With four days left until Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Twins find themselves in an interesting position, as they became buyers by acquiring lefty Jaime Garcia from the Braves on Monday, but they have started to field calls as sellers after being swept by the Dodgers.When the Twins traded for
With four days left until Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Twins find themselves in an interesting position, as they became buyers by acquiring lefty Jaime Garcia from the Braves on Monday, but they have started to field calls as sellers after being swept by the Dodgers.
When the Twins traded for Garcia, they were 2 1/2 games back of the Indians in the American League Central and one game behind the Royals for the second AL Wild Card spot. But after being swept, they're now 5 1/2 games behind Cleveland and four games back of Kansas City.
The Twins aren't expected to be full-fledged sellers, but there is interest in closer Brandon Kintzler, second baseman James Dozier, right-hander Ervin Santana and even Garcia. A strong series against the A's could alter things, but as of now, the Twins are cautious sellers more than buyers, although improving the bullpen remains a priority and they did trade for relief prospect Gabriel Moya on Thursday for catcher John Ryan Murphy. It's sure to be an interesting leadup to the Trade Deadline. Here's this week's Inbox.
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The Twins are in a tough spot, as the Indians and Royals are surging and Minnesota must decide if it can compete this season. The schedule eases up after a grueling second-half stretch against the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers, which could help the Twins stay in contention.
The Twins were never likely to be big buyers at the Trade Deadline, but it now appears they're more primed to be sellers, as they're at least listening in on calls for Kintzler, Dozier, Santana and Garcia.
Santana and Dozier remain under contract through next season, which gives them more trade value, but they're also key members of the team and a trade would be unpopular in the clubhouse. Kintzler and Garcia, both impending free agents, are more likely to be dealt.
If the Twins are to sell, Kintzler is the most plausible candidate given his contract situation. He was an All-Star this year and gets ground balls at an elite rate to make up for his lack of strikeouts. Grossman possesses strong on-base skills, and he is under team control through 2020, though his is not a name I've heard among trade candidates.
It was a bit surprising to see the Twins acquire a rental player in Garcia, but they didn't have to give up any of their elite prospects in the trade and Huascar Ynoa remains a long way from the Majors.
At this point, acquiring a rental doesn't make as much sense after their slide in the standings this week. They're more interested in players under team control beyond this year.
Gordon, ranked as the No. 34 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is perhaps Minnesota's top trade chip among their prospects, and he would likely be key to a deal for a controllable starter like A's right-hander Sonny Gray. But the Twins love Gordon's upside, and he could be the starter at shortstop by next season, so trading him is unlikely, especially given Minnesota's place in the standings.
Ynoa, 19, is so young and far away from the Majors, it's hard to predict how he'll turn out, as he's not likely to reach the big leagues until roughly 2022. Burdi is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but with his velocity he could be in Minnesota's bullpen by late next season. It's worth noting Burdi is ranked as the club's No. 28 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, while Ynoa didn't enter Minnesota's Top 30. In that sense, the Twins traded a lesser prospect, so I like this version better.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.