A little more than 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. Earlier I looked at the starters they might add. Now its time to focus on relievers. Justin Haley coming back from injury should help bolster the relief corp, but there are still a few spots that could be improved.
Relievers cost less than starters, and a rental player here would be more likely to fit the Twins’ strategy, but a guy with some control would still be more likely.
Pat Neshek, PHI: We should be so lucky. The right-handed journeyman has become a fan favorite in many of his stops, and started his career with the Twins. On a more important note to the Twins, he has a 1.17 ERA across 38.1 innings for the Phillies, and has only given up five runs all year. He would be a free agent following this season, which should help lower his cost a bit. Likely Cost: The Phillies have already been rumored to have a standing offer of a low-level prospect, and Neshek is probably the most-coveted reliever this season, so it might take a bit more than a rental reliever would normally garner. A historic comp might be the Matt Capps trade, but if I was the Twins, I wouldn’t go that high. Someone like Daniel Palka would be my top offer? The Phillies have a lot of OF prospects though. Maybe offer Levi Michael?
Addison Reed, NYM: The righty reliever already has more bWAR (1.8) this season than any member of the Twins bullpen (not a difficult proposition, really) and has a 2.40 ERA in 45.0 innings. Likely Cost: His cost probably won’t be as high as Neshek, but another rental player the Twins should not overpay for. Maybe Jonathan Rodriguez? The Mets have a good young first basemen at Double-A, so that might not work, but a player around that level. He’s another player they may have some competition to acquire.
Brad Hand, SD: Another guy with a Minnesota connection, Hand was drafted out of Chaska. His middle name is Richard, so cue up the middle-school level dirty jokes. Hand is still arbitration eligible, and the Twins could get several good years out of an investment. He also has 1.7 bWAR, and has a 2.25 ERA over 48.0 inning, but is a southpaw. Likely Cost: The Padres seem to be emulating the scorched-earth model of the Astros a couple years ago, so could likely be tempted by a young but promising prospect. Someone at Cedar Rapids might interest them. I might be willing to part with a player like Eduardo Del Rosario, since the Twins get a couple years of Hand in the deal.
AJ Ramos, MIA: Ramos hasn’t been as good as some of the other pitchers on this list, but has a couple years of control left. He’s a righty with a 4.08 ERA in 35.1 innings, and has a comparable WAR to Buddy Boshers (yeah, Buddy has actually been one of our better relievers, by that measure.) Likely Cost: Low level prospect. Look at the Kevin Jepsen deal as an example.
Jerry Blevins, NYM: He’s basically a slightly better Craig Breslow, and the Mets don’t sound quite as likely to trade him as they are other assets. He has a team option for the 2018 season, and as a LOOGY has earned a 3.34 ERA in 29.2 innings. Likely Cost: Low level prospects again, but probably slightly more than Ramos. I wouldn’t bother if I was the Twins.
Brad Brach, BAL: Another guy who would have more WAR than any Twin, he has 1.4 bWAR and a 2.68 ERA in 40.1 innings for the Baltimore Orioles. He has arbitration seasons remaining as well. Baltimore may not be a traditional seller, but they have three very good teams in their division, so may be willing to part with minor assets like the righty. Likely Cost: Depends if Baltimore thinks they compete next year or not. If they see themselves competing, they may be willing to take John Ryan Murphy (their MLB/AAA catcher depth doesn’t impress me much.) If they take a longer view, it would look more like Hand.
Drew Storen, CIN: Storen also has comparable value to Buddy Boshers. He would be a right-handed rental as well. Over 37.1 innings, his ERA is 3.38. Likely cost: Basically anything someone will offer. He might even be able to be acquired for cash or a PTBNL, but probably a low minors, low level prospect.
Which relief pitcher are the Twins most likely to trade for?
This poll is closed
Someone else (tell us who in the comments)