As the MLB Trade Deadline quickly approaches, the biggest question for the Minnesota Twins will be wether to be buyers or sellers.
This shouldn't really be up for debate, since the Twins are division leaders and in contention for the postseason. However, peel back the layers and the situation reveals itself to be a rather unique one in the that the AL Central is hardly a difficult division to win and Minnesota's lead is rather slim.
That's what makes the deadline decision to buy or sell so difficult, with Sonny Gray serving as perhaps the most unique variable of all.
Gray is having one of the best seasons of his career, something that has captured the attention of pitching-needy teams around the league. Starters are always a hot commodity this time of the year, and the Twins appear to have a golden ticket in Gray.
What to do with him at the deadline has sparked fierce debate, so let's break down both sides of the argument.
Yes, the Twins should trade Sonny Gray
This arguement basically comes down to whether the Twins want to seriously compete now or take one more swing at building a contender in the future.
Minnesota has been forever kicking the can down the road to make room for the next Big Move, but at a certain point that needs to stop. However, if there's a situation that perhaps warrants putting off the present to ensure a future, it might be flipping Gray for a haul at the deadline.
One motivating factor could be what happened at last year's deadline. The Twins dipped into the farm system to pull off two splashy trades that ultimately didn't work out. The aftermath is watching the Orioles and Reds thrive with guys like Spencer Steer and Yannier Cano while both Tyler Mahle and Jorge Lopez are no longer on the team (Mahle is still under contract but he's undergoing Tommy John surgery and is likely out until 2025).
The Twins farm system is impressive, boasting top prospects like Brooks Lee and Walker Jenkins, but they won't be impactful members of the ballclub for a few years. If the Twins flip Gray now and further bolster that op prospect pool, it could set the team on a timeline where its best ball is played with guys like Lee, Jenkins, and Emmanuel Rodriguez are all in the Majors.
Add to that how much further along in their development guys like Royce Lewis, Eduardo Julien, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, Matt Wallner, and others will be -- plus team control of Pablo Lopez, Byron Buxton, and Carlos Correa -- and all of a sudden it finally feels like the promise of a bright future will be delivered.
Gray's value has never been higher, and it's rare that the Twins have a trade chip like him at the deadline. Flipping him would be a move for the future but it could be the final piece that sets in motion materialization of the team we've been waiting decades for.