Friday, July 31, 2015

The ticking clock

As I compose this, there are less than 12 hours to the trade deadline. There has been an expectation for days that the Twins would do something to at least shore up their bedraggled bullpen, if not shortstop or catcher.

And so far, nothing.

What I said here Thursday stands on Friday: I don't want a short-term deal with prime prospects. The 2015 Twins have a chance to make the playoffs, but the real window of opportunity is down the road still. Certainly one has to give something to get something, but the price still needs to be right.

History is worth remembering, and history tells us that:

  • The most successful mid-season deals for the Twins have waiver-wire pickups after the deadline; and
  • The vast majority of pre-deadline trades don't swing the pennant race or postseason.

Carl Pavano and Orlando Cabrera in 2009 were August acquisitions that worked out pretty well. The Matt Capps trade the following year was more about the postseason than the division race, and the Twins never got him a lead in the playoffs.

A Thursday rumor connected the Twins to Justin Upton (San Diego outfielder). I don't see the fit. Another rumor had the Cubs pushing hard to move shortstop Starlin Castro, just 25 but hitting .237 with a poison pill contract. As troublesome as shortstop has been for Minnesota, I'd rather go with the current grab-bag.

And neither Upton nor Castro would address the biggest problem on this roster: A low-octane bullpen. That's not, in truth, a problem that needs a big name player to resolve. A minor deal -- the right minor deal -- will do the trick. We're all waiting on that one.

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