The MLB non-waiver trade deadline of July 31 is coming up fast, just slightly over a month away. I am an old-timer, I admit it, I miss the good old days when baseball trades were made based on the skills of the players and the needs of your ball club. Today it is about the money, how long you can control the player, no trade clauses, free agency and who knows what else. Today’s star players are often traded for minor league players with potential for the future. I hate those kind of trades because you are giving up a known commodity for a player or players that might be a star in the future, you are giving up a sure thing for a maybe. But that is baseball today so we need to accept it and move on.
What about our Minnesota Twins, what will they do? I think the Twins find themselves in a very difficult position. The team is winning just enough to stay in the weak AL Central Division race but yet I think management realizes that this is not a playoff team. On the other hand, their attendance and fan interest has been falling since 2010 and they can ill afford to send up the white flag and signal the start of another rebuild process. So what do you do, buy, sell, or do nothing? So what are the odds that the team will make some moves prior to the trade deadline?
This will be the first trade deadline for the Twins under the Derek Falvey and Thad Levine regime so there is no real track record to go on. The Twins have players that would interest other teams and they also have players like Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Jose Berrios that they won’t trade. The team listened to offers for second baseman Brian Dozier all winter and when all was said and done and decided to keep him. The ace of the starting staff Ervin Santana, 34, would be a nice pick-up for a contender but can a team as pitching starved as the Twins afford to give him up? Some would argue that the Twins can’t afford not to trade him because he is having a great season, maybe a career season and he is signed at a very team friendly deal through 2018 with a team option in 2019.
No matter who the team trades they need to get pitching in return and acquiring pitching is such a risky proposition. It is almost a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario.
So what is my best guess? I would say that the team will move Ervin Santana, Robbie Grossman and probably some minor league players for pitching. If you go by what Falvey and Levine did this past winter, they will do nothing and wait for their young players to get better.