3 Minnesota Twins relievers who could be traded if they don’t start stepping up

Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins
Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages
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The Minnesota Twins are in the enviable position of being in first place in the American League Central which certainly looks like a division that no one wants to win right now. Every other team in the division is below .500 which is nice, but trouble appears to be brewing in the Twins bullpen.

While the unit as a hole ranks 13th in the league by fWAR in 2023, the numbers from the month of May have been less kind as the team has dropped to 18th in the league. While their ERA is in line with their season average, their strikeout rate has fallen off a bit and their walk rate has jumped up in a big way. Some of that is just fun in small samples, but there are real concerns that the bullpen's FIP and xFIP portends some more struggles coming.

With the team the class of the division right now, upgrading the bullpen is both one of the easier moves to make during the season (especially at the trade deadline) as well as the types of move that this team needs to make to keep winnable games...well...winnable. One fun way to do that is moves that can be considered addition through subtraction while also allowing the team to target guys with less team control that can help the Twins right now. Here are three relievers Minnesota could trade that would provide a boost to the relief corps overall.

Cole Sands

On the surface, Sands' 1.29 ERA is enticing to keep around and he did perform well in Triple-A this season before getting recalled, but his time in the big leagues highlights some issues. He hasn't been striking out many guys and has REALLY struggled to limit his walks so far which can and will end up biting him if he doesn't get that under control. Moreover, Sands' stuff doesn't exactly lend itself to having a ton of upside especially since he only really works the glove side part of the plate.

Sands could end up being a fine reliever down the road, but his command isn't great right now and this is a team that can't wait around forever. With the amount of team control he has, moving him to a team for a reliever that is more big league ready that will likely have less team control not only would give the Twins a fresh arm, but will also make it less likely that the regression monster comes for Sands while the team is in the middle of a division race.