With two weeks left before the trade deadline, every team has to come to a decision on whether or not they are buying, selling or standing pat. This year, the decision will be much more difficult for many more teams. There is a level of parity for across Major League Baseball. Some teams, like the White Sox, have figured they are far enough out, and their farm system is nearly ready to burst on the scene, that they can sell off pieces and get ready for next year. Others, like the Diamondbacks are resurgent and in need of a couple of pieces to take advantage of an opportunity that may be their best shot in a while.
The Twins are in a curious “between” spot, however. Their best young players will be even better next year and the year that follows, but they are also critically flawed in some important areas. They haven’t been this good in some time, so they can’t look to build their young talent pool without enraging both the fan base and the roster already here. I, for one, am of the opinion that you should never take trips to the post season for granted. Don’t pull up short.
So they can’t very well sell off their big pieces, and since they aren’t guaranteed a spot in the post season, and should have several more runs at the playoffs in the next few years, so long as they don’t screw anything up in the interim. At the present, however, their flaws are so egregious that a deadline deal to acquire what they need to patch things up would come at a high cost. So what do the Twins do?
Well, nothing. Not actively, anyways. They can see the price being paid for players like Jose Quintana, and evaluate whether or not offers for their commodities are overwhelming. If a phenomenal deal comes along for a veteran, go ahead and make it. If they can add a piece long term without giving up a fortune, they should do that, but they shouldn’t feel compelled to do either.
Frankly, it doesn’t seem likely that a market will emerge for a couple of the big names that have floated around in trade rumors. Ervin Santana is a pitcher, and there are many better options available, either younger or with better stuff. Brian Dozier is not even close to as good as he was last year. That’s not to say he won’t be amazing in the second half again, but his traditionally poor first half hasn’t helped his trade value. Among contenders, only the Rockies, Indians and Brewers have 2b that are producing a lower WAR than Dozier. The Rockies and Indians aren’t moving on from DJ LaMahieu or Jason Kipnis, while the Brewers likely aren’t interested in investing the same kind of prospect package the Twins expected during the winter.
Don’t expect the Twins necessarily to stand pat. Something enticing could well come along and the Twins will make a move. But don’t expect the Twins to make a formal decision to either buy or sell, but rather let the market dictate what they do.