A couple of days ago, I released a list of players that the Twins could acquire from teams that will almost certainly be selling in June or July. Even with a loss to the Brewers on Monday, not everything has fallen apart, and the Twins are still very likely going to make the playoffs and win their division. They still have a 10-game lead on Cleveland in the Al Central.
Thus, a postseason run could be in order for the hometown nine, and Falvine will likely add to their current talented roster to equip the team for a chance at going all the way to the World Series. To do so, it seems likely that they will upgrade on pitching in some way, shape, or form, so this post will focus exclusively on pitchers that the Twins could acquire. Here’s a refresher on some on the names that I threw out in the last post, the Surefire Sellers:
Twins Trade Targets - Surefire Sellers
|Toronto Blue Jays||SP Marcus Stroman (R)|
|Toronto Blue Jays||RP Ken Giles (R)|
|Baltimore Orioles||RP Mychal Givens (R)|
|Kansas City Royals||RP Ian Kennedy (R)|
|Kansas City Royals||RP Jake Diekman (L)|
|Chicago White Sox||RP Alex Colome (R)|
|Chicago White Sox||RP Kelvin Herrera (R)|
|Detroit Tigers||RP Shane Greene (R)|
|Detroit Tigers||RP Daniel Stumpf (L)|
|Seattle Mariners||RP Roenis Elias (L)|
|Miami Marlins||RP Sergio Romo (R)|
|San Francisco Giants||SP Madison Bumgarner (L)|
|San Francisco Giants||SP Jeff Samardzija (R)|
|San Francisco Giants||RP Will Smith (L)|
|San Francisco Giants||RP Sam Dyson (R)|
|San Francisco Giants||RP Tony Watson (L)|
|San Francisco Giants||RP Mark Melancon (R)|
This next group I have titled as Probable Peddlers, featuring teams that will likely deal at the deadline, but could still have some playoff aspirations at this point. Not all these players may be available or targets of the Twins, but they are all possibilities as we continue to draw closer to trade season
SP Mike Minor (L)
RP Shawn Kelley (R)
Texas likely should have been featured in the first group of teams, but they are playing .500 baseball through the first 50+ games of the season. Minor is having a breakout year as a 31-year old starter for the Rangers, sporting a 2.55 ERA and a 9.2 K/9. The southpaw has another year left on his deal with the Rangers, making him more than just a rental. Kelly is a 35-year-old righty with a team option on his contract for 2020, and has been solid the past two seasons (2018=2.94 ERA, 2019=2.55 ERA). Both would be pitchers that the Twins might wait a bit to see if their success is sustainable, as Minor has been a number-four type starter for most of his career and Kelly recently came off an injury. Both could be intriguing targets if their quality pitching continues.
RP Hansel Robles (R)
RP Cody Allen (R)
RP Cam Bedrosian (R)
The Angels could end up turning into buyers at the deadline, but I chose to put them in this category instead with the injuries that they have sustained and the poor pitching that has hampered their playoff chances. Robles is a flamethrower that averages 96.4 MPH on his fastball, but hasn’t been able to but together a consistent run of success. However, if the Twins could harness his talent, he could be a quality setup man. Allen has been bad for the Angels, but is on a one-year deal and has a history of success, and could be worth a flier if he starts pitching better. Bedrosian may be the most interesting of the bunch, as he currently sports a 3.04 ERA and a 9.9 K/9. Like Robles, Bedrosian’s contract runs until the end of the 2021 season.
RP Sean Doolittle (L)
The Nats could turn it on with a talented lineup and a trio of aces, but they currently sit nine games below .500 with the third-worst record in the National League. Their bullpen has been their biggest area of concern, making them an unlikely trade match with the Twins. They do have the lefty Doolittle as their closer, who almost certainly will be traded if the Nats becomes sellers at the deadline. Doolittle has posted a 10+ K/9 every year since 2016 and would likely be a big boost to Minnesota’s bullpen as a two or three month rental.
SP Chris Archer (R)
RP Felipe Vazquez (L)
RP Francisco Liriano (L)
Pittsburgh sits just a game below .500 about a third of the way through the season, but they are also in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. They also have a horrendous run differential of -68, indicating some regression. The Chris Archer deal with the Rays seems to have backfired on them, as he sports a 5.75 ERA in 2019. With team options in 2020 and 2021, there’s a chance the Pirates decide to cut bait if they can get a good enough return. Vazquez is one of the best closers in the game (1.57 ERA, 14.5 K/9) and would come at a significant cost as his contract runs through the 2021 season. A Liriano return to the Twins could be fun, as the former Minnesota all-star has been great this season out of the bullpen with a 1.09 ERA and a 11.6 K/9.
SP Jon Gray (R)
RP Bryan Shaw (R)
RP Scott Oberg (R)
Gray was a former top prospect, but has struggled a bit (as well as showing flashes of good pitching) for the Rockies. He has posted more than a strikeout an inning the past three seasons, and the stuff is there. He is under contract through the 2021 season, and maybe the Twins could find an adjustment for him that would turn him into the pitcher that he was once expected to be. Shaw is a serviceable middle reliever without much swing-and-miss in his game, and would be a middle to back end of the bullpen piece. Oberg is having a quality year with a 1.88 ERA and also posted a 2.45 mark last year, but he likely wouldn’t be more than a middle relief guy as well. Shaw’s contract expires this year (with a team option for next season) while Oberg would be under team control through 2021.
RP Raisel Iglesias (R)
RP Amir Garrett (L)
RP Michael Lorenzen (R)
Iglesias would be a guy that the Twins could slot in the back of the bullpen for late inning duties, as the 29-year-old features some pretty nasty stuff as the Reds’ closer. He isn’t having his best year with a 3.20 ERA so far, but that’s not a bad mark for “down” season. He has posted double-digit K/9’s in each of the past three seasons. Garrett is a former starter who flipped to the bullpen in 2018, and is having a sublime 2019 campaign with a 1.96 ERA through 23 innings. His is also striking out 14.1 batters per nine innings and has limited lefties to a .587 OPS. Lorenzen sports a 2.54 ERA through 28.1 innings, and would profile as a middle relief option. He is also occasionally used as a hitter for Cincinnati with six career home runs (including four last year) and a career .749 OPS over 101 plate appearances. He has made some cameos in the outfield as well, and is probably one of the buffest guys in major league baseball (see below). Lorenzen and Iglesias’ contracts run through the 2021 season, while Garrett would be under team control through 2023.
Let me know which of these players you would like to see on the bump for the Twins, or if there are trade targets on these teams that I didn’t mention!