With a little more than two weeks left until the MLB trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins are in an interesting position. After having a disappointing start to the season, Minnesota is second in the AL Central Division, 8.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians. Despite their record of 41-49, the Twins still have an opportunity to compete for the division title since Cleveland has not been dominant like other teams in the American League. Recently, many people have thought that Minnesota should sell in July, but looking at their current situation, it could actually make more sense to keep players rather than trading them away at the deadline.
The first aspect to consider is who the Twins could give up in a trade. Players like Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios have a lot of value since they are young and have played well this season, but they should not be traded for those exact same reasons. Since they are young, Berrios and Rosario are expected to be a part of making Minnesota’s future successful.
Another player that has been playing well is Eduardo Escobar who is a free agent at the end of this season. Escobar’s name has come up when people have discussed who could be traded away, but it does not make sense to trade him away since he has been one of the more consistent hitters in the Twins lineup, leading the team in RBIs with 54 and leading the league in doubles with 35. Escobar has also been a good infielder, spending time at both short stop and third base. It would be helpful to hold on to Escobar this year to try to make a push at the division.
Then there are players like Kyle Gibson and Brian Dozier. Dozier started off poorly but has been heating up as of late. In his last seven games, Dozier has been hitting .321 with three home runs and eight RBIs. His slump at the beginning of the year has lowered his trade value which means the Twins would not be able to get much in return if they tried trading Dozier. But these last seven games for Dozier could be an indication that he might be more productive at the plate. As for Gibson, he has been the second-best starting pitcher for Minnesota this season. Even though the starting rotation is expected to be overloaded in the future, it makes sense to keep him and move struggling pitchers to the bullpen or to the minors rather than trading Gibson away.
It also has been reported that the Twins would be looking for pieces that could help them win as soon as next year. Minnesota might be able to receive minor-league prospects in return for some of these players, but they most likely would not be able to receive players that would be ready to play the rest of this season or next season.
Lastly, if Minnesota still has a chance of catching Cleveland in the division race, it does not make sense to trade away players that the team would need in order to catch Cleveland, If the Twins want to win the division, then they would need to keep players like Dozier, Gibson, and Escobar and hope that they perform well as the season winds down. Yes, Minnesota is 8.5 games behind Cleveland, but with four games at home against Tampa Bay before the All-Star break, Minnesota could get closer to Cleveland in the standings as the Indians have a four-game series against the New York Yankees. Minnesota has also played well against the Indians this season. In nine games against Cleveland this year, the Twins have won six of those games and have scored a total of 48 runs while only allowing 36 runs. Minnesota has ten games left against Cleveland in 2018, and it would definitely help to have players like Escobar, Gibson, or Dozier to be on the roster. Despite the disappointing first half of the season, it still might be too early for the Minnesota Twins to throw in the towel.