The Twins face a fascinating trade deadline as they try to stay out ahead of the division-rival Indians. Minnesota chief baseball officer Derek Falvey discussed his club’s approach in a recent appearance on Darren Wolfson’s The Scoop podcast (audio link).
Many fans would prefer to have already seen some new additions populating the roster, but Falvey says that’s simply not how the summer trade period typically unfolds. Even with the unitary trade deadline, the “market dynamics” are similar to those in prior seasons, he suggests, with a crescendo presumptively building just in advance of the deadline (one week from today).
While the Twins have at least given internal consideration to forcing the action, they’ve obviously ultimately decided to wait until the market picture gains greater resolution. There’s little question of the buying status of the Minnesota club — they’re in — but rivals with possible acquisition targets are still waiting to make their final calls. And there are obviously quite a few possibilities to sort through.
It seems as if the Twins aren’t fully committed to a particular deadline approach. Per Falvey, the club is unsurprisingly “focused more on the pitching side.” Beyond that, its moves may not unfold “in the most orthodox fashion,” he says.”
Rather than specifically pursuing certain roles — say, a top-flight starter or closer — the Twins are interested in improving “overall pitching depth.” That could open the door to creative approaches. As he put it: “we may think about … if there are ways to add to our starting rotation, our pitching depth, is there a way to add to the bullpen at the same time?”
Fans probably shouldn’t expect any true blockbusters out of the Minnesota front office. Falvey says he’s “actively working that market to try and find ways to improve this club,” but strongly suggests it won’t come in the way of adding new core or high-end rental pieces. This year’s successes, he says, will surely come “from the group that’s in that clubhouse right now.” Deadline moves are likelier to function as “supplements” to the roster core.
It isn’t terribly surprising to hear of this general approach. The Twins have made clear since the offseason that they’d rely primarily on their slate of internally developed talent. Of course, it’s also arguable that the time is ripe for the club to push hard to add impact MLB talent right now. As GM Thad Levine stated over the winter, “We’re very eagerly waiting for this window to be opened, and when it is, we plan on striking.”
There’s plenty more of interest in the podcast for fans of the team, including a few health updates. Among other things, Falvey says that veteran reliever Cody Allen is dealing with a minor neck issue but has been “starting to show some signs” of promise. That obviously won’t dissuade the club from pursuing more reliable arms via trade.