3 underrated players the Twins should target at the trade deadline

The Twins are still in the AL Central race and could use some underrated moves at the trade deadline to get a boost.
Which underrated players should the Minnesota Twins target at the trade deadline this August?
Which underrated players should the Minnesota Twins target at the trade deadline this August? / Luke Hales/GettyImages

As the trade deadline nears, the Minnesota Twins look increasingly like they will be buyers.

Twins fans don't need to be reminded about buyer beware, for every win there are even more loses.The Twins are clawing their way back in the AL Central, trailing the Cleveland Guardians by eight games, and are clinging to a Wild Card spot. 

Minnesota needs to be careful not to overspend but to make smart moves that can make them favorites to win the AL Central. The Twins need to add three underrated players to that will help them increase their odds of a deep playoff run.

Where do the Twins need to improve the roster?

When looking into the stats, the Twins have struggled this season against right-handed pitchers, only batting .236, as opposed to against left-handed pitchers, where they are batting .278. The Twins have fantastic offensive players in Carlos Correa and Royce Lewis.

However, they need to add some protection around the pair, or teams will start working around them.

Finally, the Twins have had great production from Joe Ryan, and hopefully Pablo López is starting to find it again, recently striking out 14 batters. However, the rest of the staff has been up-and-down and doesn’t have a lot of playoff experience. Therefore, it will be important for the club to bring in a veteran starter they can trust with the ball in big games.

Brent Rooker, OF, Oakland A's

A familiar face in Minnesota, Rooker started his career with the Twins before moving on and eventually breaking out with the Oakland A’s last season, hitting 30 home runs.

Rooker makes a lot of sense for the Twins, the 29-year-old is on a cheap one-year deal, plays for a struggling team, and adds a lot of power offensively. So far in 2024, Rooker is slashing .256/.333/.496 along with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs. But against right-handers, where the Twins have struggled, Rooker is batting .262 with nine home runs. 

Rooker would strike fear behind Lewis and make teams think twice about walking the Twins star.

If the A’s trade him they will look to cash in on their star, but he won’t cost as much as somebody like Pete Alonso and the Twins offense would instantly become more dangerous.

Brendan Rodgers, 2B, Colorado Rockies

Rodgers is a second baseman on a bad Colorado Rockies team. He is on a cheap one-year deal and would add some nice depth to the Twins infield. 

Rodgers this season is slashing .279/.311/.403 with four home runs and 14 doubles. Rodgers is hitting .259 against right-handers, above the Twins team average, and is batting .353 in June. The 27-year-old was picked third overall in the 2015 draft but hasn’t entirely lived up to those expectations in Colorado, and a change of scenery might help him reach that potential.

The Twins might not have much trade bait, but given that Rodgers is on a one-year deal for a bad Rockies team, he might be a cheap rental that can make a difference down the stretch.

Yusei Kikuchi, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

The last time the Twins and Toronto Blue Jays struck a deal, it worked out well for both sides. This time, the Twins will be the buyers. Might we be in store for another win-win trade?

Kikuchi is a nice fit for a Twins that needs a left-handed starter, Kikuchi’s contract is up after the season, and he is 33 years old. He has been solid for the Blue Jays with a 4-7 record, a WHIP of 1.33, and a 4.00 ERA. He also has made seven quality starts this year, which would be second on the Twins behind Ryan.

Kikuchi would be an important piece for the Twins because he gives manager Rocco Baldelli a left-handed option, and he has a lot of MLB experience to draw on in big moments. 

These might not be flashy moves like Alonso or Jack Flaherty, but the Twins don't really have the pieces to offer for those stars. These players are attainable and offer the Twins a chance to move the needle enough to fight for the AL Central come September, without selling the farm.

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