The August 31st trade deadline is quickly approaching, and many teams are unsure if they are going to buy or sell due to the expanded playoffs. That adds another layer of uncertainty and excitement to the deadline.
Kenta Maeda and Randy Dobnak have been great for the Twins so far in 2020, but apart from them the rotation has been very shaky. Jose Berrios has only had one really good start, but otherwise has been inconsistent and hasn’t been great yet. Rich Hill came back from the his injury and looked great until the third inning. I’d expect him to return to how he pitched his first start soon. Homer Bailey was moved to the 45-day IL, and will be eligible to return September 13. Jake Odorizzi landed on the 10-day IL with a chest contusion after taking a comebacker off of his upper body. He will be eligible to return August 31.
It’s still early in the season but the Twins had this same problem last year and they ended getting swept in the ALDS partly because their starters weren’t very good. It would be nice to have a new starter join the rotation and lead or help lead it. There would definitely be a lot more confidence if they had more reliable help. I’ll discuss two trade candidates and a minor league option for the Twins.
Trevor Bauer has gotten off to a great start this season. In 26.1 innings pitched (4 starts), he has a 0.68 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 2.60 xFIP, and a 2.36 SIERA. He is an impending free agent but the Twins are in need of help and would likely try to re-sign him if he did good enough. Right now it seems like the Reds a reluctant to trading him but it could change based on how they perform until the deadline.
Lance Lynn spent some time with the Twins in 2018 before being traded to the Yankees. He’s currently with the Rangers and has also gotten off to a good start. In 39.1 innings pitched (6 starts), he has a 1.37 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 4.09 xFIP, and a 3.91 SIERA. He’s coming off of a career season in 2019 where he put up a 3.67 ERA and finished 5th in AL Cy Young voting. The Twins reportedly had interest in trading for him at the trade deadline in 2019. He would be a great addition to the Twins, and he has a year left on his contract after this season.
Jhoan Duran is the Twins #5 prospect and #2 pitching prospect. He could be a short-term replacement until Michael Pineda returns from suspension in early September, unless he were to perform extremely well of course. Duran made 15 starts in Advanced-A ball in 2019 where he had a 3.23 ERA, 3.05 FIP, and a 2.77 xFIP in 78.0 innings pitched. He made 7 starts in Double-A ball where he had a 4.86 ERA, 2.76 FIP, and a 2.56 xFIP in 37.0 innings pitched. Duran’s fastball sits in the upper 90s and often times reaches 100 MPH. He also has a good splitter and curveball. It would be nice to see one of the top prospects come up and potentially help us.