couple days prior.
Catcher: The last need the Twins have is to find a suitable catcher. Gary Sanchez is fine offensively, but his defense has been terrible and he’s really hurting his pitchers. Ryan Jeffers was an excellent defender, but he’s likely out through August. They need another solid defender to help out.
If they are looking for a better catcher, they’re not going to go get Wilson Contreras or Sean Murphy. Jacob Stallings from the Marlins, Tucker Barnhardt of the Tigers, and Yan Gomes of the Cubs could all provide a big defensive boost.