Friday, June 21, 2013

Buy or sell? The latter, with reservations

Scott Diamond was the winning pitcher Thursday
for the Twins, raising his record to 5-6 —and raising
his ERA to 5.27.
The Twins on Thursday beat the Chicago White Sox to sweep the three-game series and cap off a 6-3 homestand. Their record, on the first official day of summer, stands at 33-36, and while they're fourth in the AL Central, they're just six games behind the first place Detroit Tigers.

Which led to a Phil Miller story in the Star Tribune to the effect that as the jockeying for July trades gets started, the Twins don't know if they're buyers or sellers.

For me, it's not that difficult a call. I came into this season believing it was about building something for future seasons. I still believe that.

As Aaron Gleeman pointed out Thursday on Twitter, the Twins are 10-2 against the White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, which makes them 23-34 against everybody else. That doesn't look like a 2013 contender to me.

I'd advocate selective selling. The front office needs to determine who on the current roster fits on a 2015 contender and who's in the way of the 2014 transition to a lineup built around Joe Mauer and prospects Oswaldo Arcia, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario and maybe Byron Buxton.

Peter Gammons has had a few Twins related comments on his Twitter feed this week: on Wednesday morning he mentioned Glen Perkins as a potential trade target for closer-starved contenders. On Thursday he followed that up with a two-parter:

GM: "Terry Ryan isn't going to trade Perkins without a big haul. They're going to be good quick. Best player in minor league ball (Buxton ) ...

Sano's already in double-A and he and Rosario are on the fast track, they've got pitching coming. Terry doesn't make mistakes."

Those observations fit my view of the Twins' situation. Certainly the major league team has some holes. But the farm system is nearly ready to crank out some primo fixes for those holes. The Twins shouldn't — and I'm sure Ryan won't — be getting in the way of that process.

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