Twins connected to potential low-risk trade to help bolster bullpen

It seems Minnesota will be looking for some bullpen help at the trade deadline.
The Minnesota Twins could look to add some bullpen depth at the trade deadline, and make partners with the Los Angels Angels.
The Minnesota Twins could look to add some bullpen depth at the trade deadline, and make partners with the Los Angels Angels. / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Coming into the season there seemed to be one unit that stood out as the most reliable one the Minnesota Twins had. The bullpen was not only ranked among the best in all of baseball, but the team actually invested hard currency to try and help improve things even more.

The fact that the Twins spent money on the bullpen in an offseason where it slashed $30 million out of the payroll is significant. So too is the fact that halfway through the season, the bullpen is the team’s biggest question mark and potential Achilles heel.

Minnesota’s relievers ranks 14th in the league now, after leading the charge heading into Opening Day. Griffin Jax and Jhoan Duran have carried the load, with Josh Staumont proving to be a worthy investment. Other than those guys, the bullpen has been inconsistent and at times a liability late in games.

Caleb Thielbar is close to pitching himself off the team, Jorge Alcalá has been all over the place, and Jay Jackson was DFA’d twice. If Minnesota gets involved at the trade deadline, which is looking likely, there’s a pretty solid case to be made that more resources need to be invested in reinforcing the bullpen.

Twins could land a huge addition to the bullpen at trade deadline

Bleacher Report put together a list of potential trades to look out for, and the Twins landing Carlos Estévez from the Angels was something that stood out.

Estevez trade

“Carlos Estévez had 31 saves and was an All-Star last year, and he has a 3.24 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 with 15 saves in 25 appearances in the second season of a two-year, $13.5 million deal,” Joel Reuter wrote.

That salary figure might seem like a lot for a Twins team that doesn’t like to spend money, but it’s not quite as high as it seems. Estévez is making $6.7 million this season, and it’s unlikely that Minnesota will be on the hook for all of it should a trade happen.

Anything more expensive than the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s borders on being too rich for the Pohlad’s blood, but spending a little money might need to happen. The Twins refused to invest in the team more than it had to over the winter and that plan has come back to bite them. Estévez would add payroll but he could also add wins, especially in October.

It doesn’t even need to be this specific trade idea, as the gist is the Twins need to think about adding some bullpen help at the deadline and can’t get scared off by money.

Something that could scare the team off is prospect capital needed to make a trade happen. Luckily in this case it’s a low-risk gamble. B/R has the Twins sending Single-A pitcher Cesar Lares back to the Angels, which is hardly a steep price.

Lares has been developing nicely in Fort Myers, posting a 3.30 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 46.1 innings at Single-A Fort Myers. He’s way off the trajectory of having an impact anytime soon, and the line of potential pitchers the Twins could call up in the next few years is strong.

The Twins traded a prospect who quickly blossomed for a closer two years ago, and the sting of the Jorge Lopez deal blowing up still resonates. Minnesota can’t be afraid forever when it comes to making a trade and something along the lines of this feels like a good gamble to make.

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