With one of the baseball’s best offenses, it makes sense for the Twins to focus on adding pitching before the deadline. Minnesota’s most glaring need is the bullpen. Taylor Rogers might be the AL’s most valuable reliever, but he won’t be able to pitch every postseason inning. Ryne Harper, Tyler Duffey and Zach Littell have been more than serviceable, but they might be better suited for pitching the middle innings.
Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi have been leading the pitching staff, while the rest of the rotation has fit into their roles nicely. Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez have had some up and down moments throughout the year. Michael Pineda has provided an upgrade over recent fifth starters. Would you trust one of these pitchers to face the Yankees or Astros line-up in the ALDS?
Ideally, the Twins would add two relief arms and a starter before the calendar turns to August.
In a perfect world, the Twins would be able to add both a right- and left-handed reliever to assist Rogers in his late inning role. There are some internal options for the Twins including two left-handed pitchers that are already on the 40-man roster. Both players would be unknowns in a relief role, so it makes sense to find someone with some experience if the price in prospects isn’t too steep.
When it comes to left-handed relievers, Will Smith is the name on everyone’s list. He is currently being used as the Giants closer, but his cost might be slightly lower since he is a free agent after the season. John projected a package of Kohl Stewart and Edwar Colina for Smith. If that’s the deal on the table, I pull the trigger.
For Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers, there have been few bright spots this year. However, Shane Greene has been one of the team’s best players. In 2018, he struggled in his first chance being the full-time closer. He posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP with a 65 to 19 strikeout to walk ratio. For how bad he was last season, he has done a complete 180 this year. He has a microscopic 1.06 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks. He’s also under team control through 2020.
There’s been lots of talk about Madison Bumgarner since he is a pending free agent and the Giants are likely to be sellers. One must wonder what version of Madison Bumgarner a club would receive in a trade. He’s been a World Series hero but that was half a decade ago. This season he has posted a 3.86 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP to go along with 121 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings. Another thing to consider is Bumgarner has a lot of miles on his arm with 1755 big league innings over the last 11 seasons.
Toronto’s Marcus Stroman is another potential trade target and he is younger than Bumgarner. So far this season, he has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has 88 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings, so Bumgarner has him beat in that category. Stroman has another year of team control as the 2020 season will be his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Both above-mentioned pitchers could help the club, but I’d rather the team target Arizona’s Zack Greinke, even if he has a no-trade clause that includes the Twins. There are a few reasons I’d rather the team go after a 35-year old pitcher with a big contract. First, it would likely take fewer high-ranking prospects to acquire Greinke because of his large contract. Greinke has been very good this year with a 2.95 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.
Minnesota has the financial flexibility in the years ahead to absorb the Greinke contract. Plus, three of the Twins current starters will be free agents following the World Series. Greinke could fit in at the top of the rotation with Berrios for the next handful of seasons. If he isn’t still an ace in 2021, the Twins could still fit him in some part of their rotation.
Greinke, Smith, and Greene put the Twins in better position to win October games. Who would be part of your perfect trade deadline for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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