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My evolving opinion on where the Twins stand


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First, I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a whining thread. This team was terrible last year, and is competitive this year....

A month ago, I was all in for dealing for a legit starter and two RPs. While I don't think this is an elite team, it is a good to very good team. Unfortunately, they have really struggled and are much closer to .500 than they were. 

I still like the offense, as inconsistent as it can be. But, man, losing your second, third, and fourth best OFers for the year is tough to overcome. I think this is where I and many here depart. No team should be expected to overcome that, and yet many here are angry that they don't have replacements. I think that's unrealistic. This is part one of why my thoughts have changed.

Part two is the starting pitching. Ryan has not been the same since COVID. Ober, who I figured for about 100 innings is out. Maeda is not here in relief yet, and may not be. And, if the Castillo package is the price, well, this team is too far from great to pay that price, even if they could. Miranda is untouchable for me, barring some insane offer. Archer can't go five, which I thought he would by now. Winder is out for the year? That leaves Gray and Ryan and three question marks. I just don't see it.

So, I guess I'd pay small prices for a RP or two. But I just don't see the logic in making a big trade for a player with less than two plus years of control at this point.

I'm not a seller, but I'm not an aggressive buyer anymore.

That said, I think this year is a big improvement on last year, and am not at all disappointed with the progress they've made. 

 

Edit.... Apparently I'm wrong on Kepler being out the rest of the year. That makes me less likely to sell. I feel AK is out, no matter what the twins are doing at this point. And Larnach? September? 

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One thing I'd consider is dealing whichever of Polanco or Arraez returns more near ready MLB pitching. I'm not in love with this idea, but I don't think they'll sign a legit starter this coming year..... Also, if someone wants Gio, I'd consider dealing him and moving Miranda to third. But I don't think I like this idea given they are in first.

I don't want to do either, but if I got a great offer for either second baseman, I'd think about it. 

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2 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

One thing I'd consider is dealing whichever of Polanco or Arraez returns more near ready MLB pitching. I'm not in love with this idea, but I don't think they'll sign a legit starter this coming year..... Also, if someone wants Gio, I'd consider dealing him and moving Miranda to third. But I don't think I like this idea given they are in first.

I don't want to do either, but if I got a great offer for either second baseman, I'd think about it. 

Twins need defense at third and Miranda is not even close to as good as Gio.

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5 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

First, I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a whining thread. This team was terrible last year, and is competitive this year....

A month ago, I was all in for dealing for a legit starter and two RPs. While I don't think this is an elite team, it is a good to very good team. Unfortunately, they have really struggled and are much closer to .500 than they were. 

I still like the offense, as inconsistent as it can be. But, man, losing your second, third, and fourth best OFers for the year is tough to overcome. I think this is where I and many here depart. No team should be expected to overcome that, and yet many here are angry that they don't have replacements. I think that's unrealistic. This is part one of why my thoughts have changed.

Part two is the starting pitching. Ryan has not been the same since COVID. Ober, who I figured for about 100 innings is out. Maeda is not here in relief yet, and may not be. And, if the Castillo package is the price, well, this team is too far from great to pay that price, even if they could. Miranda is untouchable for me, barring some insane offer. Archer can't go five, which I thought he would by now. Winder is out for the year? That leaves Gray and Ryan and three question marks. I just don't see it.

So, I guess I'd pay small prices for a RP or two. But I just don't see the logic in making a big trade for a player with less than two plus years of control at this point.

I'm not a seller, but I'm not an aggressive buyer anymore.

That said, I think this year is a big improvement on last year, and am not at all disappointed with the progress they've made. 

Mike,  I guess I can look at it as management is going to have a tougher decision on their hands than I expected this season.  I expected we would be sellers.  So the dilemma becomes based off what you described is should they sell?   We have excess prospects so we have to trade some for some relief possibly starting pitching.  We have to get rid of 2-3 prospects minimum.  Also like the Braves last year,  you can find some cheap bats.  Where it gets more expensive is pitching.  You would need at least one more starting pitcher to take a realistic shot at this which would get expensive.   I like the reliever we picked up last week.  I think he will be on the big team shortly.  Prices will come down tomorrow.  We will see what they do.  

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3 minutes ago, RpR said:

Twins need defense at third and Miranda is not even close to as good as Gio.

Certainly likely, but Gio is likely gone after this year. That's the only reason I consider it. I'm good with keeping him, as I still hope they'll go back to bring good again this year. 

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Agree Mike. I'm not mad about it, this team just got snakebit by injuries. Injuries to the players they needed to compete, and injuries to the players they could have dealt to improve the team.

Good teams fight through this stuff though, so if they can keep this thing afloat and not fall all the way apart, I'll be encouraged. I think the historical playoff futility is largely due to a lack of mental fortitude. I want to see this team keep things tight when on paper, they have no business staying in the hunt.

They still have more good players than 40-man spots available next fall, so a couple of 3 or 2-for-1 trades for controllable, even if not needle moving players should still be sought out.

I don't disagree with the Polanco/Arraez take either. But as I'm also not in the mood to sell, I might look to do that in the offseason. And probably give Steer a tryout before the end of the year to see if he's ready to take on the role of whomever departs.

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8 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

First, I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a whining thread. This team was terrible last year, and is competitive this year....

A month ago, I was all in for dealing for a legit starter and two RPs. While I don't think this is an elite team, it is a good to very good team. Unfortunately, they have really struggled and are much closer to .500 than they were. 

I still like the offense, as inconsistent as it can be. But, man, losing your second, third, and fourth best OFers for the year is tough to overcome. I think this is where I and many here depart. No team should be expected to overcome that, and yet many here are angry that they don't have replacements. I think that's unrealistic. This is part one of why my thoughts have changed.

Part two is the starting pitching. Ryan has not been the same since COVID. Ober, who I figured for about 100 innings is out. Maeda is not here in relief yet, and may not be. And, if the Castillo package is the price, well, this team is too far from great to pay that price, even if they could. Miranda is untouchable for me, barring some insane offer. Archer can't go five, which I thought he would by now. Winder is out for the year? That leaves Gray and Ryan and three question marks. I just don't see it.

So, I guess I'd pay small prices for a RP or two. But I just don't see the logic in making a big trade for a player with less than two plus years of control at this point.

I'm not a seller, but I'm not an aggressive buyer anymore.

That said, I think this year is a big improvement on last year, and am not at all disappointed with the progress they've made. 

Fair and balanced argument. The season is a marathon and opinions evolve as we get new information. Ober, Alcala, Dobnak, Stashak, Paddack, Coloumbe, Romero, and Winder all lost for the year on the pitching staff. OF depth being severely tested throughout the year. Sano being injured or lost at the plate all year. 

My confidence level in this team isn’t as high as it was in May and June. However, I’d be more disappointed in Falvey and Levine if they stood pat or sold. Even with the current standing of the team. I have not bought into the Twins being in on any of the SP names that have been thrown around online. At the very least, we need to acquire a couple of bullpen arms. Otherwise this ship is going to keep sinking. 

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2 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

Fair and balanced argument. The season is a marathon and opinions evolve as we get new information. Ober, Alcala, Dobnak, Stashak, Paddack, Coloumbe, Romero, and Winder all lost for the year on the pitching staff. OF depth being severely tested throughout the year. Sano being injured or lost at the plate all year. 

My confidence level in this team isn’t as high as it was in May and June. However, I’d be more disappointed in Falvey and Levine if they stood pat or sold. Even with the current standing of the team. I have not bought into the Twins being in on any of the SP names that have been thrown around online. At the very least, we need to acquire a couple of bullpen arms. Otherwise this ship is going to keep sinking. 

That's mostly where I am. The two hot takes were really about getting insanely good offers. I too want two RPs added. This offense can be great if they really click. Arraez, Buxton, Correa, Miranda can be a great top four. Losing all their OF depth really has me down though. Hell, even Lewis should be here in the OF. That makes OF 2-5 out for the year. 

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1 minute ago, Mike Sixel said:

That's mostly where I am. The two hot takes were really about getting insanely good offers. I too want two RPs added. This offense can be great if they really click. Arraez, Buxton, Correa, Miranda can be a great top four. Losing all their OF depth really has me down though. Hell, even Lewis should be here in the OF. That makes OF 2-5 out for the year. 

I've seen you mention a couple times that guys are "out for the year." Have I missed some reports on Kepler and Larnach? Assuming they're 2 of OF 2-5 in your comments. Lewis is obviously done for the year, but I was unaware of Kepler or Larnach being done for the year. Aren't they supposed to be back in a week or 2? Kepler especially. I assume Kirilloff is the other OF you're thinking of, and I fear he may be done for the year with that wrist, but he's not even on the IL yet so I'm confused on all the "out for the year" comments.

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2 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

I've seen you mention a couple times that guys are "out for the year." Have I missed some reports on Kepler and Larnach? Assuming they're 2 of OF 2-5 in your comments. Lewis is obviously done for the year, but I was unaware of Kepler or Larnach being done for the year. Aren't they supposed to be back in a week or 2? Kepler especially. I assume Kirilloff is the other OF you're thinking of, and I fear he may be done for the year with that wrist, but he's not even on the IL yet so I'm confused on all the "out for the year" comments.

I may be wrong! If so, that does change my mind some. I thought Kepler was on the sixty day, but I may be conflating guys at this point. I'm assuming AK is done, no matter how much they try not to have him be so that's me. 

I thought Larnach was out until September, which I guess isn't all year....

The overall point stands. No team can realistically miss this many OFers for this long. But I hope I'm wrong on the timing and you are right. 

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4 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

I've seen you mention a couple times that guys are "out for the year." Have I missed some reports on Kepler and Larnach? Assuming they're 2 of OF 2-5 in your comments. Lewis is obviously done for the year, but I was unaware of Kepler or Larnach being done for the year. Aren't they supposed to be back in a week or 2? Kepler especially. I assume Kirilloff is the other OF you're thinking of, and I fear he may be done for the year with that wrist, but he's not even on the IL yet so I'm confused on all the "out for the year" comments.

Kepler just broke a pinkie toe so I'd expect him back. Larnach's injury has been a weird one, so I guess I'm not counting on him either. Kirilloff should have been shut down the minute he said his wrist hurt. Just put him on the IL already.

 

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37 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

losing your second, third, and fourth best OFers for the year is tough to overcome

?

1. Kepler is out for the season? Hadn’t heard that.

2. Buxton and Kepler have been healthy all year until Kepler got hurt last week. So that’s two starting outfielders.

3. the plan for the third outfield spot was always to rotate guys and or patch it together with younger players and spare parts. Isn’t that what they’ve been doing? Also if you are putting Kirilloff in this 2-5 best OF group, Kirilloff’s best position is first base, in my opinion.

Actually I think their outfield has been healthy until now. (Surprisingly.)

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5 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

Kepler just broke a pinkie toe so I'd expect him back. Larnach's injury has been a weird one, so I guess I'm not counting on him either. Kirilloff should have been shut down the minute he said his wrist hurt. Just put him on the IL already.

 

Getting Kepler back would be huge, on defense alone. 

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2 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

?

1. Kepler is out for the season? Hadn’t heard that.

2. Buxton and Kepler have been healthy all year until Kepler got hurt last week. So that’s two starting outfielders.

3. the plan for the third outfield spot was always to rotate guys and or patch it together with younger players and spare parts. Isn’t that what they’ve been doing? Also if you are putting Kirilloff in this 2-5 best OF group, Kirilloff’s best position is first base, in my opinion.

Actually I think their outfield has been healthy until now. (Surprisingly.)

I meant rest of season. I'm counting AK given he's next in line after Larnach and Kepler. I think the plan was AK or Larnach in left from the beginning. Didn't AK start the year in left?

Clearly I'm wrong on Kepler, which is good news. 

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3 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Getting Kepler back would be huge, on defense alone. 

They've been going with Celestino and Gordon in the corners. They aren't bad defenders. Lots of outfielders hurt but they haven't had to break glass and call up Jake Cave yet.

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I'm generally with you, Mike. I look at it this way...

1. The playoffs have tiers. The Yankees and Astros are pretty much locked into the first-round byes. Then there's the Twins and 5-7 other teams who will fight for the remaining spots, one of which will be the Central champ. Realistically, I think the Twins will be the 3 seed (by winning the division) or the 6th seed (last wild card) if they make it. The difference in that seeding isn't worth going whole hog about, and at this point, the difference in team quality from the 3-6 seeds isn't such that one acquisition is going to make any of those teams a clear standout. 

2. I still generally like the lineup. Either injuries will keep it from making the playoffs (and trades won't redeem that) or it will be a solid lineup. The one exception is catcher, with Jeffers' injury. I'd consider pursuing a Danny Jansen from Toronto, which also has Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Morales, neither of whom they'll likely trade. (And if they would trade the latter, I'm definitely in.)

3. Realistically, it's hard to think of any starting pitcher who instantly improves the team to the level of being a clear division favorite or being competitive with NYY/Hou. With starters, the language is "controllable," which translates as "expensive." The language is also "sustainable," which translates as "now and in the future." Unlike previous years, the team does have a good start for next year's rotation -- Gray, Maeda and Ryan to begin with, plus Paddack, Smeltzer, Ober, Winder and Dobnak. In theory, add Bundy and/or Archer, thanks to options. Adding Montas is another arrow in the quiver, but I think adding a starter of that nature in the offseason is more feasible, both in availability and cost. 

4. Which leaves the bullpen. Right now, the guys above 100 in ERA+ are Duran, Jax, Cotton, Moran, and Magill, with Thielbar hopefully back soon. I'm not fully out on Pagan, Duffey and Smith, and anything from Maeda/Alcala is bonus. It's just that right now, the rotation not going deep in games means lots of bullpen usage, and there aren't enough arms available to use the St. Paul Shuttle effectively. So do the minor stuff -- trade for guys that can primarily be had with lottery tickets. My first choice is David Robertson, a guy who can be slotted in as Closer Option 1 (including on back-to-back days), shifting Duran to Closer Option 1a, and shifting everyone else to "situational high/low level, according to how they're rolling, but with no sniffing of the ninth." I'd be glad to have a second reliever as well, though if there's a sense of Maeda being back soon, that softens the need. I actually like Fulmer and Givens, but to me they are guys like Pagan/Duffey/Smith -- guys with some past success but not enough to be consistently relied on. 

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14 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

?

1. Kepler is out for the season? Hadn’t heard that.

2. Buxton and Kepler have been healthy all year until Kepler got hurt last week. So that’s two starting outfielders.

3. the plan for the third outfield spot was always to rotate guys and or patch it together with younger players and spare parts. Isn’t that what they’ve been doing? Also if you are putting Kirilloff in this 2-5 best OF group, Kirilloff’s best position is first base, in my opinion.

Actually I think their outfield has been healthy until now. (Surprisingly.)

In what universe has Buxton been healthy all year?  Unless a player plays 150+ games, they should not be considered to have been healthy all year, imo.

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A lot of good, thoughtful comments on this thread.


Personally, I’d hate to see us move Miranda, Arraez, Kiriloff, Jeffers or Larnach. We shouldn’t sacrifice any of them for the mistakes the FO made re the pitching staff this year. They, along with Lewis and Steer, and possibly Wallner, should be the core solid major leaguers who are controllable and cheap. With Buxton and, hopefully Correa, that would make nine solid position players with only two costing essentially above league mandated/arbitration minimums (based on service year). Celestino and Gordon plus Palacio are cheap utility players. 
 

If Correa leaves, we still have Palacio and Lewis (and Miller and Lee) and save a boatload of cash to apply to the mound. Correa alone is probably worth 3-5 solid RPs to augment Duran and Jax.

Relief pitching is the key. A shut down pen is the most important need. Next year with Maeda back, a healthy Ober and Winder, plus Ryan and Gray we should hav a solid SP core.

So, if we moved Correa, well so be it.  But I would understand if he, Kepler, Urshela, Sano, Sanchez (unlikely now), and, even, Polanco, we’re traded.  

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I think we are too quick to label guys as poor defenders. Larnach has a nice feel out there, got some good jumps, made plays and made some throws, Kirilloff looks smooth out there, these guys aren't Garlick level hard to watch types. Same for Miranda, the guy has really gained confidence and it has shown in the field lately. I see him as the starter at 3rd next year. 

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33 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

I may be wrong! If so, that does change my mind some. I thought Kepler was on the sixty day, but I may be conflating guys at this point. I'm assuming AK is done, no matter how much they try not to have him be so that's me. 

I thought Larnach was out until September, which I guess isn't all year....

The overall point stands. No team can realistically miss this many OFers for this long. But I hope I'm wrong on the timing and you are right. 

 

32 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

Kepler just broke a pinkie toe so I'd expect him back. Larnach's injury has been a weird one, so I guess I'm not counting on him either. Kirilloff should have been shut down the minute he said his wrist hurt. Just put him on the IL already.

 

Yeah, Kepler should be back as soon as his 10 days are out from what I've heard. Larnach was supposed to be out about 6 weeks following surgery. I think we're around week 5 now so I'd expect to be hearing about a return from him around the same time Kepler is back. Probably a rehab stint for him, though. But I believe they are both expected back by mid-August for sure. Kirilloff I don't expect to see again this season and that's brutal in general for that kid.

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13 minutes ago, wabene said:

I think we are too quick to label guys as poor defenders. Larnach has a nice feel out there, got some good jumps, made plays and made some throws, Kirilloff looks smooth out there, these guys aren't Garlick level hard to watch types. Same for Miranda, the guy has really gained confidence and it has shown in the field lately. I see him as the starter at 3rd next year. 

Larnach is highly rated by one defensive measure (can't recall which) because runners don't take chances on extra bases  on him. I think he's likely under rated on this site (defensively). 

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This team, somehow, is sitting in first place of a division.  It should do what it needs to do to at the very least stay there.  I don't think I'm mortgaging the future unless something really blows me away, but I'm fighting for this year anyway.

I didn't expect them to be in this position, and I didn't expect to be typing anything like this at this point, but I am.  Gotta go for it even though I don't believe they'll go anywhere in the postseason.  But you gotta get there even to do that, so...

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1 minute ago, Craig Arko said:

At this point, I won’t be shocked if they stand pat. Maybe get 1 RP. More surprising, I am beginning to think that is the best thing to do.

that's pretty much where I am. I'd prefer two RPs at this point, maybe even a decent/old catcher type. Which is a big change. A month ago I was all in on dealing Wallner and Steer and others for a legit starter (which, given the prices we are seeing, the Twins likely couldn't match those deals).

This team NEEDS Gray and Ryan to be legit number 2/3 types the rest of the year. Then they need the O to be more consistent (and a healthy, effective, Kepler).

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52 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

I like Cave more than Garlick, frankly. 

They have very different roles, with Kyle our designated Death To Left Handed Pitchers Guy, and Cave being just another left-handed outfielder (a valuable trait in itself, just not on this roster).  I've been slow to adopt Kyle's designation and I keep expecting him to turn into a pumpkin but so far his numbers against lefties remain good.

When you suggest bringing Cave up, you didn't mention the 40-man move you would make to allow the 26-man move to happen.  Maybe there's another 60-day IL move the FO has in their back pocket to accommodate this.

I'm basically in the same mindset as you about the trade deadline, although I was there a month or two ago and prior to the present injury of the day trickle of news.  For the good of the franchise you can't wave the white flag, but we're nowhere near being a title contender so don't push many chips in at all in some futile "all-in" gesture.

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1 minute ago, ashbury said:

They have very different roles, with Kyle our designated Death To Left Handed Pitchers Guy, and Cave being just another left-handed outfielder (a valuable trait in itself, just not on this roster).  I've been slow to adopt Kyle's designation and I keep expecting him to turn into a pumpkin but so far his numbers against lefties remain good.

When you suggest bringing Cave up, you didn't mention the 40-man move you would make to allow the 26-man move to happen.  Maybe there's another 60-day IL move the FO has in their back pocket to accommodate this.

I'm basically in the same mindset as you about the trade deadline, although I was there a month or two ago and prior to the present injury of the day trickle of news.  For the good of the franchise you can't wave the white flag, but we're nowhere near being a title contender so don't push many chips in at all in some futile "all-in" gesture.

ah, yes, the 40 man. Hmmmmm. Not sure what I'd do there. Also, my opinion on Cave is altered by the "news to me" that Kepler should be back soon. 

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32 minutes ago, Nashvilletwin said:

A lot of good, thoughtful comments on this thread.


Personally, I’d hate to see us move Miranda, Arraez, Kiriloff, Jeffers or Larnach. We shouldn’t sacrifice any of them for the mistakes the FO made re the pitching staff this year. They, along with Lewis and Steer, and possibly Wallner, should be the core solid major leaguers who are controllable and cheap. With Buxton and, hopefully Correa, that would make nine solid position players with only two costing essentially above league mandated/arbitration minimums (based on service year). Celestino and Gordon plus Palacio are cheap utility players. 
 

If Correa leaves, we still have Palacio and Lewis (and Miller and Lee) and save a boatload of cash to apply to the mound. Correa alone is probably worth 3-5 solid RPs to augment Duran and Jax.

Relief pitching is the key. A shut down pen is the most important need. Next year with Maeda back, a healthy Ober and Winder, plus Ryan and Gray we should hav a solid SP core.

So, if we moved Correa, well so be it.  But I would understand if he, Kepler, Urshela, Sano, Sanchez (unlikely now), and, even, Polanco, we’re traded.  

So go into next year with the same question marks as this year, Is Larnach the the guy that has had a couple of good stretches or the guy that has a couple of horrible stretches? Is AK the star we all expected or the guy that has been hurt every year since 2018, Can Jeffers be a starting Catcher, and two guys that have never played in the majors (Steer and Wallner), So basically the center field (Buxton), 2B (Arraez) and 3b set (Miranda), and question marks everywhere else, I guess beside having decent utility guys (Celestino and Gordon). Or maybe Kepler stays in RF and Polanco stays and moves Arraez to 1st. Lewis also is a question mark since he has  12 total major league games.

Then the starters Gray in the last year of his deal and is a 5/6 inning pitcher an Ryan a good 5 or 6 inning pitcher, Maeda and Paddack coming back from TJ surgery and will be on a innings limit. Then Ober and Winder who also have a injury past and who I assume will also be on inning limits based on the amount of innings they will have pitched this year. This doesn't include the bullpen.

This would all be OK IMO if 21 didn't happen or if this team ends up winning the division. But if they fall out of contention this year after last year and NOT going for it when they were good in 19 and 20 (with mostly a team from the previous FO) when they were good, and the reason they didn't go for it was because they were building for a team to be competitive going forward, and then us fans have to deal with this, it should be unacceptable. I mean it isn't like they have a stud pitcher in the minors ready to blow up next year or even a position player (unless we count Lewis who will be 24 in June next year)

 

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Pretty much summed up my feelings about the deadline as well.  Just too many holes to be fixed with one big acquisition. If the Twins are functioning like the Guardians and I think they are to some degree I think they want to get to place where they have depth as well as more surplus to trade from before "going all in" on some player to help put them over the top. 

I think Falvey has said this a few times but they believe in the guys they have and feel that they can get the job done.  Might be a pie in the sky quote but I think they operate that way to a degree as they hang onto players underperforming generally longer than they should IMO.

At this point given how poorly the pen has been I would be fine if they acquired a couple of relief arms they can trust down the stretch.  It might make just enough difference for them to make the playoffs and they won't have to sell the farm to do it.

There will come a time though when I do expect them to get that guy to put them over the hump I just don't feel like the time is quite right this year. 

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