Though the Twins have received trade interest in both ace Ervin Santana and closer Brandon Kintzler, it would be “very difficult to justify selling” either hurler with the team still in the pennant race, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi tweets. Minnesota enters play today just 1.5 games out of first place in the AL Central and one game out of a wild card slot, and if anything, the Twins look like they’ll be trying to acquire pitching at the deadline rather than sell arms.
Here’s more from around the division…
- Glen Perkins isn’t sure he is interested in pitching in 2018, though the former Twins closer tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he is still determined to complete his long recovery from 2016 shoulder surgery to return to the bigs this season. “I still just want to pitch in a game. I mean, I do. I’m aware that the further along this goes, the less likely that is. But as long as I have a chance, I’m going to try,” Perkins said. The southpaw tossed just two innings in 2016 before being shut down due to the surgery, and Perkins has yet to be cleared for a full rehab assignment. The Twins have a club option for Perkins in 2018 that can (and almost surely will) be bought out for $700K, though Perkins said he is too focused on his recovery to worry about contract issues at this point.
- Injuries have made it difficult for the Indians to fully access their needs heading into the deadline, though prospect Francisco Mejia is “the magic bullet” the club possesses if it wants to land a “premium” everyday player or starting pitcher, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. Mejia is widely regarded as one of the game’s best prospects, and the catcher has only increased his stock in 2017 with a strong season (.336/.385/.552) at Double-A. While Mejia is regarded as the Tribe’s catcher of the future, Cleveland was prepared to trade him to Milwaukee last summer for as part of a prospect package for Jonathan Lucroy before Lucroy used his no-trade protection to block the deal.
- With Michael Fulmer receiving lots of interest, MLive.com’s Evan Woodbery wonders if the Tigers could package the young starter with one of the team’s unappetizing big contracts (Woodbery uses Jordan Zimmermann as an example) in order to both get some salary off the books and gain some good prospects. “Maybe a team with space under the luxury tax threshold would simply see it as an acquisition cost for getting Fulmer,” Woodbery writes. In my opinion, I doubt the Tigers would be willing to move Fulmer unless they were ready to go into a total rebuild, as the right-hander is so hugely valuable given his talent and controllability. As Woodbery notes, it can’t hurt for Tigers GM Al Avila to explore all possibilities, though finding a team with both the means and willingness to both absorb money and surrender a big prospect haul will be extremely difficult.