The MLB Trade Deadline is almost here, and the Minnesota Twins have done nothing on the field to help make their decision about how to approach it any easier.
A weekend sweep at the hand of the lowly Kansas City Royals further muddies waters that have been murky and hard to read all season. A strong contingency of Twins fans believe the team should sell at the deadline, while others believe such a thing sends the wrong message and is essentially waving the white flag.
Brandon Warne put it perhaps best, pointing out that selling at the deadline is exactly the type of loser behavior that guys in contract years don’t engage in. Rocco Baldelli, Derek Falvey, and Thad Levine all need to demonstrate to ownership that they have a handle on things, and selling at the deadline is not something any of those three are likely to benefit from long term.
Still, there’s a pretty serious debate raging about what to do with Sonny Gray. He’s been by far the Twins best pitcher this season, and is a golden ticket at the deadline. Contenders are always looking for starting pitching, and the Twins might have the best trade chip in that category with Gray.
The question becomes do they flip him and cash in, or get serious about being contenders themselves and keep the exact thing other teams fighting for a World Series want?
Twins Rumors: Minnesota listening to offers for Sonny Gray, Kenta Meada
According to Dan Hayes over at The Athletic, the Twins are getting calls about not only about Sonny Gray but also Kenta Maeda and are open to listening to offers for both.
Hayes points out that listening to calls doesn’t equate to anything actually materializing, but it’s in Minnesota’s best interest to do its due diligence as the deadline approaches.
“Exploring what they could get is wise, especially with some of the hauls the Chicago White Sox received this week in trading away rental players,” Hayes writes. “Contending teams in need of starting pitching are desperate with few certain sellers on the market, and the Twins could potentially receive more in a trade now if one of those clubs grossly overpaid.”
This is the fine line the front office is walking. If Gray or Maeda are traded, it’s a pretty clear signal that the team is not serious about contending. Sure, the Twins might still make the postseason without Gray but winning the AL Central is not something to be particularly proud.
Imagine the Twins do get into the postseason and the offense does wake up but Gray is somewhere else. It would be hard to not see this as yet another boneheaded failure by the organization that leads to another quick exit from October ball.
As Hayes point out, though, the Twins are in possession of a rare trade chip that could help secure a nice package of top prospects. It’s tempting, but it’s also on-brand for a team that has habitually kicked the can down the road in situations like this, banking on the future and forever stuck trying to setup its next move that ultimately never comes.