As the calendar gets closer to July, Minnesota's roster looks like it will need more pitching depth to stay at the top of the AL Central. The Twins' front office has been creative to keep the team's winning window open as long as possible. Here are some veteran players the team can trade to add pitching depth.
Gio Urshela, 3B
Gio Urshela has already had some memorable moments in a Twins uniform, and he has been an above-average hitter (102 OPS+) on a team trying to find an offensive spark. However, Jose Miranda seems poised to take over the everyday third baseman role, which might make Urshela expendable. He is still under team control for the 2023 season and offers some defensive flexibility even though the Twins have only played him at third base. The Athletic named him one of the top 125 players likely to be dealt before the deadline. However, the same article called him a top-five defensive third baseman, which is a stretch.
Max Kepler, OF
Minnesota's future outfield doesn't include Max Kepler, so the time may be right for him to be dealt. He's having a resurgent offensive season and is under team control through 2024. His 115 OPS+ is the second-highest total of his career and his wRC+ ranks in the top 7 among AL right fielders. In the Twins Daily blog section, Tim suggested the Twins trade Kepler to the Padres because they have an outfield need and a plethora of starting pitching. Minnesota also has younger options to start playing in the outfield corners, including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and other outfield prospects on the way. Last year, it looked like Kepler may be one of baseball's most valuable trade assets, and he may have increased his trade value in 2022.
Miguel Sano, DH/1B
Some fans may have forgotten, but Miguel Sano will be returning to the Twins in the weeks ahead. His slow start (.379 OPS) and knee surgery put his future in limbo. Minnesota has a $14 million team option for next season, but there's little chance of the team exercising that option. It's also hard to find a scenario where Sano can get regular playing time at the big-league level. The Twins have younger options that provide more offensive upside. Unfortunately, his trade value is low as he played poorly before the injury, and there is no guarantee he will be back to 100% for a team's postseason run.
Carlos Correa, SS
Carlos Correa is arguably Minnesota's best overall player, so it's hard to imagine a scenario where the team gets better by dealing him away. However, there is no guarantee that he will stay with the club beyond 2022, as he can opt out at the season's end. Another contending team may make the Twins an offer they can't refuse. Dealing Correa also creates a giant hole at shortstop that would need to be filled by an internal candidate or a different trade. After a slow start, Correa's bat has improved significantly as he has a 131 OPS+ for the season. A trade involving Correa would undoubtedly change the team's clubhouse dynamic, which might be an obstacle the team doesn't want to try to overcome.
Obviously, there is a lot of baseball to be played before the August 2nd trade deadline. Other needs may arise for the Twins, and some of these players may prove to be indispensable. Do you feel like any of these players will be traded before the deadline? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.