The Twins are “checking in” on a few starting pitchers around the game, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Minnesota is seemingly limiting its interest to controllable arms at this point.
That’s not terribly surprising to hear. After all, the Twins are still treading water in the AL Central and AL Wild Card races. And GM Thad Levine said recently that the organization “would be very open to spending aggressively on assets that we could use to propel our team forward this year and for years to come.”
As noted in that above-linked post, the Twins have an obvious need — both now and in the near future — for reliable starting pitching. While there’s little reason to think that the team would part with significant future talent just for an immediate upgrade, it makes sense that the club would value the chance at contending this year while also considering arms that could bolster the roster for a few more seasons to come.
Rosenthal notes that Jose Quintana of the White Sox and Sonny Gray of the Athletics are two pitchers who’d likely appear on Minnesota’s list of possible targets, though it’s not clear whether the Twins have eyes for either in particular. He also suggests Dan Straily of the Marlins as an option, though again there’s still no indication that he’s specifically on the radar of Levine and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey.
Of course, those sorts of pitchers — Quintana and Gray, in particular — figure to draw interest from many other organizations. Those two have done so for quite some time, in fact, with the continued demand perhaps also representing a big reason that their respective organizations have felt comfortable waiting to deal them.
At this stage, there’s still a lack of clarity as to how the market will develop. Quintana and Gray might spur bidding wars; certain contenders could pivot to more affordable rental pieces (or even relievers); and/or we could see other long-term rotation assets (such as Julio Teheran or Gerrit Cole, among many other possibilities) reach the market to meet the demand. The level of involvement of teams such as the Twins will very likely play a role in dictating those developments, though the question remains whether Minnesota will press to get a deal done for a new starter.