Cruz is on an expiring deal and he hasn’t been back to the World Series since his time in Texas. He is going to have few opportunities left to make a playoff run. It helps that he continues to be ageless as he is one of baseball’s best hitters even in his age-40 season. Unfortunately, the National League didn’t adopt the DH for the 2021 season, so this cuts out half the teams in the market for Cruz’s services. That being said, his leadership is something any contending team would be lucky to have for a playoff run.
Like Cruz, Pineda is on an expiring contract and he’s performing well in 2021. He’s been one of the team’s most reliable starters this year with a 2.43 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. In fact, his number have been strong throughout his Twins tenure when he has been on the field. Injuries seem to be striking teams across baseball at a high rate, so there will likely be a contending team with a starter that is injured. If Pineda can stay healthy, multiple suitors should emerge for Pineda’s services down the stretch.
Minnesota’s bullpen has been a mess, but Rogers has provided a little stability. There are also some benefits for a potential Roger’s trade suitor. He’s under team control through the end of 2022, he’s left-handed, and he comes with the “proven closer” label. Every contending team needs more pitching depth and Rogers can provide an immediate impact. After agreeing to a $6 million deal this year, he is only going to be more expensive in his final arbitration season. This might be another reason the Twins are willing to part ways with him.
After 2021, Berrios is only under team control for one more season. Minnesota seems out of the running this year and there are no guarantees about 2022. So far in 2021, he has posted a career bests in SO/9 (10.0), WHIP (1.138), HR/9 (0.7), and H/9 (7.0). He seems destined to hit the free agent market and the Twins might not be willing to meet his contract demands since he is like to ask for over $100 million. The front office might be able to get more now for Berrios since he isn’t on an expiring contract.
Twins’ fans saw how great Buxton can be during the first month of 2021, but now he is sidelined with another injury. For him to be a tradeable asset, he’d need to comeback from injury and continue to play well in the weeks leading into the deadline. Like Berrios, Buxton is under team control through the end of 2022, so this control might make more team’s willing to pull the trigger. Gilberto Celestino, one of the organization’s top prospects, is someone that can take over for Buxton in the years ahead.
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