Minnesota shored up its rotation and battered bullpen in front of the 2022 MLB trade deadline to near-universal acclaim from local and national media. With the team’s obvious needs met at the cost of a handful of good prospects, local fans are left wondering what happened.
“That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works,” said Bruce Johnstone, a retired teacher from Alexandria. “You need to be like (former Vikings GM) Rick Spielman and draft quarterbacks who can’t throw or just forget to sign offensive linemen. Then you keep the job for 15 years. There are rules.”
The Twins acquired frontline starter Tyler Mahle from the Reds, closer Jorge Lopez from the Orioles, and setup man Michael Fulmer from the Tigers. The troubling display of attention to roster shortcomings makes Johnstone wonder when the next shoe will drop.
“When you’re the Twins, you sign the deflated shell of Bret Boone or pretend Matt Shoemaker just needs a few adjustments,” said the 66-year-old. “Getting the right people at a manageable cost feels like a thing that the Yankees or Red Sox do while we trade for Sidney Ponson. Something isn’t right. I want some answers.”
Brenda Perkins, a diehard Twins and Minnesota Wild fan, agrees.
“If you’re a GM, the thing you do is sign veterans to these giant [REDACTED] millstone contracts,” said the 35-year-old Plymouth native. “Put them on the payroll until they’re 58, watch their skills degrade in real-time, and destroy your salary cap for a couple decades. Reasonable moves made to help bolster a pennant run without mortgaging the future? What are we even doing here?”
It’s not just fans. Aaron Gleeman, Twins beat writer for The Athletic and celebrity spokesperson for Scribe’s Choice Neck Fan Solutions, LLC, says he is as surprised as anyone.
“This is out of the ordinary, to say the least,” said Gleeman. “It’s usually tweaks or sell-offs. I think a lot of us are using code SURPRISE to get 30% off a 1-year subscription to The Athletic. It’s remarkable.”
For his part, Johnstone is keeping it all in perspective.
“Two of those guys will need Tommy John before Labor Day. A piano will fall on Byron Buxton. Spencer Steer is the next Mike Trout. The alternative is too bizarre to contemplate: a Minnesota team made a series of shrewd acquisitions to improve their playoff chances. Yeah, right.”