5 MLB Trade Deadline Wants for the Twins (open to all!)

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Hello readers, this is an excerpt from yesterday’s column that was sent to the 5 Thoughts member community. It’s an example of 1/5th of the goods that group gets each week.

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1. MLB Trade Deadline wants for the Twins

Here in the 5 Thoughts community, we’re familiar with certain days on the baseball calendar, and most of them are different this year. One of those changed dates, “Assess Your Lot” Day is today, Tuesday. Let’s celebrate.

Assess Your Lot day is a predetermined time on the schedule to decide if you’re a buyer or seller, and the Twins, you’ll agree, should be buyers this year. So what is their biggest area of need?

Third base? I don’t think so. Josh Donaldson should eventually play for the Twins again, and Marwin Gonzalez has filled in admirably at times. The Twins do currently have the A.L.’s second-lowest offensive output from third base as measured by Weighted On-Base Average, which is why I include the position here with a question mark. But, again, Josh Donaldson.

Second base? If Luis Arraez is healthy, I don’t think it’s foolish to expect better results than he’s had so far this year. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he’ll be better than your league-average second baseman the rest of the way if he’s healthy. So that’s the baseline, for me, and you’d have to know you could make a big jump from that production to consider a trade.

Catcher? Despite Mitch Garver’s injury, I’d be surprised if the Twins are willing to part with future value when they have Alex Avila on the roster, plus the rookie Ryan Jeffers. And eventually, Garver should return and, they’ll hope, return to crushing baseballs again.

Starting pitcher? I expect that this will be the most popular cry from fans this week and I don’t blame them at all. How in the heck are the Twins going to hold this rotation together when there are question marks about every single hurler not named Kenta Maeda? Still, barring some unforeseen bargain for a playoff rotation starter, I would be tempted to gamble on health and effectiveness from track-record guys like Rich Hill, Jake Odorizzi, José Berríos, and then expect good things from Randy Dobnak and Michael Pineda. Consider Homer Bailey’s additions gravy at this point. Four of those guys are making postseason starts and any trade acquisition would need to be a meaningful upgrade in expected production or durability or both.

Relief pitching. Despite a strong bullpen, this is where I’d be most tempted to add value. I perceive the Twins to have at least two tiers of relievers, and you can see based on how they use them which pitchers that *they* believe fit those categories. Last year the Twins had postseason relief appearances from Zack Littell, Cody Stashak and Kyle Gibson. Personally, I would want to rely exclusively on Tier 1 relievers in October if I could afford to. The fact that they’ll need 13 wins in a four-round postseason influences my thinking here.

In my book, the Twins’ Tier 1 of relievers currently includes Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Tyler Clippard and Taylor Rogers. Sergio Romo probably belongs in that group, too. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like Matt Wisler or Jorge Alcala or a few other guys – I’m just not so sure I’d want to bet my entire season on one inning of their work against a juggernaut in October.

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BONUS: I taped a podcast with my friend Ramie Makhlouf this week. Link to listen. The podcast is free and made possible by contributing members of the 5 Thoughts community.