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Let’s look ahead to the trade deadline. What does this team still need?


Community Leader

Our beloved Minnesota Twins start the 2022 MLB Season 18-11. They’re 14-3 for their last 17.

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If this team is looking to go the playoffs come July 31st, they’re going to want to add more. Opinions of what this team still needs to win may vary from person to person. IMO, the biggest need for the Twins at the trade deadline is back-of-the-bullpen help.

The Twins traded closer Taylor Rogers before Opening Day. Unfortunately, the return thus far (Chris Paddack) has been highly mediocre thus far. While the bullpen as a whole has been solid thus far, the hole that Rogers filled is noticeable. IMO, this team should look to add a back-of-the-bullpen stud. They could also use one or two more lower-leverage arms.

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After we face the Yankees, we will know if this team has the desire needed be in front, or is so psyched out they are self=defeating.

They are playing musical chairs again at this point, so it is too early to tell much.

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I would like to see a series with the Yankees, Blue Jays, or Angels first.  Let's see how they match up with other potential playoff teams.  Right now, it looks like the bullpen is solid, the starting pitching looks good, the defense has been good, and they are hitting the ball well.  Is this a function of just playing weaker competition or are they actually a good team?  We don't know for sure yet.

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Agreed it's way too early to look too closely at this topic.

HOWEVER...to be fair, it's not an unreasonable question to be asked. And to me, any answer depends on health. And I don't mean the standard caveat of "well if this guy or that one suddenly gets injured what do we do?" I mean, I see a pair of concerns.

 

1} RHRP that we can use in a high leverage situation, preferably someone who's been there before and can be counted on.

2} A RH bat with pop/power to mitigate LHP. An OF might be preferred due to Larnach, Kepler and AK all being LH. And Miranda and Urshela help, but are INF.

COUNTER: 

1} If Alcala comes back healthy and Duran and Jax keep doing what they're doing, along with Lewis and Duffey suddenly looking more like his old, reliable self, is there still a need? Alcala's injury is a big question mark IMO.

2} What if Garlick comes back healthy and continues to hit like he was before his injury? He hit well against LHP in 2021 before getting hurt and losing the rest of the year. Will 2022 be a repeat or will he come back and stay productive? He doesn't have a long and storied ML career, but he's mature, has put up good numbers at the milb level, and seems to have begun a sort of limited "breakthrough" with the Twins as a LHP masher. 

These are the 2 areas I'm still worried about, as I was coming out of ST. But there's at least a chance the answer might already be on the 40 man with health.

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As has been said before by others, health is probably the key to the equation.  However, something no one is talking about much is the lack of innings that the starting pitching has in the tank.  Some of the young (and old actually) only pitched a few innings last year and ramping them up to 160-200 innings isn't going to be possible, at least not if we want them around for future years.  So, in the short term, for this year, we probably STILL need starting pitching more than anything else. 

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2 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

About 2 months too early to answer this question.

Maybe, but it doesn’t hurt to speculate a bit about what we’ll see from this team in the next two months, based on what has happened in the first 30 games. Agree that the Astros series and later the Yankees series will be tests for this team to see how they stack up against legitimate contenders.

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Way too early to answer this.  Between injuries and minor league players that step up and produce, it's tough to forecast this this far out.  It's even possible that the bullpen is solidified from within by that time.

Or everything could be a complete trainwreck and they're sellers.  

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Too early, but a preliminary list might be:

1. More reliable closer - realistically we probably should have lost 2/3 vs. Oakland.  Seemingly 75% of ninth innings can’t continue to be like Delmon Young tracking down a fly - our hearts won’t take it and the luck with run out.

2. Another SP #2-3. We are already seeing issues with depth and performance. By the trade deadline we will need one more at least one if we truly want to contend for the Pennant. Guaranteed.

3. Possibly more production out of DH.  Sano and Sanchez aren’t really cutting it for a true contender. Here’s hoping Sano hits his stride later in the year. Sanchez probably doesn’t provide much hope in that regard.

I’d like to think we have some assets to consider trading, but a possible top three of Urshele, Sano and Sanchez might not have much value based on performance and cost.
 

 

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Yeah it's probably a little early, but if the deadline was next week i'd give the Red Sox the first call.

JD Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi both would be awesome fits in terms of what this team currently lacks. Both on expiring deals ... They also bring playoff experience and a World Series ring, which doesn't hurt when you consider the young makeup of this team.

Matt Strahm would be a great fit out of the pen as well, so it could be a one stop shop for Falvine.

What im personally really interested in is seeing what Tyler Glasnow would cost from the Rays. They were supposedly shopping him last deadline and reports over the winter with his name as well. You'd have to work him back in slowly as he's coming off TJ but he's also under control next year. 

Suppose to be back pitching early august, so If you can get him up to speed by September, that would be incredible. Maeda too , hmmmmmm

Other than that, clearly Frankie is always welcome.

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27 minutes ago, miller761 said:

What high leverage bull pen arms will be available in July?

I’m not sure. I’m sure there will be some

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27 minutes ago, Nashvilletwin said:

Too early, but a preliminary list might be:

1. More reliable closer - realistically we probably should have lost 2/3 vs. Oakland.  Seemingly 75% of ninth innings can’t continue to be like Delmon Young tracking down a fly - our hearts won’t take it and the luck with run out.

2. Another SP #2-3. We are already seeing issues with depth and performance. By the trade deadline we will need one more at least one if we truly want to contend for the Pennant. Guaranteed.

3. Possibly more production out of DH.  Sano and Sanchez aren’t really cutting it for a true contender. Here’s hoping Sano hits his stride later in the year. Sanchez probably doesn’t provide much hope in that regard.

I’d like to think we have some assets to consider trading, but a possible top three of Urshele, Sano and Sanchez might not have much value based on performance and cost.
 

 

RPR, just out of curiosity, what parts of my post are most troublesome for you?

Our most utilized closer has 10 walks in 9 innings and a WHIP of 1.73. If that doesn’t improve, is that the performance level of a closer on a true contender? If not, we need to find a better solution internally (very possible) or externally.

Our starting pitching has been great. It’s been led in many respects by three youngsters - one or all of whom might not suitable to stretch out the innings later in the year.  We’ve already had a couple of injuries and Bundy is looking iffy. It’s likely that, to truly contend, we might need to add an experienced arm capable of lots of innings later in the year.

Sanchez is hitting 0.211.  Sano barely over 0.100. Lots of K’s for both. Both OPS are about 0.600 give or take.  Again, maybe we have an internal solution, but those two are not providing the middle of the order production a contender should have.

I love this team - a lot.  But it still has holes if it truly wants to contend. Let’s wait and see if those are still there as we get into late summer.

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1 hour ago, Nashvilletwin said:

Our most utilized closer has 10 walks in 9 innings and a WHIP of 1.73. If that doesn’t improve, is that the performance level of a closer on a true contender? If not, we need to find a better solution internally (very possible) or externally.

Our starting pitching has been great. It’s been led in many respects by three youngsters - one or all of whom might not suitable to stretch out the innings later in the year.  We’ve already had a couple of injuries and Bundy is looking iffy. It’s likely that, to truly contend, we might need to add an experienced arm capable of lots of innings later in the year.

Sanchez is hitting 0.211.  Sano barely over 0.100. Lots of K’s for both. Both OPS are about 0.600 give or take.  Again, maybe we have an internal solution, but those two are not providing the middle of the order production a contender should have.

I love this team - a lot.  But it still has holes if it truly wants to contend. Let’s wait and see if those are still there as we get into late summer.

Relief pitching has generally been good. Agreed that they could use another high leverage arm, but that is also a talent that can be found internally. I think it’ll be Archer because…

Im worried the rotation will run out of gas in August. Minor leaguers don’t usually provide that late season boost because they play shorter seasons and Archer isn’t really stretching out. I’d look to see if they could swing a trade.

 A bench bat/DH seems like a need, but Arraez also could be that if Lewis and Miranda stick.

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The most obvious need that will likely still be around at the trade deadline is a closer. Duran is great, but I don't see him pitching every day so the team needs another 9th inning option and Pagan just isn't it. 

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4 hours ago, twins_89 said:

The most obvious need that will likely still be around at the trade deadline is a closer. Duran is great, but I don't see him pitching every day so the team needs another 9th inning option and Pagan just isn't it. 

I don't see anybody pitching everyday. All pitchers performance suffers going back to back on the second day. That is one reason the closer thing doesn't work. You are going to need more than one guy to finish games. Also, in a tight game if the 7-8-9 hitters are due up in the ninth, is that really the most crucial time of the game? What if your "closer" is a righty and it's all tough leftys coming up in the ninth? Still the best way to go? 

What we're seeing now is at the beginning of a series the pitching coaching staff is giving relievers scouting reports on the batters they will likely be asked to get out and strategies on how to do so. They are looking to play matchups to get any edge they can. 

This is why the Twins have resisted calling anyone their closer. The simplistic notion of a closer doesn't fit their strategy. I do agree the Twins would be wise to add a high leverage bullpen arm.

 

 

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I agree with the idea it's too early to speculate, but heck, that's why we come here...to SPECULATE.  So thanks Axel.  Even though things are going well, there are a number of things that certainly could be better.  A consistent veteran at the top of the rotation would help take a lot of pressure off the rookies, who, while performing excellently so far are sure to be on innings limits.  Castillo, Montas and even Eovaldi are interesting options.  

Whoever made the point about the Red Sox is on to something.  Certain teams are underperforming and we should keep an eye on their rosters.  A move for a Castillo or Montas wouldn't just be for THIS season, but for several more after.  I like what Duran has shown so far, but cannot see him being the guy we go with to close games in the playoffs.  Pagan is a thrill a minute.  Kind of like Eddie Guardado.  Every game they close is an "adventure."  I'd like to see Pagan eventually become a 7th/8th inning guy and get someone who can CLOSE.  

But yeah, it's too early to speculate.  We need to play the Astros, Yankees, and others to see how "legit" we are.  But let's revisit this midway thru June.

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I am always of the opinion why wait, if you are trading somebody to get something, get the most innings/at bats you can from that person. Which that said I am not really seeing any relief pitcher jump out at me, David Robertson of the Cubs might not be bad, not sure how much of an upgrade he is. David Bednar of the pirates is pitching pretty lights out, so he might not be a bad guy to add to the back end of the games relief pitcher.

With the Twins Record, they don't need to wait to see what happens, it is happening now and they have set themselves up for a pretty darn good season, get help now (if they think it is an upgrade). They already have 40 man issues, there is only going to be more next year, trade off some guys. Hey it is the Tampa way right?

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It is too early to know exactly what we have and what we need.  Generally pitching is always a need at deadline either because of performance or injuries.  Our depth at SP is already getting tested, and so far it is doing fine, but things can change quickly.  Overall our pen has been fine, a few bumps, but Pagan needs to start finding some control or stop being used as a closer.  Not that he is full time closer in every chance anyways.  

In terms of offense I am waiting for things to shake out on that front.  OF we should be set if all healthy and we still have depth if not.  Already have had a few guys go on DL from OF and we can at least hold our own still.  SS and 2b are set barring injury.  3b and 1b are more up in the air.  We have guys that could do just fine, but no one is running away with either position, but over the next couple months things can develop.  

DH we do not need a full time guy, and we have plenty that could fill in.  Could there be someone that could help sure, but not willing to give up too much for a DH.  As the season goes on I could see a line up similar to this.  1 CF Buck, 2 SS Correa, 3 2b Polonco, 4 LF Larnach, 5 3b Lewis/Miranda, 6 DH Arraez, 7, C Jeffers, 8, RF Kepler, 9 1b Kiroloff/sano/miranda.  Really it will depend on health and if Lewis or Miranda force their way into lineup. 

So again, early to decide what our true needs are, because health and outcomes can change very quickly with pitchers.  We can always use better pitching though so if I had to pick, bullpen arms would be biggest need. 

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9 hours ago, terrydactyls said:

Why wait until July?  MLB Rumors wrote today that Cincinnati is willing to entertain trade proposals right now for Luis Castillo.  Let's see if that could be done now and then worry about the bullpen later.

Interesting. You usually don’t see trades happen this early.

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As far as the original topic, I do believe a team can't have enough pitching. The apparent depth of having seven starters may be down to four, although Ober seems on track to boost the number to five soon enough. I am presuming that Paddack will go on the Injured List and that Bundy is cooked, although with Ober still on the IL, Bundy will get at least one more shot to redeem himself. There have been a couple of bullpen surprises, but I think there is a need to add at least one high-leverage arm and it would be nice if the guy was a lefty. Getting Alcala back would help to reduce the role for Pagan, which I think would benefit the club. 

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Also on the starting pitching--there doesn't seem to be anyone in St. Paul that is pushing to make the Twins' starting rotation. Sands has been mostly ineffective, Balazovic has only made one start (and allowed seven base runners in 3.2 innings), Smeltzer got knocked around his last start and no one else has stepped forward. There looks like a couple of guys at AA who might move up pretty fast, but expecting them to help the Twins this year is a large gamble. A lot depends on health. If Paddack's injury isn't major and everyone else holds together, the need won't be too great, but having rotations go a full season without going eight or nine deep is a rarity.

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It's too early to try and figure out what we'd need. Give it another month or so. I can't see them making any kind of major deal, but  I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they make a couple minor ones. You can never have too much pitching depth, and depending on injuries, that might create a need somewhere else. I hope they're willing to get a trade or two done, if we're in contention and it's needed.

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