Berrios Goes; Buxton, Donaldson Stay at Deadline

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn – Minnesota Twins – Getty Images

The MLB trade deadline has officially passed and, while last minute deals continue to trickle in, the Minnesota Twins appear to be finished with their massive deadline moves. What, at one point a couple of hours ago, looked like a full-on fire sale, ended up being just a small side-aisle clearance sale… but that doesn’t mean the Twins didn’t have a great deadline.

While nobody wanted to see Nelson Cruz or Jose Berrios dealt, it’s difficult to argue the return packages that Falvine got in return for both stars. In the last two weeks, with the additions of Joe Ryan (Cruz deal), Austin Martin (Berrios) and Simeon Woods-Richardson (Berrios), Minnesota has added three players to their top-10 organizational prospect rankings (MLB.com).

Not only are all three guys highly ranked among their peers, but they’re expected to see big league innings in the very near future. Drew Strotman, who will make his St. Paul Saints debut tonight, could also help the starting rotation as early as this season.

Balancing act

With just hours remaining before the deadline, talks for Byron Buxton were heating up and the Minnesota Twins were reportedly willing to deal him if another team were to meet their asking price. Nobody did so Buxton will spend the rest of 2021, at least, in Minneapolis.

If he can stay healthy after returning (late-August per reports), then his market value will skyrocket along with his trade value. If he gets hurt again, it could all fall through the floor. The Twins were also rumored to be listening on Kenta Maeda and even got some interest in offloading some of Josh Donaldson’s contract, but those deals never materialized in the end. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with those players this offseason.

With the moves made (and not made) today, the Twins could still argue they’re trying to win next year. If any combination of Buxton, Donaldson and Maeda had been traded, that argument would’ve died.

Surprises

The deadline surprises start with the return Falvine roped in for JA Happ, who isn’t worth anything more than a bucket of batting practice balls. Instead, they received John Gant, who’s been a pretty good pitcher for the Cardinals during his 6-year MLB career, posting a cumulative 3.72 ERA in 339 innings pitched, and a solid minor league arm, in Evan Sisk.

Michael Pineda still wearing a Twins uniform for his next start is a bit surprising. He’s a guy who was sure to go but other teams must not have hit the pricetag, which couldn’t have been that much?

They held onto Andrelton Simmons too, but that’s because nobody was interested, apparently.

Let’s play

The eventual return of Buxton, paired with a bunch of youngsters ready to make their debuts, should make for an interesting second half of the MLB season, for those Minnesota Twins fans that are still watching. We’ll see how serious this franchise is about winning in 2022 this offseason.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan