A trade to help the Twins finally beat the Yankees in the playoffs

The Blue Jays are looking to sell and the Twins should take advantage.
Toronto Blue Jays v San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

It is getting closer to the trade deadline, and the Minnesota Twins are sitting with one of the best records in baseball.

That should mean they'lll look to bolster their roster to go on a deep playoff run. Specifically, the Twins could -- and probably should -- add a player who has been solid against the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. A strong area of need for the Twins is pitching, specifically left-handed starters.

Enter the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays have said they are looking to trade anybody with expiring contracts at the trade deadline, and there is one name the Twins should keep an eye on.

Twins trading for Yusei Kikuchi could be a total game changer in October

Kikuchi checks all the boxes the Twins might be looking for at the deadline. He is a left-handed pitcher with playoff experience, and his price won’t be as high as someone like Jack Flaherty.

Kikuchi reminded teams of how dominant he can be on July 9 against the San Francisco Giants. The 33-year-old struck out a career-high 13 batters in 7 1/3 innings. Another selling point for Kikuchi is that he has had his strongest performances this season against potential Twins playoff opponents. 

The Twins have struggled against the Yankees in the playoffs with a record of 2-16 since 2003, Kikuchi could help change that. In three starts against the Yankees, he has a 2.76 ERA and 23 strikeouts, holding them to a batting average of .203.

But the Yankees aren’t the only potential playoff opponent Kikuchi has done well against. In two starts against the Orioles, he has a 1.74 ERA, 15 strikeouts, and an opponent batting average of .250.

So far this season, Kikuchi has a 4-8 record with an ERA of 4.00, 111 strikeouts, and his WAR of 1.0 would slot him third on the Twins among starters.

Kikuchi’s numbers aren't exactly eye-catching on the surface and his contract is expiring, yet affordable so adding him to the roster shouldn’t cost a lot. The Twins also had some interest in the starter before he signed with the Blue Jays, and this is the exact type of deal the Twins tend to look at during the trade deadline.

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