The non-waiver trade deadline is the headline grabber for most baseball fans, but the August 31st/September 1st deadline is filled with even more intrigue, with two big days for roster changes coming back to back. For the Twins, given the uncertain status of Byron Buxton given his hand injury, things are even further up in the air.
The waiver trade deadline comes at midnight, rather than the mid afternoon, non-waiver deadline on July 31st, but it seems as though the Twins will not make any moves to add or subtract players at the deadline, despite the fact that one of their pursuers for the wild card spot, the Angels, have made a combined three moves today alone.
Instead the Twins will look towards their minor league system if they want to add players. The benefit is that they won’t have to subtract any players in order to do so. In previous years, the Twins may have had a couple of guys come up that have been waiting a long time to break into the major leagues, and could provide some respite towards the end of a long season, and then given a cup of coffee to some top prospects so they could get their feet wet in the Big Leagues and the Major League managers could see what they had to work with against real talent, nearly a full season removed from spring training, likely the last time the manager interacted with many of the Minor Leaguers.
This year, the Twins’s need for players is more immediate. They are making a push for the postseason, perhaps a year or two earlier than anyone thought they would. They aren’t going to make any moves that would be called “feel good” just for the headlines. They will look for players that can fill areas of immediate need.
The Twins likely won’t bring too many players to the Major Leagues tomorrow when rosters expand, but they may seek to add depth to a short bench, first and foremost. Looking at the 40 man roster, there are only a pair of players in the minors on the 40 man roster who also qualify as position players. I wouldn’t be surprised to see defensive whiz like Engelb Vielma make the move to the majors to spell an infield stretched thin by Miguel Sano’s injury. Daniel Palka could also see his name on the back of a Twins uniform as an extra bench bat.
They aren’t going to go too far afield when looking for pitching help. Don’t expect any new names there. Hector Santiago and Adalberto Mejia should be back when their rehab is over, and Paul Molitor favorite Buddy Boshers ill get the call. Nik Turley should also be back sooner or later, while Aaron Slegers might be seen again, given his impressive debut.
The Twins roster will see some changes tomorrow, but more likely, those changes will slowly unfold over the next couple of weeks. Rather than gearing for years ahead, expect the Twins to focus on retooling as they focus on the weeks ahead.