Derek Falvey did a tremendous job of acquiring some initial relief help in the form of Sergio Romo. He looked like a fit for this club over the winter and netting him along with another intriguing prospect for a guy who was subject to 40-man addition is quite the execution. If we can expect that strength of process in future deals, then this club should be in good shape. The front office has displayed plenty of evidence that they operate at a very high level, but it’d be a massive misstep not to see it in action at least one more time.
LaVelle E. Neal has reported that the Twins were looking for impact starters if they were going to make a move there. Marcus Stroman was a name they were in on, but the Toronto Blue Jays never circled back before accepting a lackluster offer. Noah Syndergaard is another name Minnesota has targeted, but the Mets wanted catalyst Byron Buxton to headline the return. Now seemingly out on starting pitching, the attention turns back to where it’s been needed all along.
Romo represents a solid addition that should take some pressure off Taylor Rogers, but the next arm in needs to be another tier up. Continuing to add talent that slots in at the height of the talent pool and raises the bottom rung is the way in which Minnesota should operate. Any acquisition can’t fall in line with dart throws like Matt Magill, Mike Morin, or Blake Parker. Entering the final stretch and needing significant contributions in the Postseason, these arms need to be heavily reliable from the get-go.
It’s a pretty risky proposition to ever give up significant prospect capital for relief pitching. There are some very strong options that are under team control going forward however (Kirby Yates, Felipe Vasquez, Raisel Iglesias, Edwin Diaz, etc) and asking on those pieces first should be a must. Will Smith still represents an immediate band-aid and should require a muted return given the impending free agency. Despite what the Giants think they may be, getting them to sell that piece would certainly be a win for a true contender.
Trusting in the blueprint and belief from this front office it’d be hard to question anyone they see an ability to squeeze more from. Wes Johnson has gotten quite a bit out of some unexpected places this season, but time and remaining schedule are both of the essence at this point. I think there’s real reason to believe an Archie Bradley or Mychal Givens could be high level additions that more is gained from both now and in the future.
The area Minnesota can’t afford to settle is in the land of Daniel Hudson. Sure, he’s available and a piece, but that’s not the type of acquisition a team preaching opportunity should be agreeing to. After suggesting all offseason that they would go when the team was ready, Falvey will have a hard time selling a smoke and mirrors arm as the final piece of the puzzle. Peripherals matter and although Hudson, or someone like him, may have strong surface numbers a significant amount of impending regression should be cause for concern.
I’d circle back once or twice on the man known as Thor and see if Brodie Van Wagenen has gotten back on his rocker yet. If that is out of the question or eating salary to take on Zack Greinke isn’t an option, then adding two more relief arms is how this should work out. Go get Will Smith if you don’t feel the top-tier controllable arms are worth the squeeze. Then add in another Sergio Romo type, or someone a bit more under the radar, and call it a day.
Falvey has a team that’s very close, and next to nothing they can do is going to sacrifice 2020 and beyond. Failing to capitalize on this position while other contenders push their chips towards the middle could represent the setback everyone is trying to avoid.
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