Twins Can Welcome the Perfect Storm this Summer
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsThus far Derek Falvey has cycled through more than a handful of minor league relief options while trying to sort out Rocco Baldelli’s bullpen. A few wild cards were drawn to start the year, and while some have stuck, others have flopped. The lineup is a monster from top to bottom, so it remains on the mound that this team can get better. With roughly a month to the trade deadline, not only is the belief that they will, but with no hesitations they absolutely should.
Coming into 2019 the AL Central was never going to be more winnable for the Twins than it is right now. Cleveland had clearly peaked, and without having an influx of talent, their only opportunity was to go backwards. Only the White Sox are trending toward a mature state in their rebuild, and even they are going to experience growing pains over the next year or so. Taking advantage of virtually a free pass to the postseason was an absolute must as the Twins' window opened.
As noted above, Baldelli’s lineup is arguably the best in baseball. Without being made up of names like Judge and Stanton, a collection of homegrown talent and scrap heap pickups have come together in an effort to pound a baseball more juiced than it has ever been. Wes Johnson and the Twins entire infrastructure on the pitching side of the game has allowed the staff to take steps forward, and though they may not receive the same praise, the group has certainly been among the game’s best.
Because of how good Minnesota has been there’s also not a significant amount of need to take the club to the next level. While the bullpen certainly needs to be addressed and the rotation could use a boost, we aren’t talking about an overhaul here. Minnesota’s active roster is legitimately a few players away from being a sustainable and serious threat in October. This isn’t the NBA where one guy can transform a team, but the Twins are so close that one or two additions can be what puts them over the top.
Never in the history of major league baseball have fewer organizations been trying at any giving time. There’s a handful of clubs tanking in an effort to supplement their lagging systems and move out of the dreaded middle ground. Because of this reality it’s a wonderful time to be a buyer. Clubs are parting with big league assets and there are only so many places for those players to land. In a trade market that will be influenced by an earlier and single transaction date, competing offers aren’t solely in the form of dollars as is the case in the offseason.
If there’s one thing Minnesota fans consistently ride the organization for, it is its payroll. Without touching on that subject, the only other capital in the game is in the form of players. Given the front office’s decision to hold onto dollars this winter, and the impending 40-man crunch coming up, there’s an abundance of prospect capital to be doled out. Not only are the Twins loaded at the top with some of the game’s best prospects, but the system's depth is also impressive and backs their organizational prospect ranking.
By no means should the suggestion be that Minnesota attempt to throw away their long-term window for one run at the World Series. That said the opportunity to make bold acquisitions that will impact this team and those of the future lies ahead. The cost will be substantial, but the reward is also tangible through these same means. I don’t know if Minnesota will ever be in position to sign a free agent like Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but right now they’re certainly positioned to trade for one.
As the organization bides its time and collects more depth in the form of big league vets such as Cody Allen and Carlos Torres, the time to pounce looms large. It’s a bonus if any of those guys work out to be serviceable arms down the stretch. In the month ahead engaging teams on the outs and swapping future assets for current ones is where Falvey finds himself, and given all of the factors, it should be the most comfortable storm he’s ever stood in.
- hybridbear, nclahammer, Minny505 and 2 others like this