With the trade deadline just two weeks away, there are thoughts of what the Twins will do come July 31st. Some people say they should look at improving their bullpen, while others think they should stay put and look to improve from within. The Twins are usually pretty quite at the trade deadline, but with the new stadium and more money, they could look to make moves.
However, one name that won’t be moving is Michael Cuddyer. Just a few days ago, the Twins came out and said that they will not be trading Cuddyer at any point this season. I believe that is a very smart move to not move Cuddyer. Even though he might be overpaid at $10.5 million, he has been one of the most reliable and clutch players over the last few seasons. He is also one of very few position players that has remained quite healthy for the Twins, as we have seen multiple players go down in bunches. Also, toss in the fact that he is a huge fan favorite, so trading Cuddyer would make Twins fans question the motive of Bill Smith’s thinking.
Despite being dealing with injuries throughout the season, Kevin Slowey remains the one Twin that will most likely be traded before the July 31st deadline arrives. Heading into the season, Slowey and Scott Baker were battling for the 5th and final rotation spot. At the time, I thought Slowey should have gotten the nod, as he performed very well during Spring Training. Manager Ron Gardenhire proved me wrong as Baker has been pretty darn good this year. With that move, Slowey was originally going to pitch out of the bullpen, but had to go on the disabled list. Once healthy, he was sent to Triple-A Rochester to start in the rotation.
The Pirates and Rockies have recently been reported as being interested in acquiring Slowey to insert into their rotation. The Twins should really consider trading Slowey to the first team that gives them a quality deal. If they do trade Slowey, they should focus on getting more bullpen help. With the recent poor performance by Matt Capps, that leaves basically Glen Perkins and Joe Nathan as the only two quality arms in the bullpen.
If the Twins want to make a push for another A.L. Central crown, they will need to upgrade their bullpen, as they don’t want to overwork Perkins and Nathan. A few names that come to mind when it comes to bullpen help are Heath Bell, Koji Uehera, Although it would take a lot to get Bell, it might be worth looking into. With Nathan returning to the closers role, the Twins may be reluctant to bring in another closer, as that might diminish the chances of Nathan hanging onto the closers role.
Whatever the Twins decide to do over the next two weeks, it should be interesting to see if not only the Twins make any moves, but any other team in the Central. Regardless, it appears that it will be another year where the winner won’t be decided until the last week, possibly the last day of the season.