The Twins have started their trade deadline sale, and have really started it up for baseball. Designated Hitter Nelson Cruz was shipped to Tampa, along with a minor league prospect for two Rays pitching prospects.
The Rays were in dire need of a designated hitter, given their poor hitting this season, and found themselves to be one of only a few likely suitors for Cruz. The Twins, on the other hand, have been out of contention for a while, and were looking to move. Without much of a bidding war for Cruz, but a desperate need on Tampa’s part, there was no need to wait for the deadline to wrap this up.
While the Rays bolster their lineup, one that had been the lightest hitting and lowest contact lineups in the American League, despite threatening the postseason, the Twins also got something they were looking for.
While the Twins did send over a minor leaguer, it was 25 year old AA pitcher Calvin Faucher, who perhaps Tampa sees something in, but to the untrained eye looks like a long shot. The Twins, on the other hand collected two AAA pitching prospects, who were 10 and 17 on the Rays’ organization list, and slot in at 6 and 13 for the Twins, according to MLB Pipeline.
Joe Ryan (10/6) is going to be on your TV screens soon, as the new Twins pitcher is going to throw for Team USA in the Olympics this month. He isn’t the hardest thrower, but it’s hard to argue with his results. He attacks the strike zone, getting 7 1/2 strikeouts for every walk, though his presence and aggression can lead to some hard contact. Still, he is a AAA pitcher who could see Target Field as soon as this year.
The Twins also added Drew Strotman (17/13) another AAA pitcher who will likely report to St. Paul, since he is not in Tokyo. Strotman has achieved similar success to Ryan, but has done so with a more circuitous path, fighting through Tommy John surgery and diminishing control this season, which has surely taken some of the shine off of his prospect rating. Still, like Ryan, Strotman could make an appearance either this year or next.
The Rays got what they needed, and to pay for it, they gave the Twins what they needed: major league ready starting pitching.