The calendar has turned to July, which leads to one of the most exciting parts of the season: the trade deadline. With the Twins having less and less of a chance of making the playoffs, it appears that they should be looking to sell. With multiple players on expiring contracts currently on the roster, there should be plenty of enticing options for teams that are still in contention. Therefore, let’s look at some trade destinations for current Twins players.
Reasoning: The Red Sox having been patiently waiting for the return of Dustin Pedroia, though Brock Holt has done well filling in while Eduardo Nunez has not. If Pedroia suffers a setback while attempting to return from his knee surgery, Boston may consider Dozier as an upgrade which would also move Holt back to his typical super-utility role. Cleveland has been waiting for Jason Kipnis to return to form but have been patient as Erik Gonzalez is their only other player to appear at 2nd base, while the Dodgers have been hoping for anyone from the Logan Forsythe/Austin Barnes/Chase Utley trio to start hitting. The Brewers might be the best fit, even after acquiring Brad Miller from the Rays. While Miller is not a good defender, he’s had more major league experience at shortstop compared to Dozier, plus Jonathan Villar has been adequate at 2nd base. With Dozier struggling, the Twins will probably have trouble themselves pulling off a trade, especially when teams will be more likely to line up for Eduardo Escobar.
Prediction: No trade
Reasoning: While I’ve already addressed the Brewers, Escobar offers a stronger defensive profile than Miller. Adding Escobar would allow Miller to spend more time as a utility player while Escobar would take over as an everyday player. The A’s have handed every single inning to Marcus Semien at shortstop, who has greatly improved his defense but is no longer hitting as well. Nick Ahmed of the Diamondbacks primarily plays due to his defense, though he’s added more power lately. As for the Phillies, they look like an attractive destination because they need help at both shortstop and 3rd base. Shortstop had been primarily manned by prospects J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery, of which neither were hitting. The one infielder that did have success was former Twin Pedro Florimon until he hit the disabled list with a broken foot in late May. Meanwhile, Maikel Franco hasn’t offered much with the bat or the glove at the hot corner, meaning Escobar’s services could be utilized at two positions.
Lance Lynn / Jake Odorizzi / Kyle Gibson
Reasoning: Boston has the top four rotation spots set but they need to figure out if Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright, or someone else rounds out the rotation. The Yankees were reportedly scouting Gibson and they’d like to upgrade over Sonny Gray and Domingo German, along with Masahiro Tanaka’s ticking time bomb of an elbow. The A’s are now handing starts to Edwin Jackson, so that tells you how the back of their rotation has performed. Colorado plays in Colorado, though impressively they’ve only used 5 starters this entire season, though that will change after they optioned struggling yet really good starter Jon Gray to Triple-A. Tyler Chatwood has been essentially like Lance Lynn for the Cubs.
Prediction: Obtain one of those spinners from The Game of Life. Label each number as one of the playoff contenders. Then, acquire a Twister spinner. Label each section with one of the three Twins pitchers above. Spin each spinner. That is my prediction, because everyone needs pitching.
Zach Duke / Fernando Rodney
Teams potentially interested: Well... everyone, but I suppose I’ll name the Indians, Rockies, and Cardinals
Reasoning: Like with starting pitchers, teams will always have the desire to improve their pitching. The Indians have especially had issues with their bullpen as Andrew Miller has been hurt and Zach McAllister, Nick Goody, Tyler Olson, and Dan Otero have all struggled this year. Colorado is still pitching in Colorado, though to make things worse, they spent a lot of money on Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw only to watch it backfire. The Cardinals could use a reunion with Zach Duke as they haven’t had much production from fellow lefties Brett Cecil, Tyler Lyons, Ryan Sherriff, and Austin Gomber.
Prediction: Rodney to Cleveland, Duke to St. Louis