Sure, it's great to draft and develop your own arms. But the draft is a known crapshoot, especially where pitchers are concerned (hello, Kohl Stewart and Tyler Jay), so the real key is identifying players in other organizations and getting them at just the right time.
Three of Cleveland's top starters were acquired at a point when they were big-league ready, or very close, but had little or no MLB experience
Corey Kluber came in a trade with San Diego in 2010, when he was in Double-A. He arrived in the majors the next year. Carlos Carrasco was a Triple-A pitcher for the Phillies when he came over in 2008, and debuted for Cleveland the next year. Trevor Bauer was a 21-year-old with four big-league starts when the Indians got him.
The Twins, positioned at the front end of what they hope will be a prolonged winning cycle, should be targeting players at this very stage. And they have been.
It actually started a year ago, before Falvey and Thad Levine even arrived. At the 2016 deadline, acting GM Rob Antony sent Eduardo Nunez to San Francisco in a deal that looked good at the time and now looks even better. Adalberto Mejia has made 16 starts for the Twins this year, and he's been their third-best starter.
In the Rule 5 draft, Minnesota selected Justin Haley, another prospect on the verge of MLB-readiness, though injuries robbed him of the chance to make an impression and he was recently sent back to Boston. When the Twins traded John Ryan Murphy to Arizona last week, they got back Gabriel Moya, a reliever who was dominating Double-A and could enter the picture very quickly.
Then, over the weekend, Jaime Garcia's frantic journey landed him in New York, as the Twins flipped him for two more high-performing minor-league pitchers who are close. Dietrich Enns was pitching in Triple-A, with a 2.29 ERA in seven starts, and Zack Littell was 5-0 with a 2.05 ERA in seven starts at Double-A.
The sum result of the Garcia moves is this: Minnesota swapped out a teenager in rookie ball for two pitchers capable of helping in 2018. Their entire strategy has followed this general pattern under Falvey and Levine, and I suspect that if any big deals occur on Monday, we'll see it continue.
You're not often going to find a Kluber or Carrasco through this method, unless you have big-time talent to dangle, but even getting a few more Mejias would be hugely helpful for the Twins.