At approximately half-way through the season, the Twins are an unconventionally competitive team, and while we, the fans, seem to still be split on if they should buy or sell at the trade deadline, I, for one think adding a few players could make a playoff run a real possibility.
What do the Twins need? Pitching. Lots and lots of pitching, is the obvious answer. Two decent starters would go a long way towards shoring up this team, and while a healthy Hector Santiago might be one option, questions are still abound.
There are a few other holes that could use patching, but lets start by looking at some starting pitchers who may be available at this years trade deadline.
Any pitcher the Twins trade for should be able to help the team for more than just this season, so I have pretty much eliminated the rental players.
Sonny Gray, OAK: He’s a 27-year-old righty who is under team control until 2020. While he has put up ace numbers in the past, 2016 was a down year for him, and 2017 has not been a lot better. He has a 4.45 ERA, but only a 3.60 FIP, which suggests moving to a defensive team like Minnesota would help him immensely. Likely Cost: The conversation probably starts at Fernando Romero + another top-20 prospect. It could go even higher, if the A’s feel they can rebuild quickly.
Chris Archer, TB: Even though it is the Rays, and they sell high on everything, I think Archer is almost unobtainable. The Rays are making moves that look like they’re buying and he’s a 28-year old ace on a team with real wild-card possibilities. With multiple years of control, Tampa will want a lot, because they are a competitive team in the next couple years. Likely Cost: Three top-ten prospects, plus some spare parts. It could go higher, as Archer is likely to be the best available pitcher, and a bidding war could ensue.
Dan Straily, MIA: A 28-year-old righty with a 3.43 ERA, and all his arbitration years still ahead of him, Straily is a player who can help a team for several years. The Marlins just traded for him this offseason, and sent Cincinnati three top-10 prospects to obtain him. While not off-limits, he would probably be very expensive. Likely Cost: Nick Gordon, and either Romero or Felix Jorge, plus some other pieces
Edinson Volquez or Tom Koehler, MIA: Volquez is basically an older version of Hector Santiago. At 33 years old, and under contract for 2018, he could help the team next season as well. His biggest strength is that he can typically pitch 180+ innings in a season. Koehler is 30, and has a season of arbitration remaining, but is having a down year. his ERA is over 7, which is almost 3 points above his career average. Likely Cost: Zach Granite or John Ryan Murphy might get the deal done for one of these guys. Robbie Grossman might get one of them, plus a prospect.
Jose Quintana, CWS: A intra-division trade is very unlikely, but the White Sox ace is signed for a couple more seasons, and having a bit of a down year. Likely Cost: The Twins would have to blow away the White Sox to make this happen. A MLB player and a couple prospects probably. Eddie Rosario would probably be the start of this conversation.
Jeff Samardzija, SF: Samardzija is signed through 2020, and already 32-years-old, so he will probably not live up to his contract near the end, and would instantly become the highest paid pitcher on the Twins. He has an ace track record, and San Fran could keep him, if they don’t see a 5 year rebuild on the horizon. Likely Cost: A top-ten prospect, or good young player and a top-20 prospect, to start, and likely to go higher if San Francisco thinks they can compete soon.
Which starting pitcher are the Twins most likely to trade for?
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