This morning the Twins find themselves still holding one of the wild card spots by the skin of their teeth should the season end today. But we all know that 1/3 of the season still remains to be played, so what should the Twins do. The Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, and the Texas Rangers are among a number of teams that have already made moves to beef up their teams and the trade deadline is coming up fast. The consensus is that the Twins need to beef up their relief pitching and also need to fill holes at short and at catcher.
GM Terry Ryan has stated several times that the Twins would like to make a deal for a relief pitcher but so far nothing has come to fruition. I appreciate how much the team has improved from the last four seasons but I think I am also being realistic in saying that this is not a playoff team. Yes this team plays good baseball on occasion but not consistently enough to make the playoffs.
I don’t think that the Twins planned on finding themselves in this position when the season began and now they face a difficult decision. Do they mortgage their future for a playoff run this year or do they stick to their plan for solid improvement this season and plan to make a serious run in 2016 or 2017? The declining fan base is watching to see what the Twins will do, do they make some deals to try to strengthen the team or do they stick to what they have and give their youngsters a chance to learn the game and learn how to win. The team is also watching to see what GM Ryan will do, will he try to add some pieces to help the team or will he simply say he tried to make some deals but they just didn’t pan out? A playoff run will help get some fans back to the ballpark while a white flag might signal to some Twins fans more of the same and the season ticket base will fall some more. Ryan is in a no-win situation, no matter which way he goes he will be criticized, but that is why he makes the big bucks. The thing to remember is that if the Twins do make some additions by giving up some prospects and still fall short of the playoffs then everyone loses.
The Twins are between the proverbial rock and a hard spot and the best option might well be to do nothing right now and keep playing the youngsters and watching them learn. The team still has too many holes to be a legitimate contender so let’s look at plugging the leaks this season before we sail off on that cruise to playoff land.
Last but certainly not least I want to mention this about prospects, a prospect is just that, he has proven nothing. A prospect today can be a dud tomorrow. If you trade your 5th best prospect today, you will still have a 5th best prospect tomorrow. Next man up! Look at the rosters of most teams, a lot of their best players started in another organization.