After weeks of speculation about what the Minnesota Twins should do — buy or sell — it turns out we were all wrong.
Rather than make any moves, the Twins stood pat and did nothing at all at the trade deadline.
There were obvious places Minnesota could have used an upgrade, specifically with a middle reliever or right-handed hitter who can mash lefties, and none of the things they were in the market for would have been particularly expensive to pursue.
Nevertheless, the Twins didn’t do anything other than complete a trade last week that served as a sad culmination to last year’s deadline splurge. One has to wonder whether the debacle of last year’s deadline and the two big trades the Twins made paralyzed the front office out of fear of repeating the mistake.
It could also be, as has been widely speculated, that ownership has ensured Derek Falvey and Thad Levine that they’ll be back next year regardless of this season’s outcome. The moves — or lack thereof — didn’t seem like ones made by a front office that needed to prove itself based on the results of the next few months.
No matter the reason, Twins fans weren’t happy to see the team snooze through the deadline without so much as a whimper.
Derek Falvey explains why Twins didn’t make any moves at trade deadline
After the trade deadline passed, Falvey talked with Bally Sports North about the strategy around not making any moves.
It doesn’t sound like the Twins were uninterested in making a deal, rather the landscape changed and potential trade partners ended up going in a different direction.
“We had some clear buy side conversations with teams that said ’we might be interested in doing a deal like that, we just have to see what happens over the next four to five days’,” Falvey said. “What ultimately happened over those four to five days is things changed. The dynamics changed in their situation and ultimately led to ‘hey, we’re not going to move that player’.”
Falvey didn’t name any specific targets, but he did mention that there were players the Twins talked about potentially acquiring that didn’t get traded anywhere at the deadline.
“There were a lot of player we talked about that were not moved during this deadline that were part of the conversation that we felt might be fits for us,” Falvey explained. “We landed where we did because there wasn’t something that we crossed the bar in terms of what we were looking for.”
It’s not hard to Use some detective skills to determine who those players might have been. Tommy Pham was mentioned a lot in connection to Minnesota but was traded to Arizona, while guys like Brooks Raley, Teoscar Hernández, and Ty France all stayed put.
Framing the deadline as anything other than a stalemate feels like a spin job. The Twins had the chance to get affordable help, but appear to have decided that betting on pieces they already have getting healthy down the stretch is good enough. Royce Lewis and Caleb Thielbar are two guys Minnesota is expecting back in August, but Brock Stewart has already reportedly suffered a setback in his return which shows how thin the veneer of the gamble is.
Minnesota doesn’t need to try hard to win a terrible AL Central, but hanging a hat on that feat isn’t going to go very far with a fan base that is tired of overly measured moves and empty promises about waiting for the future.