We're three months into the season and the Minnesota twins have officially fumbled their hot start. After beginning the year 4-0, the Twins are in the middle of a five game losing streak and lead a division where not a single team has a winning record.
Somehow the Twins still have a multi-game lead, but that's sort of beside the point. The AL Central is the NFC South of baseball and Minnesota is the coldest ice cube in a tray baking the desert sun.
Anemic offense is the headliner in terms of what's wrong with the Twins, but the bullpen has once again left a lot to be desired. Minnesota has bats in the minors it might be able to rely on to help with offensive struggles but it sounds like the trade market is where assistance in the pen will be found.
It appears the first place the Twins are looking is the last place some fans might want them to.
MLB Rumors: Twins considering Aroldis Chapman trade
While appearing on the Mackey & Judd Show, Darren Wolfson said the Twins have begun doing homework on a potential trade for Aroldis Chapman. To be clear, there doesn't appear to have been any serious discussions of a deal but
"As we trend toward August 1, heck, they've already done some work on Aroldis Chapman. We know the Royals are going to sell," Wolfson said.
Not only have the Twins begun doing homework on Chapman, it appears they'd want to get a deal done "sooner rather than later" and not wait until the deadline in August.
"Every team could use another reliever. So, why not try to get something done sooner rather than later," Wolfson said. "I did talk to [Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey] about that the other day. He said, 'Hey, the seed-planting is underway but a lot of teams are trying to evaluate 'Are we sellers or are we buyers?'"
There are a few different ways to feel about this, the main one is icky.
Chapman is an above-average closer who by all accounts is a substandard human being. He was investigated for alleged domestic violence in 2015, eventually being handed a 30-game suspension as a result.
The details from that incident involve allegations that Chapman choked his girlfriend before firing eight shots from a gun while they were inside of his garage. This didn't stop the Chicago Cubs from trading for him on their way to a World Series victory, nor did it deter the New York Yankees -- the team he was with during the alleged incident -- from re-signing him.
It also clearly hasn't disrupted his career in baseball nor has it caused teams to no longer consider him an option. That's what makes the Twins interest in him particuarly disappointing, as morales have gone out the window in the name of fixing the bullpen.
What this could indicate isn't that an eventual Chapman trade is in the near future, rather the Twins will make some sort of trade before the deadline to boost the bullpen. It's a rther predictable development, as the Twins could have added an arm to the exact same bullpen back in March but elected not to.
Names like Matt Moore, Andrew Chafin, and Michael Fullmer were all considered options but the Twins passed on them all. Fulmer owns a 6.15 ERA with the Cubs, but Moore has been phenomenal with the Angels -- 1.22 ERA in 22 appearances -- while Chafin has been exactly the type of reliever for Arizona that Minnesota is looking for.
Making matters worse is Danny Coulombe pitching well for the Orioles after he was let go by the Twins at the end of Spring Training.
Trading for Chapman will put Twins fans in a tough spot in terms of the personal baggage he brings, but the sentiment seems to be that Minnesota is in the market for a reliever. Given the failure of the trades the front office made last season, and the team's overall lack of success in trading for pitchers, it's safe to say anxiety is building in Twins Territory.