Twins Already Consider Themselves Buyers; Plan to Hit Trade Market Early

Photo: Jeff Wheeler - Star Tribune

It’s been a successful, yet trying, start to the season for the Minnesota Twins, who currently sit atop the AL Central by 2 games with a 19-17 record. The starting rotation, led by newcomer Pablo Lopez (3.77 ERA, 1.093 WHIP), rising star Joe Ryan (2.45 ERA, 0.841 WHIP) and the outspoken Sonny Gray (1.35 ERA, 1.100 WHIP), is one of the best in Major League Baseball.

The offense, however, has not lived up to expectations. Carlos Correa is batting .185. Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach have both been demoted and the team’s overall offensive numbers are among the worst in the league.

Minnesota Twins already consider themselves mid-season buyers

But, even with their slow offensive start and exposable roster flaws, the Twins look like far-and-away the best team competing in the league’s worst division. Fangraphs, for example, currently gives the Twins a 72.7% chance of making the playoff field, come October.

The front office is seeing things the same way Fangraphs does. The AL Central is theirs for the taking. That organizational mindset, coupled with a bunch of teams league-wide who are already falling out of playoff consideration, means the Twins could start wheeling and dealing long before we reach the end-of-July trade deadline. This, according to local insider Darren Wolfson (SKOR North, KSTP) on the Mackey & Judd Podcast.

“Judd, I can tell you [the Twins are] already strategizing internally, at Target Field, about the trade deadline. There’s a thought that the obvious sellers will sell earlier than, you know, the last week of July.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (SKOR North)

Doogie then goes on to mention some teams who could become early sellers, including division rivals like the White Sox (13-24) and Royals (10-27), along with teams outside the putrid AL Central, like the Cardinals (13-24), Giants (16-19), Nationals (15-21).

He talks specifically about getting help in the bullpen but also mentions outfielder, Joc Pederson (Giants), as a name to watch, if the Twins look to add a bat to their anemic offense. Pederson is a 31-year-old career .237 hitter with an .803 OPS and 116 OPS+.

“[The Twins] are going to be buyers, come this summer. They are going to add. Now, maybe it’s as simple as just one reliever, but it could be two relievers. Yes, could they use a bat? Sure, that’s why I specifically brought up Joc Pederson. I’m just telling you and telling the audience, they are already planting seeds. Maybe not so much with [other] organizations, but planting seeds internally. Like, ‘hey that’s a guy we should target’, [or] ‘no, that’s not a guy we’ll target’. Those conversations have been ongoing, at least for a little bit. So, I’m just telling you… just be ready for the Twins to be buyers come this summer.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (SKOR North)
This is the right mindset

I know the Twins haven’t taken control of the AL Central like many of us want them to but I love this long-term mindset. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a starting rotation with this much talent and depth.

If Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton can stay healthy, there’s no reason the offense shouldn’t turn things around in a large way. And the organization is ripe for mid-season additions to the big league club.

Without a doubt, they will add bats from St. Paul (AAA) this summer. As mentioned earlier, Miranda and Larnach are there right now. Don’t forget about the Canadian slugger, Eduardo Julien, either. Royce Lewis is also starting a rehab assignment (AA-Wichita) and should be ready to go in early-June, if the Twins want to call him up right away. And 2022 8th overall draft pick, (SS) Brooks Lee, is dominating AA ball right now, too. He could be getting MLB at-bats by the time September rolls around, too.

Not only can these high-ceiling young pieces make the Twins better this season but they could allow Thad Levine & Co to add whatever missing piece they believe they need in order to make a deep playoff run.

So, while casual Twins fans are worried about this being another disappointing summer, the organization is already looking for ways to win playoff games this fall.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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